Thursday's Sports In Brief
AUG 15, 2014 3:17a ET
BALTIMORE (AP) Rob Manfred was elected baseball's 10th commissioner Thursday, winning a three-man race to succeed Bud Selig and given a mandate by the tradition-bound sport to recapture young fans and speed play in an era that has seen competition increase and attention spans shrink.
The 55-year-old Manfred, who has worked for Major League Baseball in roles with ever-increasing authority since 1998, will take over from the 80-year-old Selig on Jan. 25. It's a generational change much like the NBA undertook when Adam Silver, then 51, replaced 71-year-old David Stern as commissioner in February. And like Silver, Manfred was his boss's pick.
Manfred beat out Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner in the first contested vote for a new commissioner in 46 years. The third candidate, MLB Executive Vice President of Business Tim Brosnan, withdrew just before the start of balloting.
Selig has led baseball since September 1992, first as chairman of the sport's executive council following Fay Vincent's forced resignation and as commissioner since July 1998.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Tony Stewart won't race Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, skipping a second straight NASCAR Sprint Cup race since striking and killing a driver in a dirt-track race at a small New York track.
Stewart announced the decision in a statement Thursday. His plans for the rest of the season haven't been determined.
Jeff Burton will drive Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet in Michigan.
Stewart also sat out Sunday at Watkins Glen, a day after he struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car event in Canandaigua, New York. After Stewart clipped Ward's car, sending it spinning, Ward got out of the car during the caution period, walked down the track and was hit by Stewart.
Ward's funeral was Thursday in Boonville, New York. He died of blunt force trauma.
PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) - Lexi Thompson and South Korea's Meena Lee shot 6-under-66 on Thursday to share the first-round lead in the LPGA Championship, the fourth major championship of the season.
Thompson and Lee each made eight birdies and a pair of bogeys at Monroe Golf Club to finish a stroke ahead of ahead of Brittany Lincicome, Lisa McCloskey of Colombia and Jennifer Kirby of Canada.
Shanshan Feng of China, the tournament winner two years ago, was tied for sixth at 68 with 2010 champion Cristie Kerr.
Catriona Matthew of Scotland, runner-up a year ago to South Korea's Inbee Park, was tied at 69 with seven other players. Park was at even-par 72, one shot better than Paula Creamer and Karrie Webb.
Top-ranked Stacy Lewis, a three-time winner this year, started on the back nine and birdied three of the first five holes, then faltered with three straight bogeys before the turn. She finished at 71.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Camilo Villegas shot a 7-under 63 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round at the Wyndham Championship.
North Carolina natives Webb Simpson and William McGirt had 64, and Scott Langley, Heath Slocum, Paul Casey, Andrew Loupe and Martin Laird were another stroke back in the final event before the PGA Tour's playoffs.
Villegas hasn't won on tour since 2010 and has only two top-10 finishes in the last three years.
After pulling out of the Canadian Open after one round, he spent the past week back in his native Colombia for ''a little recharge'' - leaving his clubs behind in Florida.
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (AP) - South Korea's Gunn Yang advanced to the U.S. Amateur quarterfinals Thursday, birdieing the final three holes to beat top-ranked Ollie Schniederjans 1 up at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Yang, a San Diego State sophomore making his first appearance in the tournament, was down a hole against Schniederjans, a senior at Georgia Tech, after 15 holes. Yang won the par-16th with a 6-foot putt, took the par-3 17th with another 6-footer and finished off the hometown favorite with a tap-in on the par-5 18th.
In the morning, Yang beat England's Paul Howard 4 and 3 in the round of 32. Yang will play Cameron Young of Scarborough, New York, in the quarterfinals. Young beat Kyle Jones of Taylor, Arizona 1 up.
In the other upper-bracket quarterfinal, 36-year-old Pittsburgh financial adviser Nathan Smith will play Frederick Wedel of The Woodlands, Texas.
Smith, the oldest player to reach match play, beat U.S. Public Links champion Byron Meth of San Diego with a par on the 21st hole. Smith bogeyed the 18th hole.
