In Brief | Nation and World


Liriano to come off DL for Pirates debut

The left-hander has been sidelined all season while recovering from a broken right arm. He made five minor league rehab starts — three for Triple-A Indianapolis — and struck out 33 with four walks in 21 2/3 innings. He was 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA.

Pittsburgh planned to clear a roster spot after Friday night’s game or early Saturday. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said the 29-year-old Liriano won’t be on a strict pitch count after throwing 98 on Sunday in his third outing for Indianapolis.

O.J. to get hearing on bid for new trial

LAS VEGAS — O.J. Simpson will return next week to the Las Vegas courthouse where he was convicted of leading an armed sports memorabilia heist to ask a judge for a new trial on the grounds that his lawyer botched his case.

Simpson will take the witness stand to testify that the Florida lawyer who collected nearly $700,000 is to blame for his armed robbery and kidnapping conviction in 2008 and his failed appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court in 2010.

Simpson’s testimony in open court will offer a first look at the aging 65-year-old former football star since he was handcuffed and sent to prison more than four years ago. Simpson didn’t testify at his Las Vegas trial or in the historic case that led to his 1995 acquittal in the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles.

Simpson is scheduled to be in Clark County District Court beginning Monday for the entire five-day hearing. He could testify Wednesday before a judge who has agreed to hear 19 separate points, mostly claiming that lawyer Yale Galanter provided such poor representation that Simpson deserves a new trial.

Simpson is serving a nine-to-33-year sentence that makes him first eligible for parole at age 70.

MLB suspends, fines umps after mistake

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball suspended umpire Fieldin Culbreth for two games on Friday because he was in charge of the crew that allowed Astros manager Bo Porter to improperly switch relievers in the middle of an inning.

Culbreth and the rest of his crew — Brian O’Nora, Bill Welke and Adrian Johnson — were also fined an undisclosed amount, after MLB admitted its umps goofed for the second straight day.

“The rule covering pitching changes was not applied correctly by the umpiring crew,” MLB said in a statement.

Hansen raises bid for Kings to $625 million

SEATTLE — Chris Hansen has increased his total valuation of the Sacramento Kings from $550 million to $625 million in another attempt to sway NBA owners to allow him to buy the franchise and move it to Seattle.

Hansen also announced on his website Friday that he has guaranteed owners that the franchise would pay into the league’s revenue-sharing system in Seattle and not collect money as it has in Sacramento.

Hansen has had a deal since January to buy a 65 percent controlling interest in the Kings from the Maloof family. He originally offered a total valuation of $525 million, then increased that offer to $550 million after a competing Sacramento group matched his deal. He hoped to move the team to Seattle and rename it the Sonics, who were relocated to Oklahoma City and renamed the Thunder in 2008.

Nadal rallies past Ferrer; Serena wins

MADRID — Rafael Nadal rallied past David Ferrer 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-0 Friday in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open, maintaining his bid to reach a seventh straight final since returning from a knee injury.

Top-ranked Serena Williams struggled before defeating Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 0-6, 7-5, and second-ranked Maria Sharapova joined her in the semifinals after easing by Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-2, 6-4.

Sharapova will play Ana Ivanovic after the Serb dispatched Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-1. Defending champion Williams will face Sara Errani, who downed Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-3.

Judge: No auction yet of Kobe Bryant’s stuff

A federal judge in California has ruled an auction house cannot sell, destroy or otherwise dispose of Kobe Bryant memorabilia offered by the NBA star’s mother while courts sort out where the case should be decided.

The case revolves around a spat between Bryant and his mother and is playing out coast to coast and in more courts than a playoff series.

According to a court filing made this week by Bryant, his mother moved his treasures to a southern New Jersey storage facility a few years ago so she could convert his old bedroom in the family’s Pennsylvania home into a playroom for her granddaughters.

Pamela Bryant reached a deal in January for Berlin, N.J.-based Goldin Auctions to sell hundreds of items of her son’s old stuff, including practice gear and jerseys, varsity letters and awards from his days at Pennsylvania’s Lower Merion High School, as well as items from his early days in the NBA, including a signed ball from an NBA All-Star game and championship rings the Lakers had made for Bryant’s parents.

Texas catcher A.J. Pierzynski placed on DL

HOUSTON — The Texas Rangers have placed catcher A.J. Pierzynski on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle.

Pierzynski’s stint on the disabled list is retroactive to May 6, and catcher Robinson Chirinos was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to take his spot on the roster.

Pierzynski has struggled with the oblique injury for about two weeks. This will be just his second time on the disabled list in 14 seasons in the majors. The other time came when he fractured his wrist in 2011 with the White Sox.

From wire sources