In Brief | Nation and World
Trail Blazers sign Wright, trade for Lopez, Robinson
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Trail Blazers formally signed free agent small forward Dorell Wright and acquired center Robin Lopez and forward Thomas Robinson in trades, sealing three of several deals the team struck last week.
The Blazers got Lopez in a three-team trade with New Orleans and Sacramento that sent guard Tyreke Evans to the Pelicans and guard Greivis Vasquez to the Kings.
Lopez averaged 11.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.56 blocked shots in 82 starts last season with the Pelicans.
Portland also acquired guard Terrel Harris from the Pelicans in exchange for the draft rights to Jeff Withey, future second-round draft picks and cash.
The Blazers obtained Robinson in a trade with Houston for the rights to Kostas Papnikolaou and Marko Todorovic, as well as two future second-round picks.
Robinson was the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft by the Sacramento Kings but he was dealt to Houston in a February trade. He played in 70 total games last season, averaging 4.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 15.1 minutes.
The Blazers on Wednesday also announced the signing of guard Allen Crabbe, the 31st pick out of California acquired by Portland in a draft night trade.
Crabbe averaged 15.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in three seasons with the Golden Bears.
Rangers RHP Darvish placed on disabled list with bad back
BALTIMORE — Right-hander Yu Darvish has been placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Texas Rangers and will miss the All-Star Game next week.
Darvish has a mild strain in his upper back. The move was announced Wednesday and is retroactive to July 6.
Darvish was scheduled to pitch against Baltimore on Thursday but has been scratched. He’s 8-4 overall but has won only once in his last nine starts.
Darvish leads the majors with 157 strikeouts. He has a 3.02 ERA.
Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine says, “At this stage, it’s not something we are really worried about.” He says the injury “was a little more fatigue than anything.”
In a statement, Darvish said, “I don’t think it’s a big issue, but just as a precaution, I’d rather skip a start than push it through.”
Bulls waive veteran guard Richard Hamilton
DEERFIELD, Ill. — The Chicago Bulls have waived veteran guard Richard Hamilton, as expected.
The Bulls signed Hamilton before the 2011-12 season, hoping he could help take some of the load off Derrick Rose, but he had trouble staying healthy and fell out of coach Tom Thibodeau’s playoff rotation.
So the Bulls exercised their $1 million buyout and officially parted with the former Detroit Pistons star on Wednesday.
He appeared in 78 games over two seasons, averaging 10.5 points and 2.6 assists, and it was clear his time in Chicago was winding down, particularly when he barely got off the bench in the playoffs, making just four appearances against Brooklyn and Miami.
Cardinals RHP Carpenter set for minor league rehab
ST. LOUIS — Chris Carpenter is set to make his first minor league rehabilitation start next week, an outing that once seemed very much in doubt for the former St. Louis ace.
Carpenter pitched a three-inning simulated game on Wednesday. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Carpenter will start Monday for Double-A Springfield.
Matheny said Carpenter will be limited to a pitch count in the “60s-range” in his first live action since making three starts during the playoffs last year. Nerve issues have sidelined the 38-year-old right-hander since before the start of spring training this season, and it appeared his career might be in jeopardy.
Parole hearing for OJ Simpson but no release
CARSON CITY, Nev. — OJ Simpson’s Nevada criminal case goes to a parole board later this month for part of his 2008 conviction in the kidnapping and armed robbery of two sports collectible dealers.
But there’s no chance the former National Football League Hall of Famer and Hollywood star will go free — even if parole is granted.
Simpson was convicted of 12 criminal counts and sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison after the 2007 robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel room. He has been serving his time at Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada.
The parole hearing is scheduled for July 25, according to documents posted Wednesday by the Nevada Parole Board.
The agenda indicates Simpson’s parole consideration is for the kidnapping conviction. However, Simpson, who just turned 66, was given multiple sentences, some of which were ordered to be served consecutively.
That means he must complete his time or be paroled on some charges before he begins to serve his other sentences.
Bruins G Tuukka Rask signs eight-year contract
BOSTON — Tuukka Rask turned an outstanding first season as the Boston Bruins’ No. 1 goalie into a long-term commitment on Wednesday by signing an eight-year contract to stay with the Eastern Conference champions.
There was little doubt that the restricted free agent would be back, especially after the Bruins cleared about $4.75 million in space under the salary cap when they sent Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars in a seven-player deal last Thursday.
The Bruins said the annual salary cap charge on Rask’s contract is $7 million.
Rask was the backup goalie in the 2011 postseason when Tim Thomas won the Conn Smythe Trophy that goes to the playoff MVP as Boston won its first Stanley Cup title since 1972. The following season, Thomas played 59 games with a 2.36 goals-against average. Rask made 23 appearances and had a 2.05 average.
