• Braun suspended for rest of year

     NEW YORK (AP) — The first star to fall in baseball's latest drug investigation is one of its biggest: Ryan Braun.

    The 2011 National League MVP was suspended without pay for the rest of the season and the postseason Monday, the start of sanctions involving players reportedly tied to a Florida clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

    The Milwaukee Brewers star accepted the 65-game ban, 15 games more than the one he avoided last year when an arbitrator overturned his positive test for elevated testosterone because the urine sample had been improperly handled.

    "I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions," he said in a statement.

    Braun, injured Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and more than a dozen players were targeted by MLB following a report by Miami New Times in January that they had been connected with Biogenesis of America, a now-closed anti-aging clinic.

  • Woods still in hunt at Open

    GULLANE, Scotland (AP) — Tiger Woods plodded along most of the day. He lipped out a putt from 2½ feet. He settled for a bunch of pars.

    Then, with his final stroke, he looked like the Tiger of old.

    Woods rolled in a 15-footer for birdie on Muirfield's tough closing hole Friday, raising his putter toward the blue sky with a flourish, fully aware he was positioned again to break the longest major drought of his career.

    "It will be a fun weekend," Wood said. "This golf course is going to be difficult."

    He finished with an even-par 71 that looked pretty good under the circumstances. This was another day for surviving the perilous, rock-hard setup, and Woods walked to the clubhouse just three shots behind first-round leader Zach Johnson, one of the last guys to tee off.

    Not bad, considering Woods went through a stretch of 12 holes without a birdie before stealing one at the 18th.

    "I was kind of fighting it," he said.

    Everyone was.

    Lee Westwood was one of the few morning starters to put up a score in the 60s, but even he was staggering a bit by the end. After a brilliant front nine — he carded five birdies — the 40-year-old Englishman bogeyed three of the last six holes to finish with a 68.

  • Team USA tops Finland to finish 9th at World Games

    The USA men’s basketball team at the World University Games came back after being bounced from medal contention to pick up ninth place.
    Team USA knocked off Finland 97-70 Tuesday to earn ninth in the WUG, the best possible finish for a team not in the medal competition.
    Former Los Alamos High School standout and current New Mexico Lobo Alex Kirk scored 8 points and had 4 rebounds in 9 minutes of play Tuesday for Team USA.
    The USA held Finland to just 6 points in the second quarter en route to the win.
    To get to the final round of the WUG, which was hosted this year by the city of Kazan, Russia, the USA topped Norway 91-51 Sunday and Germany 92-70 Tuesday.
    The USA finished the WUG with a 6-2 showing. Unfortunately, the two losses would be enough to knock the Americans out of medal contention.
    After rolling over its first three opponents in pool play, the USA lost to Australia and Canada in consecutive games — only the first two teams in each pool advanced to medal-round competition.
    Australia, which finished as the runner-up in the USA’s pool, advanced to the WUG championship game Tuesday, where it met tournament host Russia. Russia jumped out to a big 25-15 lead after one quarter and cruised the rest of the way to top Australia 81-74.

  • AL tops NL in All-Star Game, Rivera named MVP

    NEW YORK (AP) — Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect eighth inning in his final All-Star appearance, Jose Bautista, J.J. Hardy and Jason Kipnis drove in runs to back a night of pulsating pitching, and the American League beat the National League 3-0 Tuesday night to stop a three-year losing streak.

    Ten pitchers combined a three-hitter and the 43-year-old Rivera, who is retiring at the end of the season, remained unscored on in nine All-Star innings. Rivera won the MVP award.

    The only older pitcher to appear in an All-Star game was 47-year-old Satchel Paige.

    Rivera was left alone on the field for a 90-second standing ovation, waving his cap to the crowd and touching it to his heart as the other All-Stars watched from the dugout railing and applauded.

    Bautista had a sacrifice fly in the fourth off Patrick Corbin that stopped the AL's 17-inning scoreless streak. Hardy added a run-scoring grounder in the fifth against Cliff Lee and Kipnis hit an RBI double in the eighth off Craig Kimbrell.

    Matt Harvey and Max Scherzer dazzled with pitching at the start. Harvey threw two scoreless innings, striking out three, and Scherzer retired the side in order in his only frame.

  • Cespedes is surprise derby champ

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Home Run Derby champion didn’t even make the All-Star team.
    Yoenis Cespedes won baseball’s power-hitting competition with a dazzling display Monday night, becoming the first player left out of the All-Star game to take home the crown. The Oakland Athletics slugger beat Bryce Harper 9-8 in the final round at reconfigured Citi Field, hitting the decisive drive with five swings to spare.
    In his second major league season, the outfielder from Cuba flipped his bat aside and raised his left arm in triumph when he sent his 32nd homer of the night some 455 feet to center field, where it caromed off the back wall of the black batter’s eye. He was swarmed by the American League All-Stars near the third base line.
    “You come for a show in New York. He put on a show,” said Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer.
    The final addition to the field, Cespedes was the fourth player not selected for the All-Star game to compete in the event.
    Right off the bat, he proved he belonged. With family in the stands, Cespedes hit a whopping 17 home runs in the first round — more than any other player managed in their first two at-bats.

