In Sports from United Press International

Aug. 19, 2002 at 11:59 PM
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Shoulder strain returns Rivera to DL

NEW YORK, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The New York Yankees on Monday returned All-Star closer Mariano Rivera to the 15-day disabled list after an MRI revealed another strain in his right shoulder.

It's the third trip to the disabled list this season for baseball's premier closer, who was on the DL just once in the first seven years of his career.

Rivera missed two weeks in June with a strained groin, then returned to the disabled list last month with a strained pitching shoulder. To ease attempts at loosening up, he altered his warmup routine and recorded two saves in last week's sweep of the Kansas City Royals. But he did not warm up once in a weekend series at Seattle.

Rivera, 32, is 1-4 with 27 saves in 31 chances and a 2.85 ERA in 40 appearances. The Panamanian is the Yankees' all-time leader with 240 saves. He set a club record with 50 in 2001 and has averaged 42 over the last five seasons.

Hingis sweeps past Smashnova

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Martina Hingis continued her comeback Monday night with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Israel's Anna Smashnova in the opening round of the Pilot Pen Tennis event.

The top four seeds - Americans Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport, Yugoslavia's Jelena Dokic and Belgium's Justine Henin - received first-round byes at this U.S. Open tuneup.

Hingis, competing in her second tournament after undergoing surgery to repair torn and damaged ligaments in her left ankle, is seeded fifth. After taking the first set from Smashnova, she raced to a 5-0 lead in the second before holding on.

Hingis' second-round opponent will be unseeded American Alexandra Stevenson, who ousted Croatia's Jelena Kostanic, 6-3, 7-5.

The 21-year-old from Switzerland had not played since early May in Hamburg, where she reached the semifinals and won the doubles title with Barbara Schett. In her first event back, Hingis advanced to the quarterfinals last week in Montreal before falling to Dokic.

In early action Monday, German qualifier Angelika Roesch surprised eighth seed Elena Dementieva of Russia, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3. The struggling Dementieva is heading to the U.S. Open having lost four of her last five matches.

Stevenson was one of three Americans in action Monday. Qualifier Laura Granville rallied past Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, but Lisa Raymond was ousted by Russia's Elena Bovina, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Former Dodgers catcher dead at 69

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Former Los Angeles Dodgers catcher John Roseboro, a four-time All-Star, died Friday after a long illness. He was 69. Cause of death was not specified.

Roseboro played for the Dodgers from 1957-67 and was the starting catcher in four World Series. He may he best remembered for being in a middle of an ugly incident on Aug. 22, 1965 at Candlestick Park.

San Francisco Giants pitcher Juan Marichal twice hit Roseboro over the head with a bat, opening a huge gash that sent blood streaming down the catcher's face. National League president Warren Giles suspended Marichal for eight playing dates. Marichal contended that Roseboro returned a pitch close to his head while the pitcher was batting. Roseboro said he did nothing to provoke the incident and later filed a lawsuit against Marichal.

Roseboro batted .249 over 14 seasons in a career that also included stops with the Minnesota Twins and Washington Senators. He was named to All-Star teams in 1958, 1961, 1962 and 1969, and caught the first two of Sandy Koufax's four no-hitters. After ending his playing career in 1970, Roseboro went on to serve as a coach for several teams.

A native of Ashland, Ohio, Roseboro won World Series with the Dodgers in 1959, 1963 and 1965. His last postseason appearance was with the Twins in 1969.

Indians place 2B Gutierrez on DL

CLEVELAND, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The Cleveland Indians placed second baseman Ricky Gutierrez on the 15-day disabled list Monday with an upper neck strain.

Gutierrez has been bothered by neck pain for most of the season and was examined Monday morning. After the exam, Gutierrez went on the DL, retroactive to Thursday.

The 32-year-old Gutierrez is hitting .275 with 13 homers and 38 RBI in 94 games, including a .336 average and 29 RBI over his last 41 contests. He has not played since Wednesday at Tampa Bay and sustained a bruised left hand the following night in batting practice.

To fill the roster spot, the Indians purchased the contract of infielder Greg LaRocca from Buffalo of the Class AAA International League. LaRocca was hitting .293 with seven homers and 41 RBI in 107 games at Buffalo.

Phillies give Lieberthal big contract

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia Phillies Monday gave veteran catcher Mike Lieberthal a lucrative contract extension.