Lawyer: Giants pitcher accused of groping was ill
LAS VEGAS — The lawyer for a San Francisco Giants pitcher accused of touching a woman’s breast at a Las Vegas hospital earlier this year says his client was ill at the time.
Chad Gaudin, 30, was arrested Jan. 27 and charged July 3 with open and gross lewdness. The Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported Wednesday on the case, which wasn’t publicized back in January.
According to police reports, Gaudin appeared drunk when he approached a 23-year-old woman on a gurney at Desert Springs Hospital, told her she was gorgeous and touched her face and breast.
A paramedic who witnessed the incident told Gaudin to leave the woman alone, but he refused, and security staff held him down until police arrived, the report said.
Gaudin’s lawyer, Dominic Gentile, issued a statement saying his client denies any wrongdoing and has been cooperating with authorities.
Wife of ex-MLB pitcher Benson charged with assault
SMYRNA, Ga. — Police in Georgia say the wife of former major league pitcher Kris Benson is in jail without bond after her husband accused her of threatening him with a gun.
Smyrna police say 37-year-old Anna Benson was arrested Sunday on charges of aggravated assault with a weapon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and trespassing.
Investigators say Kris Benson told police that his wife, who was featured on VH1’s “Baseball Wives,” was wearing a bullet-proof vest and threatened him with a gun while she demanded $30,000.
Police say that when she was asked why she was wearing the vest, the woman told officers she was a model and was testing the vest for a company.
It’s unclear if Anna Benson has an attorney.
Isner tops Mannarino, reaches quarterfinals in Newport
NEWPORT, R.I. — John Isner advanced to the quarterfinals of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Wednesday by beating Adrian Mannarino of France 6-0, 7-6 (7).
The No. 2 seeded Isner needed only 15 minutes to win the opening set and served four aces in the second-set tiebreak. He closed it out when Mannarino hit a forehand wide off a 131 mph serve.
In other second-round play, No. 4 seed Lleyton Hewitt, a runner-up last year in Newport, needed just over an hour to defeat wild-card entrant Prakash Amritraj of India 6-2, 6-1.
In other action, third-seeded Igor Sijsling of The Netherlands beat Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-4, 1-6, 6-3; Michal Przysiezny of Poland ousted No. 8 seed Rajeev Ram of the United States 2-6, 7-5, 6-3; Michael Russell defeated fellow American Alex Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-4.
Ivo Karlovic of Croatia beat Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, and qualifier Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic edged American Jack Sock 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. In the last match of the day, 31-year old Nicolas Mahut of France beat American Tim Smyczek, who upset top-seeded Sam Querrey on Tuesday, 6-2, 6-4. Mahut was the Newport runner-up in 2007.
Top-seeded Errani through to Palermo quarterfinals
PALERMO, Sicily — Top-seeded Sara Errani beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova at the Italiacom Open again, this time to reach the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Errani won 6-3, 6-2, a year after beating Zahlavova Strycova in the final for her second Palermo title.
Errani will next face seventh-seeded Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain, who advanced after Croatian opponent Mirjana Lucic-Baroni retired while trailing 6-2, 1-0.
Five-time winner Anabel Medina Garrigues was knocked out 6-1, 6-1 by Dinah Pfizenmaier of Germany.
Berrer beats 2009 champ Chardy in Stuttgart
STUTTGART, Germany — Michael Berrer of Germany advanced to the quarterfinals of the Mercedes Cup by beating third-seeded Jeremy Chardy of France 6-2, 6-7 (1), 6-3 on Wednesday.
The 153rd-ranked Berrer, who received a wild card into the tournament, saved all four break points he faced against Chardy, who won the title in 2009.
He will next face Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, who rallied to beat eighth-seeded Martin Klizan of Slovakia 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-4.
Second-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber beat qualifier Nils Langer 7-5, 6-2.
Another German, sixth-seeded Florian Mayer, was eliminated by Gael Monfils of France 6-3, 6-0. Monfils will next play Kohlschreiber.
Ramos ousts two-time champ Robredo in Swedish Open
STOCKHOLM — Two-time former champion Tommy Robredo lost to Spanish compatriot Albert Ramos 6-3, 6-4 Wednesday at the Swedish Open.
The fourth-seeded Robredo didn’t reach a break point against Ramos.
Grigor Dimitrov rallied to beat Filippo Volandri 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. Dimitrov also recovered from a set down in his first-round win against Elias Ymer.
Argentines Juan Monaco and Carlos Berlocq earned spots in the quarterfinals after beating Henri Laaksonen and Blaz Kavcic, respectively.
Tomas Berdych and Nicolas Almagro will begin play on Thursday.
From wire sources