In Sports from United Press International

Sept. 14, 2002 at 12:40 AM
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Zito blanks Mariners

OAKLAND, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Barry Zito carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning Friday night and the Oakland Athletics protected their share of first place in the American League West with a 5-0 blanking of the Seattle Mariners.

Oakland began the night tied with Anaheim for the division lead and stayed on top thanks to another tremendous outing by Zito (21-5) retired the first 16 batters before giving up a one-out walk in the sixth and then had his no-hit bid halted in the eighth when he gave up singles to John Olerud and Ruben Sierra.

They were the only two hits Zito surrendered.

Other American League results: Chicago 13, New York 2; Baltimore 8, Boston 3; Detroit 4, Kansas City 2 in 10 innings; Cleveland 12, Minnesota 5; Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 2.

Cardinals depend on Drew

HOUSTON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- J.D. Drew's spectacular defense helped the St. Louis Cardinals move a step closer to clinching the National League Central Division Friday night with a 3-2, 10-inning victory over the Houston Astros.

In the top of the fifth inning, Drew robbed Jeff Bagwell of a three-run homer and he threw out Craig Biggio trying to score the go-ahead run.

St. Louis, which turned four double plays, evened the four-game series at a win apiece and moved 6 1/2 games ahead of the Astros with just 15 games remaining.

Edgar Renteria collected three hits, including the go-ahead single off Tom Gordon (1-3) in the top of the 10th. But it was Drew's defense that saved the game for the Cardinals.

With the contest tied, 2-2, Biggio led off the fifth with a double and Lance Berkman walked. But Drew jumped above the right field fence to take away a home run from Bagwell.

Biggio advanced to third and tagged up on Daryle Ward's flyout. Drew threw a strike to the plate and catcher Mike DiFelice held on to the ball despite being barreled over by Biggio.

Other National League results: Florida 13, Atlanta 3; Montreal 11, New York 8; Pittsburgh 5, Philadelphia 3; Chicago 7, Cincinnati 6; Colorado 5, Los Angeles 4.

Challengers to Miami hope to gain momentum

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Miami emphatically stated its case last week. Now is the chance for several other schools to prove they are major players in the 2002 college football season.

Last weekend's only matchup between ranked teams saw defending national champion Miami rout Florida and justify its status as the country's top-ranked team.

This weekend's slate features five matchups between schools in the coaches' poll. It got underway Thursday with what appeared to be an intriguing matchup between No. 9 Virginia Tech and 17th-ranked Marshall.

But the Hokies proved too much for the Thundering Herd, rolling to a 47-21 victory at Blacksburg, Va.

Saturday's schedule will be highlighted by games involving schools from the Big Ten Conference. Sixth-ranked Michigan (2-0) renews its rivalry with No. 24 Notre Dame (2-0), which seeks its first win over a top 10 team in the new tenure of coach Tyrone Willingham.

A possible Rose Bowl preview will take place in Columbus, Ohio, where eighth-ranked Ohio State (2-0) welcomes Washington State (2-0). The 11th-ranked Cougars have been mentioned as an outside contender for a national title and face their first notable test of the season this week.

On Saturday night, seventh-ranked Nebraska (3-0) visits No. 25 Penn State (1-0) in the first meeting between the traditional college football powers in close to two decades.

The final meeting between ranked teams will be in Colorado, where the 19th-ranked Buffaloes (1-1) welcome No. 16 Southern California (1-0).

Notre Dame has not scored an offensive touchdown in its first two games and Carlyle Holiday completed just seven of 22 passes for 50 yards in last week's win over Purdue.

Michigan's worries are with a kicking game that has missed five of six field goal attempts in two games.

In the school's most hyped game since Ryan Leaf played in the 1998 Rose Bowl, Washington State will try to defeat Ohio State for the first time in eight all-time meetings.

Riley: Loss of Mourning a devastating blow

MIAMI, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Calling the absence of Alonzo Mourning a "devastating blow to the franchise," Miami Heat coach Pat Riley said Friday he did not know when or if Mourning would return.

The Heat revealed Thursday that Mourning will be sidelined indefinitely because of a deteriorating kidney condition. According to the team, Mourning's body chemistry has "fallen below what his doctors feel is an acceptable level to play basketball."

Riley appear at a news conference Friday, but gave no details of Mourning's condition.

"This is a disease that has no boundaries," Riley said. "He's had a relapse. This is a devastating blow to the franchise. It's in the best interest of Zo to concentrate solely on getting healthy."

Diagnosed with focal glomerulosclerosis, Mourning missed all but 13 games during the 2000-01 season. The ailment is similar to the one that shortened the career of former San Antonio Spurs forward Sean Elliott, who underwent a transplant in August 1999.

Mourning did not attend Friday's news conference and Riley asked that the media and the public respect his privacy while he battles the illness.

Fleisher shoots 60

CLEMMONS, N.C., Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Bruce Fleisher matched the lowest round in Senior Tour history Friday, firing a 10-under 60 to finish three shots in front after the opening round of the RJR Championship.

