Thursday’s Sports in Brief

AUTO RACING

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Chase Elliott’s streak of bitter defeats in NASCAR’s frantic first push of rescheduled races finally ended with his first Cup victory of the season.

Elliott won the rain-delayed event at Charlotte Motor Speedway to close a brutal 12 days for NASCAR. The event, postponed Wednesday night, was the fourth Cup race since the series resumed racing May 17.

Elliott had two frustrating losses in that span, including defeat Sunday night in the Coca-Cola 600 when a caution flew two laps from the finish with Elliott leading. There was little suspense in this one. Elliott reeled in Kevin Harvick with 27 laps remaining and closed out the victory.

BOSTON MARATHON

BOSTON (AP) — Organizers canceled the Boston Marathon for the first time in its history, bowing to the social distancing requirements of the coronavirus outbreak and ending a 124-year run that had persisted through two World Wars, a volcanic eruption and even another pandemic.

The race, which draws a field of 30,000 and already had been postponed from April 20 to Sept. 14, will be replaced by a virtual event in which participants who verify that they ran 26.2 miles (42.2 km) on their own will receive their finisher’s medal.

PRO FOOTBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is hopeful that coaches will be able to return to their team facilities by next week.

Goodell said following an owners conference call that the virtual offseason is being extended for two more weeks. In a memo sent to the 32 teams and obtained by The Associated Press, he outlined the next phase of reopening of club facilities, which can begin Monday.

Ticket offices, retail shops and other “customer-facing facilities” that comply with state and local regulation can open, with employees counting in the current maximum number of employees (no more than 50 percent of staff not to exceed 75 persons) allowed.

NFL owners tabled a proposal that would have offered a fourth-and-15 play as an alternative to the onside kick. They approved testing expanded use of video replay in the preseason to aid in officiating.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Madden franchise will continue to be a part of the gaming universe for at least the next six years.

NFL owners approved an extension of their deal with Electronic Arts, continuing a relationship that has existed for 30 years. It was also recently approved by the NFL Players Association.

The current contract was set to expire after the 2021 season. The extension means that EA Sports will continue to be the league’s exclusive publisher of football simulation games through 2026.

SOCCER

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Premier League plans to restart on June 17 after a 100-day shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with new staggered kickoff times to make sure every game can be shown on TV as fans are prevented from attending games.

The clubs agreed that the competition should resume with a Wednesday night doubleheader featuring Manchester City playing Arsenal and Aston Villa hosting Sheffield United — two games that were postponed during earlier rounds. However, the league still needs formal approval from the government as lockdown measures are gradually eased.

MILAN (AP) — Italy’s Serie A is set to resume on June 20. Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora gave the league the all-clear to resume, although it will have to wait a week longer than it had initially hoped.

Spadafora held a meeting with Italian soccer authorities by video conference after a medical protocol for matches was approved earlier on Thursday.

Serie A has been suspended since March 9, when the government ordered a nationwide lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Agent Scott Boras recommends his clients refuse Major League Baseball’s attempt to cut salaries during negotiations with the players’ association, claiming team financial issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic have their origin in management debt financing.

In an email obtained by The Associated Press, Boras wrote that players should not alter terms of the March 26 agreement between MLB and the union that called for players to reduce their salaries to a prorated rate based on a shortened season. MLB on Tuesday proposed a series of tiered reductions that would cause top stars to receive the biggest cuts.

NEW YORK (AP) — At least 10 major league franchises have informed minor leaguers they will continue to provide allowances after the May 31 expiration of Major League Baseball’s policy guarantying those players $400 per week.

The San Diego Padres, Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners are promising payments through August, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles have pledged to do so through at least June. The White Sox are even providing those stipends to 25 minor league players recently released.

The Philadelphia Phillies also plan to continue allowances through June, but likely at a reduction from the $400 per week rate. The amount is to be determined, the team said.

HORSE RACING

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nadal, one of trainer Bob Baffert’s early favorites for the rescheduled Triple Crown, injured his ankle after a workout at Santa Anita and is out of contention for the series.

The 3-year-old colt suffered a left front condylar fracture, Baffert said in a phone interview. It was diagnosed after Nadal completed a half-mile workout in 48.80 seconds. He had surgery during which two screws were inserted in his ankle at the track’s equine hospital.

Baffert said Nadal could return to racing after a 90-day recovery period. However, he would miss the Belmont Stakes on June 20, the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5 and the Preakness on Oct. 3. Baffert wasn’t sure if the colt’s owners would retire him.

GOLF

Two weeks before the PGA Tour is set to resume its schedule, John Deere Classic officials decided to cancel what would have been the fifth tournament back.

Tournament director Clair Peterson said there were too many obstacles to overcome involving too many risks from the COVID-19 pandemic, and that it made financial sense in the long run to not hold the tournament.

The John Deere would have been July 9-12 in Silvis, Illinois, the fifth PGA Tour stop under the revised schedule. The tour is not allowing spectators for at least a month, meaning the Deere could have been the first tournament that allowed fans.