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Associated Press

Posted on July 7, 2013 at 5:00 AM


Lakers re-group after being spurned by Howard

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Suddenly, next season isn't looking so bright for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Having been spurned by Dwight Howard, the Lakers are facing a tough season with an aging roster led by Kobe Bryant — and even he's not ready to go. It's not known when the five-time champion will return as he recovers from Achilles' tendon surgery.

Howard's choice of Houston over Los Angeles leaves oft-criticized Pau Gasol as the Lakers' lone remaining big man. If coach Mike D'Antoni were to pencil in his lineup now for opening night, there would be a few holes.

Besides Gasol, the Lakers figure to have Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Hill as starters.

Metta World Peace could be waived via the league's amnesty provision and Earl Clark is already gone, having agreed to a two-year deal with Cleveland.


Shaq: LA spotlight too bright for Dwight Howard

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Shaquille O'Neal says the Los Angeles spotlight was too bright for Dwight Howard.

Speaking at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Shaq hammered his former colleague as if they were battling in the post.

O'Neal opened his mouth agape when asked about Howard, who chose to leave the Lakers for the Houston Rockets late Friday, and joked about cheering on Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick in Saturday's race.

A few seconds later, he threw an elbow Howard's way.

"It was expected," Shaq said. "We've all been in LA, and not a whole lot of people can handle being under the bright lights. Everybody wants to do it, but when you get there, there are certain pressures. I think it was a safe move for him to go to a little town like Houston. That's right, little town. I said it."


Kings, Landry agree to 4-year, $26 million deal

UNDATED (AP) — The Sacramento Kings and Carl Landry have agreed to a four-year deal worth at least $26 million that will bring the power forward back to California's capital city.

Landry's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Saturday that final details of the contract were still being worked out and it could reach $27 million over the life of the deal. He says Landry is excited to return to Sacramento under new owner Vivek Ranadive, who bought the franchise from the Maloof family in May.

Landry played parts of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons with the Kings. He opted out of the final year of his two-year, $8 million deal with Golden State last month to become a free agent.

The 29-year-old averaged 10.8 points and six rebounds in 23.2 minutes off the bench to help the Warriors reach the second round of the playoffs last season.


Sparks rout Silver Stars, Hammon hurt

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nneka Ogwumike (ah-GWOO'-mih-kay) had 24 points and 16 rebounds and Candace Parker added 18 points to help the Los Angeles Sparks beat the San Antonio Silver Stars 93-66 on Saturday and extend their regular season home winning streak to 18 games.

The Silver Stars also lost star Becky Hammon to a knee injury in the second quarter. The seven-time All-Star, who was playing in her first game of the season after missing the first 10 with a broken finger on her shooting hand, went down near the baseline with 6:14 left in the second quarter. She was carried off the court and didn't return.

Lindsey Harding added 14 points and A'dia Mathies and Kristi Toliver each had 12 for the Sparks (8-4), who pulled even with the Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury for first place in the Western Conference.


Dyson sends Royals to scrappy 4-3 win over A's

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jarrod Dyson delivered an infield single with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning Saturday, giving the Kansas City Royals a scrappy 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

The Royals had rallied to tie the game on a sacrifice fly by Eric Hosmer in the seventh, and then loaded the bases on an error and a pair of walks by reliever Ryan Cook.

Dyson, hardly known for his power, showed bunt on his first pitch from Cook (1-2) before hitting a grounder deep behind second base. Shortstop Adam Rosales fielded it cleanly but didn't even bother with a throw as pinch runner Alcides Escobar scored the go-ahead run.

Aaron Crow (6-3) worked the eighth and Greg Holland handled the ninth for his 20th save, wrapping up Kansas City's first win in five tries against Oakland this season.


Giants overcome lineup blunder, beat Dodgers 4-2

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Madison Bumgarner drove in two runs and struck out nine in seven innings, and the San Francisco Giants overcame an embarrassing lineup mistake to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 on Saturday night.

The Giants were caught batting out of order in the first inning, wiping away Buster Posey's RBI double. Manager Bruce Bochy submitted a lineup with Posey batting fourth, but the reigning NL MVP and batting champion hit third.

On the day he earned his first All-Star selection, Bumgarner (9-5) helped erase Bochy's big blunder by retiring his first 14 batters. Tim Federowicz's two-run homer off Bumgarner accounted for each of Los Angeles' runs.

Gregor Blanco had three hits and an RBI to end an 0-for-25 skid, and Marco Scutaro (SKOO'-tah-roh) drove in another run to help San Francisco stop a four-game losing streak.


Dodgers acquire Ricky Nolasco from Marlins

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired right-hander Ricky Nolasco in a trade with the Miami Marlins.

The Dodgers sent minor league pitchers Steven Ames, Josh Wall and Angel Sanchez to Miami in Saturday's deal. Los Angeles also received international signing bonus slot No. 96, which is valued at $197,000.

Nolasco made 18 starts for the Marlins this season, going 5-8 with a 3.85 ERA. The 30-year-old Southern California native is 81-72 with a 4.44 ERA in 213 games over eight seasons.

The Chicago Cubs originally selected Nolasco in the fourth round of the 2001 draft. He was acquired by the Marlins in 2005 and had been one of the most reliable arms for one of baseball's most frugal franchises ever since.

