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Friday Sports in Brief

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BASEBALL

BALTIMORE (AP) — Nationals star right-hander Stephen Strasburg left Friday night’s game after throwing just 16 pitches.

There was no immediate word from the Nationals on the type of injury that forced him off the mound during the first inning of a game against the Orioles.

Strasburg got a late start on the season because of a nerve issue in his right hand. This was his second start, the first coming last Sunday against Baltimore.

CLEVELAND (AP) – After hearing Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac explain their actions, the Cleveland Indians sent the pitchers to their alternate training site on Friday after the two broke team rules and Major League Baseball coronavirus protocol last weekend in Chicago.

Clevinger and Plesac drove to Detroit separately with their baseball equipment on Thursday for an ”open forum” meeting at the team’s hotel before the Indians opened a series with the Tigers.

Indians President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti said following ”the discussion” that he met with manager Terry Francona, general manager Mike Chernoff and decided it was best to option Plesac and Clevinger to the alternate training site instead of allowing them to rejoin the team.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Oakland Athletics center fielder Ramon Laureano had a six-game suspension reduced to four games Friday after appealing the penalty for his role in a benches-clearing brawl with the rival Houston Astros.

Major League Baseball said a settlement had been reached and the A’s were informed of the decision. Laureano was set to begin the four-game suspension Friday night and will miss a three-game weekend Bay Bridge Series against the San Francisco Giants. After sitting out Monday at Arizona, he will be eligible to play Tuesday against the Diamondbacks.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Cardinals coach Willie McGee has opted out of being with the team for the rest of the season while Major League Baseball announced Friday several doubleheaders to make up for games St. Louis has missed because of the coronavirus.

The 61-year-old McGee, a four-time All-Star outfielder and the 1985 NL MVP for the Cardinals, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he has high blood pressure. McGee said he had three older daughters and five grandchildren living at his family home in California.

McGee said he doesn’t have the virus, but added, ”having an underlying health issue with high blood pressure, I just don’t know how I would react if I were to get sick and I’m still not out of the woods.”

SACREMENTO, Calif (AP) – Vlade Divac has stepped down as general manager of the Sacramento Kings and will be replaced on an interim basis by Joe Dumars.

The Kings announced the move Friday, a day after they ended their 14th straight season without a playoff berth. That’s the longest active drought in the NBA and one shy of the record.

Divac was initially hired by the Kings in March 2013 as vice president of basketball operations and franchise operations. He became general manager in August 2015 but was unable to get the Kings back into the playoffs.

NEW YORK (AP) – Oft-injured Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

NBA

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) – Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. was carted off the court and fitted for a neck brace after colliding with Indiana Pacers center Goga Bitadze late in the third quarter Friday.

Jones was trying to get around a screen when he ran into the 6-foot-11 Bitadze and fell to the floor.

The Heat announced via Twitter after their 109-92 loss that Jones had a neck strain and had undergone an MRI, CT scan and concussion test. The Heat said Jones would be re-evaluated over the weekend.

During his postgame press conference, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra urged caution before reacting one way or another until all tests have been completed.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) – Mo Bamba will not play for the Orlando Magic in this season’s playoffs, after the team announced Friday that he has left the bubble for testing related to his previous bout with coronavirus.

Bamba was diagnosed with COVID-19 on June 11. The 22-year-old appeared in 62 games with the Magic this season but logged only 11 minutes of action in Orlando’s first two seeding games at Walt Disney World.

He did not appear in any of Orlando’s final six seeding games.

CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Bulls fired coach Jim Boylen on Friday, the new front office beginning its remake of a team that missed the playoffs again.

The Bulls were 22-43 and were one of the eight teams that didn’t qualify for the NBA’s restart at Walt Disney World. That meant they wouldn’t make the postseason for the fourth time in five years.

Chicago then hired Arturas Karnisovas as executive vice president of basketball operations, and on Friday he decided he wanted a new coach.

NHL

TORONTO (AP) – Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien is returning home to Montreal a day after a stent was placed in a coronary artery. The team said doctors expect a full recovery.

Julien was rushed to St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto overnight Wednesday with chest pain. He had surgery Thursday.

Since Julien left the NHL bubble in Toronto, he will have to follow quarantine protocol if he wishes to re-enter it.

NASCAR

WELCOME, N.C. (AP) – Bubba Wallace is adding to his NASCAR portfolio.

NASCAR’s only Black full-time driver announced a multiyear partnership with technology company DoorDash on Friday. It will sponsor Wallace’s No. 43 Chevrolet for Richard Petty Motorsports beginning Sunday on the road course at Daytona International Speedway. The deal also includes six more races this year: Dover, Richmond, Las Vegas, Texas, Martinsville and Phoenix.

Columbia Sportswear Co. signed Wallace as a brand ambassador earlier this week. The company will be on Wallace’s car at Dover later this month and one to two other races not yet announced.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports



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