Hunter goes hitless in Tigers’ win
DETROIT — Pine Bluff native Torii Hunter, who finished 0 for 4, was one of five Detroit players to go hitless on Wednesday, but Ian Kinsler bailed out the Tigers.
Kinsler singled home Austin Jackson for the winning run to lift Detroit to its second straight walkoff win, as the Tigers downed Kansas City, 2-1, in 10 innings at Comerica Park.
Kinsler also homered earlier in the game, and finished 3 for 5 for Detroit, which also came away with a walkoff win in the season-opener against the Royals on Monday.
With Kansas City reliever Tim Collins (0-1) on the hill to start the bottom of the 10th, Jackson started the frame with a walk and moved to second on an Alex Avila sacrifice bunt. After a walk and an Alex Gonzalez pop out to short, Kinsler drove a 1-1 pitch into the gap in left-center to score the winning run.
UAPB softball splits with OBU
BENTON — The Arkansas-Pine Bluff softball team salvaged a split with Ouachita Baptist in a neutral-site doubleheader on Wednesday at Benton High School.
OBU won the opener, 3-0, thanks to a complete-game shutout from Abbi Frakes, while UAPB took the second game, 2-1, behind a stellar outing from Alexisis McCain.
Frakes allowed just two hits in game one, and Kailey Madden supplied the majority of the offense for OBU (12-24). Madden finished the game 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
In game two, McCain pitched all seven innings and allowed just five hits and two walks with one strikeout.
UAPB (6-24) opened the scoring with Paige Garcia hitting a fourth-inning home run. The Lady Lions added a run in the top of the fifth when Lacie Sutterfield crossed the plate.
OBU cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the frame, but wasted a chance to add more, stranding runners at second and third.
Grizzlies fall into tie for eighth
MINNEAPOLIS — Kevin Love recorded his second triple-double in four games, posting 24 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 102-88 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.
Love, who also had a triple-double against the Lakers last Friday, went 9 of 15 from the field for the Timberwolves, who snapped a two-game skid. Kevin Martin and Ricky Rubio tallied 21 and 14 points, respectively.
Minnesota center Ronny Turiaf had 11 points, seven boards and three blocks in his return to the lineup. It was his first game since Feb. 19 due to a bone bruise in his right knee.
Marc Gasol ended with 18 points and seven rebounds for the Grizzlies, who went 2-3 on a five-game road trip. Courtney Lee and Ed Davis donated 14 and 10 points, respectively.
The loss dropped Memphis into a tie with idle Dallas for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Darvish to make season debut on Sunday
DALLAS — The drama surrounding the re-appearance of Texas Rangers ace right-hander Yu Darvish took a positive turn on Wednesday.
Prior to the completion of a three-game season-opening series against the Phillies, the Dallas Morning News revealed that Darvish will come off the 15-day disabled list and start on Sunday on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Darvish felt strong and didn’t experience any physical problems in an 86-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old was placed on the DL Sunday with stiffness in his neck. The move was retroactive to March 21, meaning Darvish could be eligible to return this weekend.
Darvish, who is 29-18 with a 3.34 ERA and 498 strikeouts in two MLB seasons, hasn’t pitched since March 16 against the Chicago White Sox. He was scratched from his next scheduled spring training start on March 21.
Blackhawks’ Toews out until playoffs
CHICAGO — Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will miss the remainder of the regular season but will return for the playoffs, head coach Joel Quenneville said Wednesday.
Toews was forced to leave Sunday’s loss in Pittsburgh with an upper-body injury he suffered when Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik checked him into the boards.
Toews ranks third on the team in goals (28) and points (68).
The Blackhawks have six games remaining and sit third in the Central Division with 99 points, three behind their likely first-round opponent, the Colorado Avalanche.
Dodgers place Wilson on disabled list
SAN DIEGO — The Los Angeles Dodgers placed reliever Brian Wilson on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.
The move, which is retroactive to March 31, is due to ulnar nerve inflammation in his right elbow.
Wilson, who hadn’t pitched in the majors in 16 months due to elbow problems and subsequent Tommy John surgery, finally came off the DL in mid- August and helped LA take the NL West title. He finished 2-1 with an 0.66 earned run average — allowing one run in 13 2/3 innings — with one save in 18 games, but lost his lone decision this year in two appearances.
Barcelona handed transfer ban by FIFA
BARCELONA — FIFA announced on Wednesday that Barcelona has been banned from making signings for two successive transfer windows after failing to follow rules relating to transfers of players under the age of 18.
Following an investigation by FIFA last year, it was determined that both Barcelona and the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) were guilty of multiple violations that related to the registering of foreign players as well as international transfers.
A FIFA statement read: “The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol (RFEF) and Spanish club FC Barcelona for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.
“The investigations concerned several minor players who were registered and participated in competitions with the club over various periods between 2009 and 2013.”
FIFA did not specify when the transfer ban would start, but if it is applied immediately, Barcelona would be unable to sign players during the 2014 summer transfer window as well as the January 2015 window.
In addition to the transfer ban, Barcelona was fined $500,000 by FIFA, although the club will reportedly appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.