MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Yoenis Cespedes knew how to pace himself in this rain-delayed home run derby, drawn out further by a new format.
The Oakland Athletics outfielder simply trusted his own strength and became the first repeat winner of the All-Star skills contest in 15 years, powering his way past Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier 9-1 in the final round.
With a serious, determined look on his face the whole time, Cespedes finished with 28 homers – four fewer than last year, when he beat Washington’s Bryce Harper 9-8 in the final round.
Cespedes saved his best for last, a 452-foot blast to the third deck above left field that officially measured as the longest of the night. A’s third base coach Mike Gallego again pitched to Cespedes and Gallego’s arm looked nearly out of gas by the final round, which started after 10:30 p.m. local time.
Cespedes topped Toronto’s Jose Bautista, and Frazier surprisingly beat Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton in the semifinals.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Seattle’s Felix Hernandez will start Tuesday night’s All-Star game for the American League and Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals will open for the National League.
Hernandez, the first Venezuela pitcher to start for the All-Stars, is 11-2 with a 2.12 ERA. He is the second Seattle pitcher to start an All-Star game following Randy Johnson in 1995 and 1997.
NL manager Mike Matheny of the Cardinals chose the ace of his own staff. Wainwright is 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA and three complete games in 19 starts. It will be the 11th All-Star start by a Cardinals pitcher.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, a 14-time All-Star who is playing his final season, will lead off for the AL.
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Coach Mike Krzyzewski hopes Derrick Rose’s NBA comeback begins in a USA uniform.
Even if Rose isn’t ready, the Americans have plenty of talent for another run at a world championship.
Rose and four returnees from the 2012 Olympic men’s basketball champions were among the 19 players selected for this summer’s U.S. national team roster. Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, James Harden and Anthony Davis were the four holdovers from London, and there were new additions of Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Chandler Parsons, who is leaving Houston for Dallas.
Players will report to training camp this month in Las Vegas, where Rose will try to show he’s recovered from his latest knee surgery.
The rest of the roster: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (Golden State), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland), Blake Griffin (Clippers), Paul George (Indiana), Damian Lillard (Portland), Gordon Hayward (Utah), DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento), Bradley Beal (Washington), Andre Drummond (Detroit), Kenneth Faried (Denver) and Kyle Korver (Atlanta).
CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Bulls made two trades to clear salary-cap space, setting the stage for the addition of free-agent center Pau Gasol.
The Bulls sent forward Anthony Randolph, two second-round draft picks and cash considerations to Orlando for the rights to Milovan Rakovic. They also traded forward Greg Smith to Dallas for the rights to Tadija Dragicevic.
The pair of moves helps make room for Gasol, who announced over the weekend he planned to join the Bulls. The 7-foot Gasol is a four-time All-Star and averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in 60 games last season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) – Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive is confident the NCAA reform he’s been pushing for years will take a big step toward becoming a reality in August.
The longtime leader of the SEC gave his annual state-of-the-conference speech at the beginning of the league’s media days and wasn’t shy about putting more pressure on the NCAA. He said college athletics ”must be willing to make appropriate changes,” including giving the Big Five conferences autonomy to make their own bylaws.
The SEC has discussed several changes to the current system, including full cost-of-attendance scholarships and providing long-term medical coverage to college athletes. The NCAA’s board of directors will vote on the Big Five’s autonomy request in August.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The truck-stop company owned by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has agreed to pay a $92 million penalty for cheating customers out of promised rebates and discounts.
In an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Pilot Flying J has accepted responsibility for the criminal conduct of its employees, 10 of whom have pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme.
For its part, the government has agreed not to prosecute the nation’s largest diesel retailer as long as Pilot abides by the agreement. Among other conditions, Pilot has agreed to cooperate with an ongoing investigation of current and former employees. The agreement does not protect any individual at Pilot from prosecution.
Nashville criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor David Raybin, who has followed the case but is not involved, said the agreement most likely signals that Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam will not face charges.
PLANCHER-LES-MINES, France (AP) – Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali stamped his dominance on the Tour de France by winning Stage 10 in the Vosges mountains – shortly after his biggest rival for the title, two-time champion Alberto Contador, crashed out with a fractured shin after a high-speed spill.
Nibali, the Astana team leader, also regained the overall race lead from France’s Tony Gallopin – who had taken the leader’s yellow jersey off him a day earlier – in the 100-mile trek from the eastern city of Mulhouse to a super-steep uphill finish at La Planche des Belles Filles.
With Contador out, Nibali is now the favorite to win his first Tour. He has won the Italian Giro and the Spanish Vuelta – cycling’s other ”Grand Tours” along with the French race. Overall, he leads Richie Porte of Australia by nearly 2 minutes, 23 seconds, and Valverde, who is third, 2:47 back.
A string of crash injuries has meant that the Tour will have a first-time winner this year.