Update on the latest sportsAP
Yanks’ Sánchez exits after being hit in hand by foul ball
UNDATED (AP) — Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez has left Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay after taking a foul ball off his right hand.
Sánchez’s throwing hand was unprotected when the Rays’ Randy Arozarena (ah-roh-zah-RAY’-nuh) tipped a pitch that appeared to hit Sánchez in the knuckles in the fourth inning. Sánchez fell to the ground and writhed in pain before a trainer came out to inspect him. He remained in the game and finished the inning, then flew out to center field in the bottom of the fourth. He was replaced by Kyle Higashioka to begin the fifth.
In other MLB news:
— The Tampa Bay Rays activated Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 10-day injured list prior to their game at Yankee Stadium. Kiermaier has been out since April 5 with a strained left quadriceps. He took live at-bats against taxi squad pitcher David Hess prior to Saturday’s game and was deemed ready. He was available off the bench, with Brett Phillips starting in center. The 30-year-old Kiermaier is 1 for 11 this season after batting .217 with three homers in 49 games for the AL champions in 2020.
— The Kansas City Royals have traded outfielder Nick Heath, who had been designated for assignment earlier in the week, to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league pitcher Eduardo Herrera. The 27-year-old Heath made his big league debut last year, appearing in 15 games in the shortened season for Kansas City. The 21-year-old Herrera signed with Arizona as an international free agent in 2016. He began his career as a catcher and infielder but converted to pitching two years ago with promising results but has yet to move beyond Class A.
— The Atlanta Braves placed 36-year-old infielder Sean Kazmar Jr. on the active roster Saturday, more than a decade after his last stint in the major leagues. Kazmar last played in the majors on Sept. 23, 2008 with the San Diego Padres, appearing in 19 games that season for his only major league action. He has since played in Triple-A for the Padres, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets and Braves.
Okposo to miss rest of season with broken cheekbone
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo (oh-POH’-soh) will miss the remainder of the season after having surgery to repair a broken bone in his left cheek. He was struck by teammate Matt Irwin’s shot in the first period of a 5-2 win at Washington on Thursday.
Okposo joins a growing list of injuries for the last-place team that is one loss from being mathematically eliminated from contention for the Stanley Cup playoffs and matching an NHL record 10-year playoff drought. The Sabres are already minus captain Jack Eichel (EYE’-kul), starting goalie Linus Ullmark and defenseman Jake McCabe.
Okposo is a 14-year NHL veteran who is completing his fifth season in Buffalo. He has two goals and 11 assists in 35 games this year.
Chargers, Rams, Dolphins, Falcons say no to in-person work
UNDATED (AP) — Players on four more NFL teams will be skipping in-person voluntary workouts because of the pandemic. They are from both Los Angeles franchises, the Falcons and the Dolphins. They posted through their union that they are joining 11 other groups who previously said they would not be on hand for the sessions.
This weekend players from the other 17 clubs are expected to announce plans. The offseason sessions begin Monday. On Wednesday the league sent a memo to all 32 teams saying that the first four weeks of the voluntary program will be virtual. The plan then is to transition to in-person work at team facilities.
Johnson makes IndyCar debut with slow but steady practice
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson has made his IndyCar debut with a slow but steady first practice session.
The seven-time NASCAR champion turned 22 laps in the first IndyCar practice of the season Saturday morning. He was slowest of the 24-car field but thrilled with the experience, calling it “amazing.”
Johnson will be a 45-year-old rookie when he takes the green flag tomorrow at Barber Motorsports Park, a picturesque permanent road course located roughly 40 minutes from Talladega Superspeedway, where Johnson won twice in his storied NASCAR career.
He’s part of a stacked rookie class that includes former Formula One driver Romain Grosjean (groh-ZHAHN’), racing for the first time this weekend since he was badly burned in a November crash in Bahrain, and three-time defending Australian Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin.
Hamilton takes pole for Emilia-Romagna GP ahead of Red Bulls
IMOLA, Italy (AP) — World champion Lewis Hamilton has edged out the Red Bull duo to claim the pole position for Sunday’s Emilia-Romagna (eh-MEEL’-yah roh-MAHN’-yah) Grand Prix in Italy. It’s Hamilton’s 99th career pole.
Hamilton edged Perez by .039 seconds and was .087 faster than Max Verstappen, who is expected to be his main challenger this season.
This is the second race of the Formula One season. Hamilton won the opener in Bahrain last month, just ahead of Verstappen after a thrilling duel.
WOMEN’S HOCKEY-COACHING CHANGE
US women’s hockey coach steps down due to COVID-19 concerns
UNDATED (AP) — Assistant coach Joel Johnson is taking over the United States women’s national hockey team after Bob Corkum abruptly stepped down citing COVID-19 protocol concerns less than three weeks before the world championships open in Canada.
Corkum didn’t go into detail in saying he was “uncomfortable with the protocols” in a text to The Associated Press.
Corkum reached his decision Friday as he and players gathered in Maine for the start of training camp in preparation for the world championships in Nova Scotia, which run from May 6-16. Johnson served as Corkum’s assistant and previously coached the U.S. Under-18 and Under-22 teams.