Tuesday Sports in Brief
HOUSTON (AP) — Juan Soto homered onto the train tracks high above the left field wall and hit a two-run double as the Washington Nationals tagged Gerrit Cole and the Houston Astros 5-4 Tuesday night in the World Series opener.
Not even a history-making home run by postseason star George Springer and another drive that nearly tied it in the eighth inning could deter Washington.
Ryan Zimmerman, still full of sock at 35, also homered to back a resourceful Max Scherzer and boost the wild-card Nationals in their first World Series game.
Sean Doolittle pitched a perfect ninth for the save, only the second 1-2-3 inning on a night that Washington relievers were given a three-run lead and just held on.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California prosecutors announced Tuesday that they won’t charge Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri for shoving a sheriff’s deputy after the NBA championship-winning game in Oakland last June.
The Alameda County district attorney’s office made the announcement when the Raptors were in Toronto receiving their championship rings for defeating the Golden State Warriors.
The DA’s office said it met with Ujiri and his attorneys on Monday and decided the matter was better handled “outside of the courtroom.”
TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Raptors received the biggest championship rings in NBA history and unfurled a banner celebrating their victory in a ceremony before their season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was on hand Tuesday night to honor the Raptors, who won the first title in team history with a six-game triumph over the Golden State Warriors last June.
The rings each contain more than 650 diamonds, as well as 16 rubies representing the number of playoff victories required to win the title. On the face of the ring, diamonds form the Toronto skyline above the word “North” spelled out in diamonds inside a golden chevron.
Afer the rings were handed out, five-time All-Star guard Kyle Lowry took the microphone to thank fans for their support, then gathered his teammates around him before leading a countdown to reveal the black, red and gold championship banner hanging above the home bench.
The Raptors lost NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Emmanuel Sanders arrived in what he called “wide receiver heaven” in 2014 and with Peyton Manning throwing him passes, he certainly found bliss in Denver, where he became a champion and a bona fide NFL star.
Broncos GM John Elway intimated that he soured on Sanders “with what happened after the Tennessee game” Oct. 13 when Sanders left at halftime of a 16-0 Denver victory with what was described as a knee injury.
Asked to elaborate, Elway declined, saying, “Nope. I’m not going into that.”
Sanders caught one pass for zero yards on three targets that day. The week before, he was targeted just once, for a 9-yard catch, in a win over the Chargers, and 48 hours after Elway had declared none of his veterans were on the trading block.
Elway confirmed Sanders asked out of Denver.
NEW YORK (AP) — Nike said Tuesday that its longtime CEO Mark Parker is stepping down early next year.
He will be replaced by board member John Donahoe, who formerly ran e-commerce company eBay. Parker will become executive chairman of the board.
Nike’s sales have been on the rise as the company focuses on selling more of its swoosh-branded sneakers online and on its apps. The company’s first quarter earnings last month soared past expectations. But Nike has also been plagued by scandals recently.
Three weeks ago, renowned track coach Alberto Salazar was banned from the sport for four years by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for running experiments with supplements and testosterone that were bankrolled and supported by Nike, along with possessing and trafficking testosterone. Nike announced that it was shutting down its elite Oregon Project track and field program overseen by Salazar in the wake of the scandal.