Lieberthal already was earning $7 million this season, and is quickly approaching the 500 plate appearances needed to vest a $7.25 salary for 2003. The extension will override that option.

The 6-0, 195-pounder has rapidly returned to his All-Star form of 1999, when he hit .300 with 31 home runs. He missed most of the 2001 season after tearing the three major ligaments in his right knee in a game against Arizona. He was slow to recover this season and was hitting just .239 entering play June 20, the one-year anniversary of his surgery.

Overall, he's hitting .292 with 14 home runs and 46 RBI, with half of the homers coming in a 12-game stretch in which he hit .388 (19-for-49).

Seattle signs Rypien

CHENEY, Wash., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The Seattle Seahawks, who supposedly were not in the market for another signal-caller, Monday did just that, adding some insurance by signing former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien.

Rypien, 39, played last season for the Indianapolis Colts backing up Peyton Manning after sitting out three seasons, 1998-2000. He attempted only nine passes last year.

The Seahawks had second thought about adding a quarterback because of poor play by backup Matt Hasselback, who inherited the job after Trent Dilfer suffered a torn MCL in his right knee in a preseason contest Aug. 10 against the Colts. He sustained the injury when was hit by Colts' defensive linemen Chad Bratzke and James Cannida after releasing a pass in the second quarter of the 'Hawks' 28-10 loss. He may be out for as long as eight weeks.

Rypien, who lives in nearby Spokane, Wash., played collegiately at Washington State. He was with for the Washington Redskins from 1987-93, and was named MVP of Super Bowl XXVI, when he passed for 292 yards and two touchdowns in their 37-24 rout of the Buffalo Bills in 1992. In that regular season, he threw for 3,546 yards and 28 touchdowns.

For his career, Rypien has played in 104 games, starting 78. He has tossed 115 touchdowns to 88 interceptions, and passed for 18,473 yards.

Krajicek crushes Hrbaty

COMMACK, N.Y., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek rolled past Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty, 6-1, 6-2, in Monday night's feature match at the TD Waterhouse Cup tennis event.

Krajicek is continuing his comeback after taking off almost two years to recover from an elbow injury. Two weeks ago, the unseeded Dutchman lost in the third round at Cincinnati. His best effort this season is a quarterfinal finish at Wimbledon.

Hrbaty has struggled to a 14-21 record this year and has not won consecutive matches since reaching the third round in May at Barcelona. His poor play has sent the Slovakian to the challenger circuit, where he has won one title and reached another final.

Bills sign Ahanotu

PITTSFORD, N.Y., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Veteran defensive end Chidi Ahanotu Monday joined his third NFL team in as many years when he signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills.

Ahanotu, 32, spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, recording a career-high 10 sacks in 1997. He spent last season with the St. Louis Rams.

The 6-2, 285-pounder was used only on first and second down by the Rams, but the Bills will give Ahanotu a chance to prove if he has anything left as a pass rusher. The Bills have no sacks in two preseason games.

Ahanotu has appeared in 129 games, including 120 starts, and has 33 sacks.

Wild's Laaksonen wins arbitration case

ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Left wing Antii Laaksonen, the only player to appear in all 164 games for the Minnesota Wild was awarded a one-year contract Monday worth $750,000 by arbitrator Gil Vernon.

Laaksonen had career bests of 16 goals and 17 assists last season as the Wild went 26-35-12-9, a five-point improvement over their inaugural season, and finished last in the Northwest Division.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the ruling was $250,000 less than what Laaksonen sought, but it almost doubled his $475,000 salary from last season. The team submitted a proposal for $625,000 during a two-hour hearing last Thursday in Toronto.

Top thoroughbred dies at 16

TOKYO, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Sunday Silence, the winner of the first two legs of the 1989 Triple Crown who went on to become Horse of the Year, died Monday in Tokyo) from complications of a disease in his left foreleg.

The 16-year-old thoroughbred had been in failing health since contracting laminitis, a disease of the hoof, last month. He died at around 11 a.m. local time of heart failure, according to an official of the Shadai Stallion Station.

Last week, the horse underwent surgery for a third time to improve his right foreleg. He was expected to recover, but his condition worsened as his stable pondered whether to put him down. The stable said euthenasia was not involved.

Sunday Silence never placed lower than second in his 14 starts career starts. The son of Halo and Wishing Well, Sunday Silence became the fourth horse since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978 to capture the first two legs of horse racing's ultimate prize, but fell short at the Belmont.

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