Fleisher, 53, has won 14 times on the Senior Tour and almost became the first plus-50 player to break 60. He was 10-under through 14 holes and narrowly missed birdie chances on the 15th, 16th and 18th.

Isao Aoki of Japan shot a 10-under 60 in the second round of the 1997 Emerald Coast Classic and Walter Morgan had an 11-under 60 in the second round of this year's Canada Senior Open.

Mike McCullough was alone in second after shooting a 63 at the Tanglewood Park Golf Course.

Ted Goin and Hale Irwin were tied for third at 65 while 10 players were at 66, including Tom Kite, 2000 champion Larry Nelson and Jim Thorpe, this year's winner of The Tradition.

Andrade keeps lead on PGA Tour

PAOLI, Pa., Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Billy Andrade carded a 3-under-par 68 Friday to maintain a one-stroke lead midway through the Pennsylvania Classic.

A native of the northeast, Andrade has enjoyed his week in the Philadelphia area, bogeying only one hole en route to a two-round total of 8-under 134 at Waynesborough Country Club.

Andrade began the day a stroke better than a pair of players and ended it one ahead of Canadian Ian Leggatt, who birdied five consecutive holes on the back nine and shot a 65.

Kenneth Staton fired a 69 and was alone in third at 6-under 136. Brent Geiberger, Donnie Hammond and Jeff Brehaut were at 137, with Jim McGovern, Paul Goydos and J.J. Henry at 138.

The Pennsylvania Classic includes only two players ranked 10th or higher in the world.

A would would still mean a lot to Andrade, whose most recent of three PGA Tour wins came at the 2000 Las Vegas Classic. He has missed the cut in 10 of his 25 starts this year and has been in the top 10 just once since March.

Newman wins NASCAR pole

LOUDON, N.H., Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Leading Rookie of the Year candidate Ryan Newman clocked a track record Friday and claimed the pole position Friday for the NASCAR New Hampshire 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Going out 41st out of 44 drivers attempting to qualify, Newman drove his Ford Taurus around the 1.058-mile track in 28.802 seconds. His average speed of 132.241 miles per hour broke Penske Racing teammate Rusty Wallace's 2000 mark of 132.089 mph.

Newman has 316 points in the Winston Cup rookie standings, 15 more than Jimmie Johnson. Newman has 12 top-five finishes, although he has yet to win a race while Johnson has won twice.

Johnny Benson will start second in a Pontiac Grand Prix, followed by the Pontiac of Bobby Labonte and the Chevrolet Monte Carlos of Greg Biffle and Mike Skinner.

Sterling Marlin, clinging to the lead in the championship points race, will start 24th. Mark Martin, just nine points behind Marlin, qualified seventh.

Gonzalez signs for seven years

KANSAS CITY, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- The Kansas Chiefs announced Friday they have agreed to terms with star tight end Tony Gonzalez on a seven-year contract.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but a "source familiar with the contract" told the Kansas City Star that the deal is worth at least $21.5 million over the first five years, after which the contract likely will be voided.

Gonzalez also reportedly will receive a $10 million signing bonus -- $6 million now, $2.5 million next year and $1.5 million in 2004. Two weeks ago, Gonzalez accepted a one-year tender offer of $3.05 million.

Gonzalez is the premier tight end in the NFL, totaling 339 receptions for 4,045 yards and 31 touchdowns. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Gonzalez needs 78 catches to pass Henry Marshall (416) for the franchise record.

Vernon annonces retirement

TORONTO, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Mike Vernon of the Calgary Flames, who is fourth all time in postseason games played among goaltenders, announced his retirement Friday after 19 seasons in the NHL.

Vernon was 385-273-92 with a 2.98 goals-against average in 781 career games. He won the Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1988-89 and with the Detroit Red Wings in 1996-97.

In the 1997 playoffs, Vernon was 16-4 with a stellar 1.76 GAA, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Red Wings captured their first Stanley Cup in 42 years.

The 39-year-old Vernon is seventh on the all-time regular-season wins list and fourth on the all-time playoff list with 77 victories in 138 games. Only Patrick Roy, Grant Fuhr and Ed Belfour have played in more postseason games among goaltenders. He was a five-time All-Star and is Calgary's all-time leader with 262 wins and 526 games.

NBA player suffers broken neck

ATLANTA, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Atlanta Hawks forward DerMarr Johnson suffered a broken bone in his neck in an automobile accident early Friday, the team announced.

Johnson was listed in stable condition at Atlanta Medical Center with a cervical spine fracture. Dr. Paul King, a neurosurgeon at the hospital, said Johnson would undergo surgery and could be released as early as Monday.

The injuries are not considered life threatening and Johnson's prognosis for a long-term recovery is excellent, but his status for the upcoming season is in question.

The one-car accident took place in the Cascade section of Atlanta after Johnson's car veered off the road.

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