Mariano Rivera placed on Disabled List
NEW YORK, June 10 (UPI) -- New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will not get a chance to face the Arizona Diamondbacks for the first time since blowing a save in Game Seven of the World Series.
Rivera pulled his right groin muscle while pitching in the ninth inning of Saturday's loss to the San Francisco Giants, aggravating an injury he suffered a month ago which forced him to miss four days.
The Yankees on Monday placed Rivera on the 15-day disabled list and recalled reliever Brandon Knight from Class AAA Columbus of the International League.
Rivera conceded that resting for two weeks is likely the best move for him.
"I'm glad to do it now (rather) than later," said Rivera of being placed on the DL for only the second time in his eight-year career. "It's still early. Take care of it now."
The timing is not ideal with the Yankees playing three home games against the Diamondbacks beginning Monday followed by a weekend series against the New York Mets and three games at Colorado.
Yankees manager Joe Torre will use setup relievers Steve Karsay and Mike Stanton in the closer's role in Rivera's absence.
Karsay pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his second save of the season in New York's 4-2 win over San Francisco on Sunday.
Carolina tries to even Stanley Cup series
RALEIGH, June 10 (UPI) -- The Carolina Hurricanes look to even the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at two games apiece Monday night when they host the Detroit Red Wings at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Raleigh.
Veteran center Igor Larionov became the oldest player ever to score in a Finals game Saturday, netting two goals, including the game-winner with 5:13 remaining in triple overtime, giving the Red Wings a 3-2 victory and a two games to one lead in the series.
At 41 years old, Larionov passed Ray Bourque as the oldest player to tally in the Finals. Bourque, a future Hall of Fame defenseman, was 40 when he scored with Colorado in the 2001 Finals.
Right wing Brett Hull tied the game with 74 seconds left in the third period, deflecting a shot by defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom past 'Canes goaltender Arturs Irbe for his 99th career postseason tally. The goal marked the third time this postseason that Carolina has surrendered a one-goal lead with less than two minutes to go.
Toronto came back from 1-0 deficits in Games Two and Six of the Eastern Conference finals, scoring with eight and 22 seconds left, respectively, to force overtimes. However, the Hurricanes rebounded by scoring in the extra session to win each game.
On Saturday night, Irbe stopped 50 shots for the Hurricanes, who are making their first-ever appearance in the Finals. His Detroit counterpart, Dominik Hasek, made 41 saves in the victory.
The Red Wings, who are making their 22nd Finals appearance, are two victories away from capturing their 10th Stanley Cup championship. Should Detroit win the series, it would give Scotty Bowman a record ninth Stanley Cup championship as a coach. Bowman, who led the Red Wings to consecutive titles in 1997 and '98, coached the Montreal Canadiens to five championships in the 1970s, including four straight from 1976-79. Bowman also led the Pittsburgh Penguins to their second straight championship in 1992 after Bob Johnson, who led the Penguins to the title in '91, passed away.
Bowman was in Pittsburgh's front office in '91. His eight Stanley Cup championships as a coach are tied with the legendary Toe Blake, who was behind the bench when Montreal captured eight titles from 1956-68, including five straight from 1956-60.
The series shifts back to Detroit on Thursday for Game Five.
Top seed Mikaelian wins
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, June 10 (UPI) -- Top seed Marie-Gaianel Mikaelian of Switzerland bounced back from a first-set tiebreaker loss and beat Melinda Czink of Hungary in the first round of the Tashkent Open.
Mikaelian won the last two sets, 6-1, 6-2 after dropping the first set tiebreaker, 7-2.
No. 3 Tathiana Garbin of Italy also advanced, but seventh-seeded Alena Vaskova of the Czech Republic was ousted. Garbin beat Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan, 6-2, 7-5, and Nadejda Ostrovskaya of Belarus knocked off Vaskova, 6-0, 6-4
In other matches, Adriana Barna defeated Maria Jose Martinez, 6-3, 6-4 and Lenka Nemeckova beat Ivanna Isroilova, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.
Williams sisters 1-2 in latest rankings
PARIS, June 10 (UPI) -- Venus and Serena Williams Monday became the first siblings to hold the top two spots in the WTA rankings when they were released.
