Matt Kenseth holds off Kahne to win in Vegas
LAS VEGAS — Matt Kenseth won on his 41st birthday in just his third start for Joe Gibbs Racing, barely holding off Kasey Kahne at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday for his 25th career victory.
Kenseth took charge by taking only fuel on the final pit stop during caution while almost everybody else replaced two tires. He took the lead and held onto it, using his veteran savvy — and a few screamed instructions at his new spotter — to keep Kahne’s impressive Chevrolet behind him to the finish.
Pole-sitter Brad Keselowski finished third, with Kenseth’s teammate, Kyle Busch, in fourth and Carl Edwards fifth. Jimmie Johnson, the overall points leader, was sixth, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was seventh.
Defending Vegas champion Tony Stewart finished 11th, while Gibbs driver Denny Hamlin was 15th after an eventful week featuring a $25,000 fine from NASCAR for criticizing the new Gen-6 race car.
Andy Murray, Mardy Fish earn wins
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Andy Murray earned a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 win over Evgeny Donskoy in a second-round match at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.
Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak to 19 matches with a 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 victory over Fabio Fognini in the second round.
Women’s No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova followed Murray onto Stadium Court and advanced to the fourth round with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.
Also, Mardy Fish of the United States earned a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over Bobby Reynolds.
Cards manager Matheny to have back surgery
JUPITER, Fla. — Cardinals manager Mike Matheny planned to leave the team after Sunday’s spring training game and return to St. Louis for surgery to repair a ruptured disk in his lower back.
Matheny expects to be back at spring training for Thursday’s game against Atlanta in Jupiter.
“There is still a fragment that is stuck in a spot where it’s getting to the nerve and affecting what is going on back there,” Matheny said prior to Sunday’s game against the New York Mets.
The 42-year-old Matheny, who replaced Tony La Russa as manager after the 2011 season, said early in spring training that the injury probably traces back to his days as a big league catcher from 1994-06.
AP Source: Giants reach agreement with DT Jenkins
NEWARK, N.J. — Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins has signed a three-year contract with the New York Giants, a person with knowledge of the deal said Sunday.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Giants haven’t announced the agreement, told The Associated Press that the two sides had reached a deal. It covers three years and is worth $8 million, $3.15 million guaranteed, with a $2 million signing bonus.
Free agents can’t get new contracts until March 12, but Jenkins had no such restriction because he had been cut by Philadelphia.
Gascoigne says he’s back from brink of death
LONDON — Former English national team midfielder Paul Gascoigne believes he was on the brink of death when he slipped into a coma while receiving treatment for alcohol addiction in the United States.
The 45-year-old Gascoigne flew back home on Saturday, a month after being admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital in Phoenix following a relapse in his long-running struggle with alcoholism.
From wire sources