In the lower bracket, Canada's Corey Conners will play Zachary Olsen of Cordova, Tennessee; and Roman Robledo of Harlingen, Texas, will face Denny McCarthy of Rockville, Maryland.
In the third-round Conners beat Spain's Jon Rahm 3 and 1; Olsen topped Will Zalatoris of Plano, Texas, 5 and 3; Robledo beat Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis, California, 3 and 1; and McCarthy edged Eli Cole of Los Angeles 1 up. In the morning, Robledo Robby Shelton, the University of Alabama player ranked No. 2, 1 up.
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) - Pierce Jones had three homers and four RBIs in Jackie Robinson West's 12-2 victory over Lynnwood, Washington, in five innings on Thursday.
In the other U.S. game, Las Vegas beat Rapid City, South Dakota, 12-2 in five innings. In openers Friday, Philadelphia will face Nashville, Tennessee; and Pearland, Texas, will meet Cumberland, Rhode Island.
In International play, South Korea topped the Czech Republic 10-3, and Puerto Rico routed Australia 16-3 in four innings. On Friday, Canada will play Guadalupe, and Japan will meet Venezuela.
Jones homered leading off in the first inning, and also tripled in the game. Shortstop Ed Howard added a two-run homer in the second inning.
DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Red Wings have signed executive vice president and general manager Ken Holland to a four-year contract through the 2017-18 season.
Holland has been Detroit's GM for the last 17 seasons. Since he took over in July 1997, his teams have won more regular-season games (746) and postseason games (115) than any other organization. The Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1998, 2002 and 2008 - and another in 1997 while he was an assistant GM.
Detroit fought through injuries in 2013-14 to make the playoffs for the 23rd consecutive season, but the Red Wings lost in the first round to Boston. Coach Mike Babcock has one year remaining on his contract.
Holland has been with the Red Wings in some capacity for 31 seasons. He was a player and a scout before joining management.
During his tenure as GM, the Red Wings have won four Presidents' Trophies, five regular-season conference titles and 10 division titles.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) - The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld Luis Suarez's four-month ban for biting an opponent at the World Cup, but cleared him to train with Barcelona.
CAS says FIFA's sanctions against Suarez are ''generally proportionate to the offence committed.''
Suarez cannot play for Barcelona until Oct. 26, and he remains banned for Uruguay's next eight competitive matches. However, the court's panel has ruled that the ban on any soccer-related activity is ''excessive.''
The court's ruling allows him to train and be involved in promotional activities.
Suarez has admitted to biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder during Uruguay's 1-0 win at the World Cup.
MASON, Ohio (AP) - Top-ranked Novak Djokovic tumbled out of the Western & Southern Open on Thursday, and second-seeded Roger Federer avoided an upset in the round of 16.
Tommy Robredo, seeded 16th, beat Djokovic, 7-6 (6), 7-5 in the afternoon, and Federer escaped with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Gael Monfils in the night session.
Andy Murray also advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (2) victory over John Isner. Seeded players Milos Raonic and Fabio Fognini also stayed alive.
In women's play, top-seeded Serena Williams continued her pursuit of her first title in the Cincinnati-area tournament with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Flavia Pennetta.
Simona Halep also reached the quarterfinals, where she will meet Maria Sharapova. Agnieszka Radwanska, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic also moved on.
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) - Jockey Tyler Baze earned his 2,000th career victory Thursday at Del Mar, snapping an 0-for-46 skid.
He rode 2-1 favorite Kate's Event to a 2 1/4-length win in the third race.
Baze comes from a racing family in Washington state, which includes his second cousin, Russell Baze, who is North America's all-time winningest jockey. Tyler Baze won an Eclipse Award as the nation's top apprentice jockey in 2000.
Baze came back to win the feature race, too, for his 2,001st victory.
Fable rallied from next-to-last in the 10-horse field to overhaul Hugh Knew in the final furlong and win by 2 3/4 lengths. Fable ran one mile on Polytrack in 1:37.82 and paid $9.40, $4.80 and $4.
Hugh Knew returned $4.80 and $3.20, while Backintheacademy was another length back in third and paid $4.80 to show.