  • 2 Broncos execs suspended for DUI arrests

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos have suspended two executives who are facing drunken driving charges.

    Director of player personnel Matt Russell was suspended indefinitely without pay Monday, and director of pro personnel Tom Heckert was suspended for a month without pay.

    Both will be provided with confidential treatment and counseling services by the team and will have to comply with those programs before being allowed to return to work, team president Joe Ellis said.

    Executive vice president John Elway's top two advisers were arrested and jailed on suspicion of drunken driving in separates incidents within a month of each other, giving the team its biggest black eye since a videotape scandal cost Josh McDaniels his job in 2010.

    Russell, Elway's right-hand man, was arrested July 6 while celebrating his 40th birthday. He hit two vehicles, including a police SUV in Breckenridge, injuring an officer, and registered a 0.246 percent breath alcohol content, three times the legal threshold for a DUI violation in Colorado, according to the arrest affidavit.

    Heckert's blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.162 percent upon his release seven hours after his June 11 arrest in Parker, according to a Douglas County Sheriff's Office report.

  • USA knocked out of contention

    The USA men’s basketball team competing at the World University Games was knocked out of medal competition with Friday’s loss to Canada.
    The USA was outscored 28-19 in the second quarter as Canada broke open a tight game. The Americans couldn’t get a sustained rally going in the second half to get back into the contest.
    Canada, which went a perfect 5-0 in Pool C competition, earned a 94-85 victory. Canada and Australia will now advance to the quarterfinals of medal play while the USA will play for ninth place in the bottom WUG bracket.
    The WUG continues through Tuesday in Kazan, Russia.
    Former Los Alamos High School star Alex Kirk, who did not make an appearance in Thursday’s loss to Australia, played only two minutes against Canada. Kirk finished with 1 rebound and picked up a personal foul in those two minutes.
    For the USA, Luke Hancock scored 27 points, while Doug McDermott and Cory Jefferson both chipped in 17 points.
    Again, however, it was a lackluster performance on both ends of the floor for the USA. The team shot just 40.3 percent from the floor (29 of 72) while allowing Canada to shoot at a nearly 50 percent clip.

  • U.S. men's basketball falls to the Aussies

    It took just one game for the USA World University Games men’s basketball team to go from riding high to near elimination.
    The USA was dropped by the Australian WUG team Thursday. Australia’s Jason Cadee scored 16 of his game-high 23 points in the final 10 minutes of the contest to lead his team to a 93-84 win over the USA.
    The loss, the first for the USA at the Games, puts the team’s back against the wall. To continue to direct-elimination play, the USA must top Canada (4-0) by no less than 10 points today to earn a tiebreaker over the Australians — only the top two teams from each pool advance.
    University of New Mexico standout and former Hilltopper star Alex Kirk did not appear in Thursday’s loss, one of two USA players that didn’t get into the game.
    This was the first time Kirk didn’t make an appearance in the USA’s pool competition and it was also the first time the USA had been outrebounded, by a 42-41 margin. Kirk has 17 rebounds in limited playing time throughout pool play.
    Kirk’s Lobo teammate, Cameron Bairstow, had 22 points for Australia, hitting 11 of 18 shots from the floor.

  • USA rallies to top Sweden 83-65

    The USA World University Games men’s basketball team came back from a 1-point deficit at the break to pull away from Sweden.
    The USA went on an 11-0 run to start the second half, defeating Sweden 83-65. Yogi Ferrell scored 20 points to lead the USA to the win.
    The USA is now 3-0 in Pool C play, tied with Canada for the top spot. The USA will take on Australia tonight — the game will be broadcast on ESPNU at 5 p.m. — and Canada on Friday.
    Alex Kirk played 4 minutes against Sweden and did not score.

  • Bartoli beats Lisicki for Wimbledon title

    LONDON (AP) — Ever since she was a kid, practicing until midnight with her father, Marion Bartoli went about playing tennis her own way.

    The two-handed strokes for backhands, forehands, even volleys. The hopping in place and practice swings between points, which help her focus. The unusual setup for serves — no ball-bouncing, arms crossed, right wrist resting on her left thumb before the toss.

    Whatever works, right? This unique Wimbledon, appropriately enough, produced a unique champion in the ambidextrous Bartoli, the 15th-seeded Frenchwoman who won her first Grand Slam title by beating 23rd-seeded Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-1, 6-4 Saturday in an error-filled, one-sided final that was far from a classic.