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Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees agree to $15 million deal

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Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees agree to $15 million deal

NEW YORK (AP) Trying to get under baseball's luxury tax by 2014, the New York Yankees don't mind spending big as long as it's on one-year deals.

New York filled one of the slots in its rotation Tuesday, agreeing to a $15 million, one-year contract with No. 2 starter Hiroki Kuroda as they await a decision from Andy Pettitte on whether he wants to return in 2013.

``It something that I think fits how we've operated here in the last number of years, to do short-term circumstances on high-end players,'' Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

The Yankees will pay the luxury tax on high payrolls for the 10th straight season this year and will hand over more tax money in 2013. But they say they want to get under 2014's threshold of $189 million, which would enable them to get some of their revenue-sharing dollars back. That's why a one-year deal made sense for Kuroda, a right-hander who turns 38 in February.

He was the Yankees' most consistent pitcher during the regular season. He went 16-11, tying for the team lead in wins, and led New York with 33 starts and 219 2-3 innings.

Cashman called the agreement ``a relief.''

``Hiroki Kuroda chose us on a lesser deal last year and I suspect he's done the same again this year,'' Cashman said. ``By coming here, I suspect that he left money on the table. I suspect it was a very aggressive market on him, and I think it is a reflection of he really enjoyed playing here for this city, for this team, for this organization and with these teammates to come back under the circumstances he's coming back on.''

After losing six of his first nine decisions, Kuroda finished with a 3.32 ERA that was second among New York starters behind Pettitte's 2.87.

``I am very happy and excited to re-sign with the Yankees,'' Kuroda said in a statement. ``I am very grateful for all of the interest and all of the offers that I received from the various teams that courted me. It was a tough decision for me to make, but at the end of the day, I wanted to try to win a championship with the teammates that I went to battle with last season.''

Kuroda joined the Yankees after four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was given a $10 million base salary last season and earned $1 million more in performance bonuses based on innings. He turned down a $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Yankees, and he would have cost a new team a selection in June's amateur draft.

He joins CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova in the Yankees' projected starting rotation for next season, with David Phelps also a possibility.

Pettitte, who came out of retirement to rejoin the Yankees, hasn't decided whether he wants to play next year. Cashman won't say how long he'll wait.

``Of course, obviously, there's an answer to that question but not one I'm prepared to answer,'' he said.

NOTES: Kuroda can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses, $250,000 each for 190 and 210 innings. ... Cashman said SS Derek Jeter is progressing from surgery to repair his broken ankle. ``By opening day he's supposed to be ready and full speed,'' he said. ... Cashman is talking with Mariano Rivera about a new contract and doesn't have any concerns about the closer's recovery from a torn knee ligament. Rivera turns 43 next week. ``Mo's never failed. He's never had a failure in his career,'' Cashman said. ... RHP Michael Pineda, recovering from shoulder surgery, isn't being counted on for the start of the season. He threw on flat ground at Yankee Stadium last week. ``He had zip on it,'' Cashman said.

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Orioles welcome home military service member with surprise first pitch

Orioles welcome home military service member with surprise first pitch

The Orioles helped make one family's Father's Day a day that they will never forget. 

Specialist Addam Bostwick from Fort George G. Meade United States Army installation surprised his father, former Marine Stephen Bostwick, with a special ceremonial first pitch Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.

Stephen, who is a four-year veteran of the US Marine Corps, was expecting an Orioles player to catch the first pitch, was shocked to see Addam, who had been deployed in Afghanistan for four months, surprised his father.

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Carli Lloyd scores 2 and the US downs Chile 3-0 at the World Cup

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Carli Lloyd scores 2 and the US downs Chile 3-0 at the World Cup

Carli Lloyd scored a pair of goals for the United States in a somewhat subdued 3-0 victory over Chile that advanced the defending Women's World Cup champions to the round of 16.

The United States was criticized after its record-breaking 13-0 rout of Thailand when players celebrated goals even after the victory was well in hand. The Americans were more muted in this one, and all three goals were in the first half.

Sweden also advanced out of Group F with a victory 5-1 victory over Thailand earlier Sunday in Nice. Japan, playing in Group D with England, also went through to the knockout stage because both the United States and Sweden won.

Lloyd earned the start after coming in off the bench in the opener, and in the 11th minute became the first player to score in six straight World Cup matches.

She added another on a header off a corner in the 35th minute for her 10th career World Cup goal, which moved her into third on the all-time U.S. list behind Abby Wambach (14) and Michelle Akers (12).

Four years ago at the World Cup in Canada, Lloyd scored three goals in the opening 16 minutes of the finale to lead the United States to a 5-2 victory over Japan for the team's third overall title.

She nearly got another hat trick -- which would have made her the first player with two World Cups -- but her penalty kick in the 81st minute went wide left.

The Americans were blasted after their tournament-opening victory for the lopsided score, and overenthusiastic celebration, and the controversy clouded the run-up to Sunday's game.

Several of the U.S. players reached out to their Thai counterparts following the match. Lloyd exchanged encouraging words and tweets with goalkeeper Sukanya Chor Charoenying, and FIFA posted an interview with Thailand's coach thanking the U.S. players for being professional and playing well.

The United States set records for goals and margin of victory against Thailand. Alex Morgan tied the World Cup record for most individual goals with five, and she was among a record seven different scorers in a single game.

After such a rout, Jill Ellis made sweeping changes to the starting lineup against Chile with a new front line: Lloyd, Christen Press and Mallory. Morgan was moved to the bench along with Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath.

Becky Sauerbrunn, who sat out of the match against Thailand because of a minor quad injury, returned and anchored a backline that included 20-year-old Tierna Davidson, who was making her World Cup debut. Davidson is the youngest player to start for the United States in the World Cup since Tiffany Roberts against Norway in 1995.

Chile made just one lineup change, starting midfielder Claudia Soto in place of Yanara Aedo.

Chile lost its opener to Sweden 2-0 but goalkeeper Christiane Endler kept the Swedes out of the goal until the 83rd minute. The second goal got past her in stoppage time. The 6-footer who plays for Paris Saint-Germain was solid again against the United States, especially in the second half when the United States peppered her with shots.

Julie Ertz scored in the 26th minute with a header off a corner kick from Davidson that Endler got her hands on but couldn't stop. It was her first World Cup goal and came with her husband Zach Ertz, a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, looking on.

Ender was able to prevent Lloyd from another attempt at a hat trick when she tipped the U.S. captain's shot over the net in the 72nd minute.

Former Vice President Joe Biden was among the U.S. team's well-wishers before the sold-out game at Parc des Princes stadium. Biden, who is running for President in 2020, referenced the team's lawsuit against U.S. Soccer alleging gender discrimination and seeking equitable pay.

"As we cheer them on in the World Cup, we must support their fight off the field for equal pay. In 2019, it's past time we close the pay gap and ensure women get paid as much as men," Biden posted on Twitter.

U.S. soccer maintains that the two teams have different pay structures because of separate collective bargaining agreements.

The United States plays Sweden in Le Havre on Thursday to wrap up the group stage. It is the first meeting between the two teams since Sweden ousted the American from the quarterfinals at the 2016 Olympics.

Chile wraps up the group with a match against Thailand on Thursday in Rennes.

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