X-WDN briefs

May 11, 2018 GMT

GOLF

Johnson, Kuchar among leaders

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson delivered plenty of entertainment at The Players Championship.

The lead belonged to just about everyone else.

Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar were among six players who shared the lead at 6-under 66, the largest logjam ever at the TPC Sawgrass and the most players tied at the top in the tournament in 40 years.

Woods had the best score in his star group and didn’t even break par. He had to save bogey on the 18th for a 72. Mickelson wore a long-sleeved, button-down shirt and posted a 79, his highest score at Sawgrass since 2000. Rickie Fowler, rounding out the threesome, shot 74.

It wasn’t much better in the marquee morning group. Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth were a combined 3 over.

NFL

Patricia denies assault accusations

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia said Thursday he was “falsely accused” in a 1996 sexual assault allegation that resurfaced this week, and he indicated that the matter has not been an issue as he has climbed from job to job in the years since.

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Patricia held a brief news conference one day after a Detroit News report that he and a friend were indicted 22 years ago by a Texas grand jury on one count each of aggravated sexual assault. They were accused of assaulting a woman on South Padre Island. The accuser did not testify and the case was dismissed.

“I was innocent then, and I am innocent now,” Patricia said.

The Lions said Wednesday night that a pre-employment background check did not turn up the incident. The team said Patricia was 21 at the time and on spring break in Texas. The Lions said they were standing by Patricia.

An NFL spokesman said Thursday the league “will review the matter with the club to understand the allegations and what the club has learned.”

Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford, general manager Bob Quinn and president Rod Wood were at Thursday’s news conference but did not speak.

“I’m here to defend my honor and clear my name. Twenty-two years ago, I was falsely accused of something very serious,” Patricia said. “There were claims made about me that never happened. While I’m thankful on one level that the process worked, and the case was dismissed, at the same time, I was never given the opportunity to defend myself.”

Patricia took a few questions but did not provide details about the day in question.

“I was falsely accused of something that I did not do,” he said.

MLB

Phillies complete sweep of Giants

PHILADELPHIA — Vince Velasquez recovered from a slow start to strike out 12 in six innings, Carlos Santana hit a three-run homer and the Philadelphia Phillies rallied past the San Francisco Giants 6-3 on Thursday for a four-game sweep.

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Odubel Herrera added three hits and drove in two runs, extending his on-base streak to 39 games for the Phillies, who improved to 15-5 at home.

Gregor Blanco and Alen Hanson homered to give the Giants a 3-0 lead in the second inning before Velasquez (3-4) began a string of five straight strikeouts. The right-hander allowed five hits and helped the Giants set a dubious mark.

The Giants struck out 53 times in Philadelphia, obliterating the previous team record of 44 in a four-game series set in 2003, according to Stats LLC.

Santana, batting .153 entering May, continued his recent tear when he connected off Ty Blach (3-4) in a four-run fourth. Santana, signed away from Cleveland in the offseason, has driven in 15 runs in the past six games.

Herrera doubled earlier in the fourth to give him the Phillies’ longest on-base streak since Bobby Abreu (48) in 2000-01. Herrera added RBI singles off Will Smith in the fifth and Sam Dyson in the seventh, lifting his average to an MLB-best .353.

Rhys Hoskins had an RBI single off Blach, who gave up five runs and seven hits in 4⅓ innings. The Giants, who were coming off a three-game sweep at Atlanta, were outscored 32-8 in Philadelphia.

HARVEY TO MAKE REDS DEBUT: Matt Harvey will start for Cincinnati on Friday night in the second game of their series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Interim manager Jim Riggleman says Harvey could pitch a couple innings or the right-hander could go four, but he will be limited because of his lack of recent game competition.

Harvey says he’s excited to start a new chapter with the last-place Reds, who acquired him from the New York Mets for catcher Devin Mesoraco on Tuesday. Harvey was 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA in eight games, including four starts, for the Mets this season before they cut him.