Serena beat her older sister Venus, 7-5, 6-3, in Saturday's French Open final, and both moved up one spot in the rankings, dropping Jennifer Capriati from first to third.
Venus Williams returned to No. 1 and Serena moved into the No. 2 spot for the first time after winning her second Grand Slam title. The Williams sisters have each won four tournaments in 2002.
Monica Seles reached the quarterfinals of the French Open and moved up two spots to No. 4.
Men's French Open champion Albert Costa catapulted 14 places to crack the top-10 in the ATP rankings for the first time since 1997.
Lleyton Hewitt, a fourth-round loser at the French, remained No. 1, and Marat Safin, a semifinal loser at the French, is second in the ATP rankings.
Sanchez-Vicario withdraws from Wimbledon
LONDON, June 10 (UPI) -- Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario of Spain, a first-round loser at the French Open, has withdrawn from Wimbledon, citing "extreme exhaustion."
The 30-year-old Sanchez-Vicario, who is ranked 31st in the world, was beaten by countrywoman Marta Marrero in the first round at Roland Garros.
Sanchez-Vicario, ranked No. 1 in the world in 1995, has four Grand Slam titles--three in the French Open and one in the U.S. Open.
Martina Hingis, the 1997 Wimbledon champion, withdrew from the grass-court championships last week after undergoing surgery last month to repair ligaments in her left ankle.
Wimbledon begins on June 24.
Rocker returns to Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas, June 10 (UPI) -- Just in time for the finale of a three-game interleague series against his former team, the Texas Rangers Sunday recalled volatile relief pitcher John Rocker from Triple-A Oklahoma of the Pacific Coast League.
To make room for Rocker, the Rangers optioned righthander Rob Bell to Oklahoma.
Rocker, 27, was 1-0 and pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings in his 6 relief appearances for the RedHawks since being optioned on May 21. He allowed just four hits with two walks and 14 strikeouts while holding PCL opponents to a .133 (4-30) batting average. His last appearance was a perfect inning in Memphis on Friday with two strikeouts.
He was in uniform Sunday night when the Rangers were beaten by the Braves, 9-3. He was not called upon.
"Obviously, we still believe in John Rocker and he still has immense talent," said General Manager John Hart at the time. "We think spending time in Oklahoma is the thing he needs to do. When he succeeds, it has been sporadic."
The 6-4, 225-pounder previously was optioned to Oklahoma City on April 17, but did not report before being recalled on April 23. Instead, Rocker spent a week in San Diego working with pitching coach Tom House. Still, he allowed six runs in 8 2/3 innings when he rejoined the team, and had major difficulty getting left-handed batters out.
For the season, opponents are batting .350 (21-60) off him, with left-handed hitters having a .440 (11-25) average. He is 0-1 with a 7.53 ERA in 14 1/3 innings and had one save in four chances, when he was forced into the closer role because on an elbow injury to regular closer Jeff Zimmerman. For the season, Rocker is 0-1 with a 7.53 ERA and one save in 17 relief appearances for the Rangers.
Acquired from Cleveland on Dec. 18, 2001, Rocker is 11-20, 3.32 with 88 saves in 265 relief appearances with Atlanta (1998-2001), Cleveland (2001), and Texas (2002).
I wasn't happy with what I was doing. I knew something needed to be done. (Now) I'm happy as I can be."
Bell is 2-2 with a 6.29 ERA in six starts over two stints with the Rangers. He had no decision in Saturday's 6-3, 10-inning loss to the Braves, going seven innings, and giving up seven hits, three runs, all earned, one walk and striking out nine. He is expected to make two starts for the RedHawks before likely returning to start at Pittsburgh on June 22, the projected next time the Rangers will need a fifth starter.
Ferreira advances in Stella Artois
LONDON, June 10 (UPI) -- Wayne Ferreira of South Africa and Sargis Sargsian of Armenia were the only seeded players to advance Monday in the rain-plagued first round of the Stella Artois Championships, a grasscourt Wimbledon tuneup.
Rain delays caused play to be suspended by darkness.
