July 9 Sports Briefs

Monday, July 9, 2018

MLB: Royals draft Japanese junior high school pitcher

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kaito Yuki is headed to the Kansas City Royals organization instead of attending high school in Japan. The team signed Yuki, a 16-year-old pitcher, out of junior high to a standard seven-year minor league contract Sunday. He is thought to be the first Japanese junior high school player to sign with a major league club. Yuki is listed at 6-foot-2, 170 pounds and his fastball has been clocked at 87-88 mph. He was born on May 12, 2002. Yuki has been studying English before his move to the United States. The Royals are optimistic that after paperwork is completed, he will arrive in August at the team’s spring training complex in Surprise, Arizona, to begin familiarizing himself with the local culture and language.

NBA: Former Kings player dead after police standoff

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former coach and family friend of onetime Sacramento Kings and UCLA basketball player Tyler Honeycutt says he had grown increasingly concerned about the young man before he was found dead following a standoff with Los Angeles police. Bort Escoto, who coached Honeycutt in high school, told the Los Angeles Times that Honeycutt’s mother called him early Saturday to say her son had killed himself. Escoto tells the Los Angeles Daily News that Honeycutt has “been going through some things.” He says he had planned on going to Honeycutt’s home Friday but that the young man’s mother called him to say her son had a gun and “was talking crazy.” Los Angeles police say they found Honeycutt dead in his home after a standoff in which both sides exchanged gunfire.

IndyCar: Canadian James Hinchcliffe wins at Iowa

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — Canadian James Hinchcliffe passed Josef Newgarden with just over 40 laps left to win the IndyCar race at the Iowa Speedway on Sunday, his first victory of the season. Hinchcliffe, a series veteran who failed to qualify for this year’s Indianapolis 500, picked up his first win since Long Beach in 2017 and his second win at Iowa. Hinchcliffe also took first on the 0.894-mile track in 2013. Spencer Pigot was a career-best second, followed by Takuma Sato. Newgarden dominated much of the race, leading 229 of the 300 laps before Hinchcliffe seized control.

Travis Pastrana mimics Evel Knievel’s iconic jumps

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Honoring the man who paved the way for dozens of daredevils, Travis Pastrana succeeded in triplicating three of Evel Knievel’s iconic motorcycle jumps Sunday night. Donning his own Knievel-like costume, Pastrana used an Indian Scout FTR750 to jump 143 feet to clear 52 crushed cars, 192 feet over 16 Greyhound buses and concluded the “Evel Live” event on the History Channel by jumping 149 feet to clear the fountains at Caesars Palace. Pastrana, who is nearing the end of an impressive career as a stunt showman and professional motorsports competitor, admitted he was nervous leading up to the event, which began in an empty lot behind Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s Las Vegas.

Tour de France: Sagan wins second stage in sprint to finish

LA ROCHE-SUR-YON, France (AP) — World champion Peter Sagan won a sprint finish to claim the second stage of the Tour de France and the race’s overall lead on Sunday. The Slovakian rider for Bora-Hansgrohe edged Sonny Colbrelli at the finish line. Sagan won the flat 182.5-kilometer (113.4-mile) leg from Mouilleron-Saint-Germain to the department capital of La Roche-sur-Yon in just over four hours. Sagan, the three-time reigning world champion.

Daniel Cormier wins UFC heavyweight championship

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Daniel Cormier added the UFC heavyweight championship to his light heavyweight title Saturday night, stopping Stipe Miocic in dramatic fashion during the first round of their superfight at UFC 226. Cormier (21-1) flattened the UFC’s long-reigning heavyweight champ with a right elbow out of a clinch. He finished Miocic (18-3) on the ground with 27 seconds left in the round by landing several shots to the defenseless champion’s head. Cormier became the second fighter in UFC history to hold two championship belts simultaneously. Conor McGregor was the UFC’s featherweight champ in 2016 when he took the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez.

Serena Williams reaches Wimbledon quarterfinals

LONDON (AP) — Serena Williams is back in the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the 13th time after beating Russian qualifier Evgeniya Rodina 6-4, 6-2 on Monday. In a matchup of the only two mothers remaining in the draw, Williams jumped into a 3-0 lead in both sets and wrapped up the win in 62 minutes. “It was tougher than the scoreline,” Williams said. “I knew we were both moms, and I’m not sure how often that’s happened, if ever. So it’s really cool. You can be a mom, you can still play tennis and you can still be great.” Rodina, who upset 10th-seeded Madison Keys in the previous round, broke back for 3-2 in the second set but was broken to love straight away. Williams is looking for her eighth Wimbledon title and has established herself as the big favorite once again, with the top-10 seeds all eliminated. She is seeded 25th after missing last year’s tournament while pregnant.

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