The Dodgers were playing at San Francisco on Saturday.


Giants mistakenly bat out of order against Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants were caught batting out of order against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, wiping away Buster Posey's RBI double in the first inning.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy (BOH'-chee) submitted a lineup card that had Posey batting fourth. So after Posey hit third in Pablo Sandoval's spot, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called out the mistake to umpires.

Posey was ruled out but got to bat again in the fourth spot, ending the inning on a fly out to right field. Posey had batted third in 15 straight games until Friday night.

The Giants had Posey batting third in the clubhouse's digital lineup and on papers passed out in the press box — but not in the official card submitted to the Dodgers and umpires.

Bochy had talked before Saturday's game that he wanted to return Posey to the fourth spot after San Francisco's recent struggles.


Harper lobbies to play and helps Nats rally to win

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper drove in three runs after talking his way into Washington's lineup, Ryan Zimmerman knocked in the go-ahead run and the Nationals rallied for a 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.

Adam LaRoche homered, and Denard Span and Ian Desmond added two hits apiece as the Nationals won their third straight.

Harper lobbied Davey Johnson for playing time earlier in the day after the Washington manager said Friday night that he was probably going to give the young slugger the weekend off. Harper walked with the bases loaded in the third, snapped an 0-for-19 skid with an RBI single in the fifth and drove in the tying run in the seventh with a sacrifice fly.

Ross Ohlendorf (2-0) got the win and Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 24th save.


San Diego's Grandal injured in game at Washington

WASHINGTON (AP) — San Diego catcher Yasmani Grandal left Saturday's game at Washington in the third inning with a right knee injury.

With the bases loaded and one out, Washington's Ian Desmond grounded to first baseman Jesus Guzman. Guzman threw to Grandal for the force at home as Washington's Anthony Rendon slid into the lower portion of Grandal's right leg, twisting the catcher's knee.

Grandal fell to the ground but held on for the forceout. He remained down for several minutes before being assisted off the field.

The team later announced Grandal had a right knee sprain and would be re-evaluated after the game.

He was replaced by Nick Hundley.


Hamilton's homer in 11th lifts Angels over Red Sox

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Josh Hamilton hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning, after the Angels rallied to tie it with four runs in the ninth, and Los Angeles beat the Boston Red Sox 9-7 on Saturday night to snap the AL East-leaders' five-game winning streak.

Brad Hawpe, who came in to play first base in the 10th, singled with one out in the 11th against Craig Breslow (2-2). Hamilton drive the next pitch out to right-center for his 12th homer and second dramatic blast in three nights.

Dane De La Rosa (4-1) earned this victory with a scoreless inning.

It was the third big comeback win at home for the Angels in less than four weeks.

On June 20, they turned a 7-0 deficit against Seattle into a 10-9 win, and they rallied with three runs in the ninth against St. Louis on Thursday — including a two-run homer by Hamilton — for a 6-5 win.


Revolution beat Earthquakes 2-0, snap 3-game skid

FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) — Saer Sene and Dimitry Imbongo each scored their second goals of the season and the New England Revolution snapped a three-match winless stretch with a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.

New England (6-5-6) was winless in its last three outings (0-1-2) and snapped a five-match (0-4-1) winless streak against San Jose (5-9-6) before 13,732 at Gillette Stadium.

New England midfielder Lee Nguyen set up both goals, creating Sene's goal in the 13th minute, a 25-yard blast from atop the penalty box area, then making a pass from atop the right corner of the penalty box to create Imbongo's goal, a sliding touch, in the 78th minute.

San Jose is 1-8-2 on the road this season, being outscored 21-7.

The Earthquakes played with leading scorer Chris Wondolowski, who is on duty with the U.S. national team.


Game On Dude defends title in Hollywood Gold Cup

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Game On Dude led all the way in winning the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup by a length for the second straight year, giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his fifth victory in the 74-year-old race and co-owner Joe Torre his second.

Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Game On Dude ran 1¼ miles in 2:01.88 as the 1-5 favorite.

Kettle Corn was second, while Baffert-trained Sky Kingdom was another 6¾ lengths back in third in the five-horse field. A year ago, Chantal Sutherland became the first female jockey to win the Gold Cup, guiding Game On Dude to a 1½-length victory.

Game On Dude is 5-0 since Smith took over as the gelding's regular rider from Rafael Bejarano last December.


Artemis eager to sail but new boat not ready

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — This is supposed to be the most eye-popping America's Cup ever.

Sleek, space-age catamarans capable of sailing three times the speed of the wind will race on San Francisco Bay against a stunning backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and the Transamerica pyramid.

But then British sailor Andrew "Bart" Simpson was killed in a capsize on a training run that shattered Artemis Racing's first boat two months ago, and suddenly it didn't seem quite as much fun anymore.

Now, the Italian syndicate has announced it won't sail against Emirates Team New Zealand in the opening race of the Louis Vuitton Cup for challengers.

That leaves Simpson's teammates shaking their heads.

The Italians have a boat and won't sail.

Swedish-based Artemis desperately wants to sail, but its new boat is about two weeks from being ready for sea trials.