Weekend Sports in Brief

July 4, 2022 GMT


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Zion Williamson agreed Saturday to a five-year, $193 million extension with the New Orleans Pelicans that has the potential to be worth as much as $231 million, two people familiar with the situation said.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because NBA rules do not allow the extension to become official until July 6.

Classified as a maximum rookie extension under the NBA’s labor agreement, the deal sets the stage for the 6-foot-6, 280-pound, high-scoring forward to give an All-Star caliber boost to a squad that recently proved it could make the playoffs without him.

ESPN first reported the agreement, citing information provided by Williamson’s agent, Austin Brown.

— By AP Sports Writer Brett Martel.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals became the first major league team to hit four straight home runs in the first inning when Nolan Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Dylan Carson connected against Philadelphia on Saturday.

The Cardinals tied the MLB record for any inning with four in a row. It was the first time they had done it, and the 11th time overall in big league history.

After Phillies starter Kyle Gibson got the first two outs, Paul Goldschmidt singled before Arenado’s two-run shot to left field on a slider started the long ball onslaught. Gorman followed by driving a 2-1 cutter into the seats in right field. Then Yepez cleared the fence in left field to mark the first time since Sept. 19, 2002, that the Cardinals hit three homers in a row.

Carson finished the power display by connecting on a 1-0 sinker that hit the facing of the second deck in right field on the first pitch he saw.

The last team to homer in four consecutive at-bats was the Chicago White Sox, who did it on Aug. 16, 2020, against the Cardinals.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals exercised their contract options for general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Dave Martinez on Saturday.

Rizzo and Martinez are now signed through next season. It’s of particular importance to provide some continuity given the anticipated ownership change facing the franchise. The Lerner family began exploring selling the Nationals in April.

Rizzo and Martinez are now overseeing a rebuild after helping Washington win the organization’s first World Series title in 2019. Martinez said his entire coaching staff was already under contract through next season.


SILVIS, Ill. (AP) — J.T. Poston completed a wire-to-wire victory Sunday in the John Deere Classic for his second PGA Tour title and a spot in the British Open.

Three strokes ahead entering the day at TPC Deere Run, Poston closed with a 2-under 69 for a three-stroke margin over fellow British Open qualifiers Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Emiliano Grillo.

Poston finished at 21-under 263. He opened with rounds of 62, 65 and 67.

Bezuidenhout shot a 66, and Grillo had a 69.

Christopher Gotterup, the former Rutgers player in the field on a sponsor exemption, had a 66 to tie for fourth at 17 under with Scott Stallings (70).

THOMASTOWN, Ireland (AP) — Adrian Meronk became Poland’s first winner on the European tour with a superb closing stretch at Mount Juliet for a 6-under 66 and a three-shot victory in the Irish Open.

Meronk was one shot behind Ryan Fox of New Zealand with four holes remaining when he went birdie-birdie-eagle to give himself room for error on the tough closing hole.

Meronk, who finished at 20-under 268, Fox and Thriston Lawrence (67) already were exempt for the British Open. The three spots available from the Irish Open went to American John Catlin, David Law of Scotland and Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay. They tied for fourth on 273.

NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (AP) — Branden Grace won LIV Golf’s first stop on American soil, an event that drew critics and protestors alike because of the upstart series’ funding by Saudi Arabia.

Grace closed with a 7-under 65 on Saturday to finish at 13 under in the 54-hole tournament at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. The 34-year-old South African won $4 million.

Grace beat Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz by two strokes.

NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (AP) — Paul Casey, the Englishman ranked No. 26 in the world, has joined the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf tour.

Casey, who hasn’t played a tournament round since March because of injuries, plans to make his LIV debut this month at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.

Casey, 44, has won 21 times as a professional, including three times on the PGA Tour and 15 times on the European tour. He has been on five Ryder Cup teams.

The upstart LIV series, fronted by CEO Greg Norman and funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, aims to challenge the PGA Tour.


SILVERSTONE, England (AP) — Carlos Sainz Jr. won his first career Formula One race with a victory in the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

It was the most dramatic race of the season and began with a frightening first-lap crash and finished with intense wheel-to-wheel battles for the podium positions.

Ferrari at one stage ordered Sainz to let his teammate Charles Leclerc past him but then favored Sainz with a strategy call to give him fresh tires to pass Leclerc.

Sergio Pérez was second. Lewis Hamilton was third and Leclerc fourth. Standings leader Max Verstappen was seventh with a damaged car.

The race was red-flagged almost as soon as it began when a crash at the first corner left Zhou and Alex Albon needing medical treatment.

Zhou’s car flipped upside-down and cleared a tire barrier before smashing into a fence. Pierre Gasly had knocked George Russell’s Mercedes into Zhou’s back wheel, flipping the Chinese driver’s Alfa Romeo. As drivers tried to avoid that crash, Albon was knocked sideways into the pit wall.

Zhou was treated at the circuit’s medical center, and Alfa Romeo said he was not badly injured, while Williams said Albon had been taken to hospital by helicopter for “precautionary checks.”

LEXINGTON, Ohio (AP) — Scott McLaughlin picked up his second career IndyCar victory, which may go down as one of the most special wins of his career.

The New Zealander won at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday with his nervous parents watching from pit lane. McLaughlin had not seen his family in 31 months because of the pandemic, but his parents were finally able to leave New Zealand in May to attend the Indianapolis 500.

Their trip covers nine IndyCar races. It took four to see their only son drive his Team Penske entry to victory lane. He had won three consecutive V8 Supercars championships in Australia.

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (AP) — Tyler Reddick raced to his first NASCAR Cup Series victory Sunday, continuing the season-long trend of first-time winners on road courses.

Each of the first three road-course races this year has had a first-time winner, with Reddick breaking through at Road America after Ross Chastain won at the Circuit of the Americas and Daniel Suárez at Sonoma.

he Richard Childress Racing driver won by 3.304 seconds over defending race champion Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports. All the other drivers were over 21 seconds behind Reddick.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Late favorite Olympiad surged past Caddo River entering the final turn and pulled away in the stretch to win the $750,000 Stephen Foster by 2 1/4 lengths over Americanrevolution on Saturday at Churchill Downs and automatically qualify for this fall’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The Bill Mott-trained bay colt improved to 5-0 as a 4-year-old in the Grade II event, one of several “Win and You’re In” qualifiers for the season-ending championships Breeders’ Cup Championships on Nov. 4-5 at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky.

With Junior Alvarado aboard, Olympiad covered the 1 1/8 mile in 1:47.66 and $5, $3.40 and $2.60. Americanrevolution returned $4 and $3.20 while Proxy paid $3.60 to show.


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Attorneys for multiple women suing Deshaun Watson over allegations of sexual misconduct are seeking the documents from the NFL’s investigation into the former Houston Texans quarterback.

According to the motion filed Friday by the women’s attorneys, the legal team seeks any and all reports and files from the NFL’s investigation into Watson, including recorded interviews, witness statements and communications. The notice of intention to take deposition by written questions also asks for photographs and “any other type of documents in your files and/or documents regarding the investigation of Deshaun Watson.”

Watson, who was later traded to the Cleveland Browns, has denied any wrongdoing.

A hearing with NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, a retired judge, ended last week in Delaware. Robinson is expected to rule before the Browns open training camp late next month on whether the 26-year-old violated the league’s personal conduct policy and whether to impose discipline.


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