Digest for 06-05-14


LOCAL

Hunter, Tigers drop fourth game in a row

DETROIT — Pine Bluff native Torii Hunter went hitless in four at-bats and the Detroit Tigers lost their fourth straight game on Wednesday night.

Melky Cabrera went 3 for 5 with a homer, three runs scored and two RBI and the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays were winners again, topping the Tigers, 8-2, in the middle installment of a three-game set from Comerica Park.

Jose Bautista also had three hits and drove in two runs while Adam Lind added a pair of doubles and three RBI for Toronto, which won its fourth straight game and 13th in its last 15. The Blue Jays have done plenty of their damage away from home, winning nine of their last 10 road contests.

R.A. Dickey (6-4) gave up both runs on seven hits and four walks in five innings, while four relievers combined to throw four no-hit frames.

Miguel Cabrera and Ian Kinsler had solo homers to produce the two Detroit runs, while Rick Porcello (8-3) was charged with three runs on six hits over seven innings.

NATIONAL

49ers give Kaepernick six-year mega extension

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — What a difference a few years make.

Colin Kaepernick, a backup two seasons ago, now has the money to prove he’s developed into one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks.

The San Francisco 49ers made Kaepernick their franchise quarterback Wednesday, signing him to a six-year contract extension through the 2020 season.

The deal will pay Kaepernick up to $126 million, with $61 million guaranteed, according to NFL.com. The final year of his rookie contract was to pay him less than $1 million.

Last season, Kaepernick set career highs in completions (243), passing yards (3,197) and passing touchdowns (21), while also recording 92 rushing attempts for 524 yards and four touchdowns. It was his first full season as a starter. He led the 49ers to a 12-4 record and a berth in a third straight NFC title game.

Picked in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by San Francisco, Kaepernick has played in 32 games (23 starts), completing 382 of 639 passes for 5,046 yards, 31 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

No Roman numeral for Super Bowl 50

NEW YORK — The NFL said Wednesday it will break from the tradition of using Roman numerals in the logo for Super Bowl 50.

The title game on Feb. 7, 2016, in the San Francisco 49ers’ new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, will use “50” rather than the Roman numeral L.

The NFL has been using Roman numerals since Super Bowl V in 1971.

It will be a one-time departure from tradition. The NFL will return to Roman numerals for Super Bowl LI in February 2017 at Houston’s NRG Stadium.

The national and regional logo for Super Bowl 50 will feature the number in gold, calling attention to the game’s golden anniversary as well as the game’s location in the “Golden State.”

Durant, James headline All-NBA First Team

NEW YORK — NBA MVP Kevin Durant and four-time MVP LeBron James headline the 2013-14 All-NBA first team.

Durant was the lone unanimous first-team selection, receiving all 125 votes for a total of 625 points. The Oklahoma City Thunder star was selected as the league’s MVP for the first time this year and has been chosen as first-team All-NBA member for the fifth time.

James, who has led the Miami Heat to a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance, came up one vote shy of being a unanimous pick. He is still a first-team choice for the seventh consecutive year and eighth time overall.

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah and guards James Harden of Houston and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers round out the first team. Noah and Harden are first-team choices for the first time, while Paul earned his fourth such nod.

The second team features forwards Blake Griffin of the Clippers and Kevin Love of Minnesota, Houston center Dwight Howard and guards Stephen Curry of Golden State and Tony Parker of San Antonio.

Selections for the third team are forwards Paul George of Indiana and LaMarcus Aldridge of Portland, Charlotte center Al Jefferson and guards Damian Lillard of Portland and Goran Dragic of Phoenix.

Pistons hire Bower as GM

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The Detroit Pistons named Jeff Bower as their new general manager Tuesday in the struggling franchise’s latest addition to its offseason front-office overhaul.

Bower previously served two stints as the GM of the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets, one from 2001-03 and the other between 2005-10. The 53-year-old most recently had been serving as the head men’s basketball coach at Marist, where he announced his resignation Monday to accept the position with the Pistons.

Under Bower’s direction, the now-Pelicans reached the playoffs four times and achieved their most successful season in 2007-08, when New Orleans won a club-record 56 games and the Southwest Division title while reaching the Western Conference semifinals.

Bower was responsible for New Orleans’ selection of All-Star point guard Chris Paul in the 2005 and also drafted such notable players as Baron Davis (1999), Jamaal Magloire (2000) and David West (2003).

Bower also held roles as an assistant coach (2003-04) and director of player personnel (2004-05) during his time in New Orleans and went 34-39 as the then-Hornets’ interim head coach in 2009-10.

The Pennsylvania native spent one season at Marist, going 12-19 with a 9-11 record in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.