The 10th-seeded Ferreira beat Irakli Labadze, 6-4, 6-2 and the 16th-seeded Sargsian defeated Julian Knowle of Austria, 7-6 (10-8), 6-1.
Top seed Lleyton Hewitt of Australia has won the last two titles here and has an all-time record of 14-2 at the Queen's Club.
England's Tim Henman, the second seed, and Greg Rusedski, the sixth seed, are the hometown favorites. Henman has reached the finals two of the last three years, but has yet to win this event.
The top eight seeds received first-round byes.
High school hoops phenom breaks wrist
CHICAGO, June 10 (UPI) -- 17-year-old LeBron James, generally considered the best high school basketball player in the county, will be down for as many as eight weeks after suffering a broken left wrist while taking part in a summer league contest in Chicago Saturday night.
The 6-8 James hurt himself when he landed on his back after a breakaway dunk attempt and tried to break his fall with his left hand. He was accidentally undercut by an opposing player, C.J. Walleck, who told the Chicago Tribune that he was shocked that James started the dunk some 15 feet from the basket.
The Tribune report said Walleck apologized to James as he lay on the floor, writhing in pain. The game was halted at that point because of concerns about Walleck's safety if play continued.
An emergency room nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital confirmed that James had a broken wrist. He likely will not be able to play from 6-8 weeks.
The Akron, Ohio native has generated a huge buzz because of his hoops prowess and athleticism, and was a Sports Illustrated cover boy last fall. Some scouts have even said that if he were eligible, he is talented enough to be the No. 1 overall pick in this month's annual NBA Draft.
Because he still has scholastic eligibility, which makes him ineligible for the draft, the NBA recently fined the Cleveland Cavaliers for allowing him to participate in an open workout for college-aged players and NBA free agents, and suspended Coach John Lucas for the first two games of the 2002-03 season.
49ers release veteran G Ray Brown
SAN FRANCISCO, June 10 (UPI) -- In a move that has been expected for some time, the San Francisco 49ers have parted ways with 39-year-old guard Ray Brown. He had spent the last six seasons in a 49er uniform.
"This is one of those times where you part ways with one of your great players and great people. He is a veteran who has done so much for this organization and this team," said Coach Steve Mariucci. "He finished his (49er) career very, very well in San Francisco and we'll miss him."
"It was a tough decision for the organization," 49ers General Manager Terry Donahue told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. "Everyone has high regard and respect for Ray as a person and a player."
Brown had been a mainstay at left guard since joining the 49ers in 1996. Ironically, he earned his first career Pro Bowl nomination in 2001.
Brown's future with San Francisco was sealed when the team reached an agreement with two-time Pro Bowl guard Ron Stone, 30, who is nine years younger than Brown and was considered one of the top three the top free agent offensive linemen available this offseason.
The move saves the 49ers $750,000 on this year's cap. The bulk of his unamortized signing bonus money will count more than $1.5 million against the 2003 cap.
Five-year veteran Dave Fiore inherits Brown's left guard position. It's a task he is prepared for. Fiore has played every position on the 49ers offensive line since his arrival with the team from Hofstra in 1997, and is on the move again.
The decision to move Fiore to the left side was made after the addition of Stone, who made his two Pro Bowl appearances at right guard and worked with Scott Gragg when the pair were members of the New York Giants.
Meanwhile, his agent, Jack Bechta, has confirmed that kick returner Vinny Sutherland, who missed the last day of mini-camp last week, has a drinking problem and has entered a rehab center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Sutherland was involved in a one-car accident in Saratoga, Calif., on May 18. The Santa County Sheriff's Department said he crashed his SUV into two lightpoles and a tree. He was charged with driving under the influence and for leaving the scene of an accident.
The Press Democrat also reported he failed to sign up for a first-time offender alcohol program after police in San Mateo County cited him in September for driving under the influence.
U.S. earns tie against South Korea
SEOUL, June 10 (UPI) -- As much as the United States had hoped for a second consecutive World Cup victory Monday, American coach Bruce Arena knew that he had better be happy with what he had.
"We played against an entire nation today," he said. "I'm going to take it and get out of town," he said.
What he had was a tie with South Korea, a team that had far more chances than the Americans and enjoyed the support of more than 60,000 chanting fans in their nation's largest stadium. United States goalkeeper Brad Friedel preserved the tie by stopping a series of potential goals, including a penalty kick.
The 1-1 draw in Daegu left both South Korea and the United States in good position to advance to the second round of the World Cup.
Across the Sea of Japan, meanwhile, the other co-hosting nation enjoyed good news when Belgium was held to a 1-1 tie by Tunisia in Oita. That left Japan on top of Group H with one game to play.
The evening came to a close during a pouring rain in Jeonju with Portugal, showing the kind of form it failed to demonstrate in its surprising loss to the United States last week, knocking Poland out of contention with a 4-0 victory--an outcome that was just what the Americans were hoping for.
Monday's games ended the second round of group action with only Spain and Brazil having wrapped up a spot in the second round. Over the next four days, the final group games will be held and the matchups for the knockout phase will be determined. Tension-packed contests await during those four days, beginning Tuesday with the defending champion French facing what would be very unexpected elimination against Denmark.
The U.S.-South Korea match had been built up by the home country's media as being one heavy with political overtones and even the government issued statements urging fans not to display anti-American sentiment.
That pre-game concern appeared to be overblown as there were no major incidents. Outside the stadium Monday, Korean fans mingled with the small contingent of American supporters and many of the local residents wanted to have their pictures taken with Americans huge hats or dressed in Elvis Presley garb. And after the game, the crowd dispersed without problems.
"I think a draw tastes a little bit less for us," South Korean coach Guus Hiddink said, "because I think we deserved to win. We created beautiful chances. We had five or six open chances and we didn't make them. That's why I am not smiling."
Clint Mathis put the United States ahead in the 24th minute with his 10th international goal, a sliding right footer that briefly silenced the Korean crowd.
From that point, the Americans had to withstand an almost constant assault. That included a questionable penalty kick, taken by Lee Eul Yong in the 40th minute. But Friedel guessed correctly to his right and became the first goalkeeper in this World Cup to stop a penalty kick.
"If someone had said you can have four points going into the third game, I would have taken it," Friedel said. "It was a great atmosphere today. Ever since we got here, the South Koreans have been very friendly, always waving to us and not hostile at all. It was a good atmosphere, not a hostile one."
Pedro Pauleta produced a hat trick for Portugal in a driving rainstorm that finally eased in the second half but still left the field slippery and dangerous.
The final games in Group D will be played next Friday with South Korea having to play the suddenly in-form Portuguese and the United States getting to play the already-eliminated Poles. No matter what happens in the South Korea-Portugal match, the United States can advance to the second round with a tie or win against Poland.
But even a loss to Poland would not necessarily eliminate the Americans. They would still go through if South Korea wins its game or if Portugal wins by a big enough score for the United States to overcome its current one-goal deficit with South Korea in the differential department.
In Group H, the Japanese celebrated Belgium's 1-1 tie with Tunisia. Japan remains at the top of the group with four points, a position earned with Sunday's 1-0 victory over Russia that touched off rioting in parts of Moscow. Russia has three points, Belgium two and Tunisia one.
The Japanese will advance to the second round if they can merely tie Tunisia when they play Friday. The winner of the Russia-Belgium game will advance as well with a tie favoring Russia.
Action in Group A and Group E comes to an end Tuesday with most of the attention focused on France, which has yet to score a goal and has just one point thanks to an 0-0 tie with Uruguay last week.
Denmark and Senegal go into the final day with four points while Uruguay and France have one each. In order to stay alive in the tournament, France must defeat Denmark by at least two goals when they play in Incheon. Senegal needs only a tie with Uruguay in Suwon to move on to the second round.
In Group E, Germany and Cameroon lead with four points each while Ireland has two and Saudi Arabia has been eliminated with no points. Germany and Cameroon play in Shizuoka and Cameroon almost certainly needs a win to advance. Ireland is expected to beat Saudi Arabia, which would leave the Irish with five points. Cameroon would reach five points with a tie against Germany, but would miss out on the second round because both Germany's and Ireland's goal differential would be larger.