Off the wire
BASEBALL Francona admitted again
Cleveland Indians Manager Terry Francona was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic for tests and missed Tuesday night’s game against the San Diego Padres. Francona, 58, was hospitalized twice last month after becoming lightheaded and having a rapid heart rate. He was fitted with a heart monitor last week and said at the time doctors had ruled out any serious health issues.
“As I’ve continued to tell Tito, the most important thing is his health and that we focus mostly on that,” team President Chris Antonetti said before the matchup with the Padres. “If that means he has to spend a day or two away from the ballpark, then that’s what he needs to do.” Antonetti didn’t know if he would spend the night at the hospital or when he would resume his managerial duties. Antonetti said Francona did not experience the previous symptoms again and the tests are being done to help determine what’s causing the issue. “The expectation is that he would have some additional tests once they started to narrow the area of focus,” Antonetti said. “That’s what he’s doing now, is getting those additional tests.”
Judge dents casement
Aaron Judge dented a metal casement above a door behind the left-center field wall at Yankee Stadium with his major league-leading 28th home run of the season. The New York rookie drove a pitch from Toronto’s J.A. Happ in the fourth inning for a solo home run Tuesday. The ball would have traveled 456 feet had it landed unimpeded, according to MLB’s Statcast. It was the fourth-hardest-hit home run of the season, at 118.4 mph, according to MLB. Judge has the hardest at 121.1 mph and all of the top four. Elected to the AL’s starting lineup for the All-Star Game next week, Judge is one shy of the Yankees’ rookie record for home runs in an entire season, set by Joe DiMaggio in 1939. During batting practice before a May 2 game against the Blue Jays, Judge hit a shot to center field that smashed a TV in one of Yankee Stadium’s new social gathering areas beyond the bullpens and Monument Park.
Freeman off DL early
Atlanta Braves slugger Freddie Freeman has returned earlier than expected from a broken left wrist and he’s back as the starting third baseman. His return is the latest stage in a surprising turnaround since he was hit by a pitch on May 17. He was told that he’d likely miss about 10 weeks but instead was sidelined just seven. He was reinstated from the disabled list Tuesday after he met with team physi- cian Gary Lourie a few hours before Atlanta played the Houston Astros. Freeman announced two weeks ago that he had approached the team about moving from first base to keep Matt Adams’ bat in the lineup. A couple of days later, he said the fracture was between 80 and 90 percent healed and believed it was possible to return before the All-Star break. Freeman spent the last few days on a rehab assignment with Class AAA Gwinnett. He had only five at-bats but said he had no problems swinging a bat. He’s wearing a protective cover on his left wrist when hitting.
Ryu has foot contusion
Los Angeles Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left foot contusion. The South Korean left-hander is 3-6 with 1 save and a 4.21 ERA this season. A scan of Ryu’s foot on Monday was negative, but Manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday the pitcher is still sore. Ryu was struck on the left foot by a comebacker from Andrelton Simmons in the fourth inning of last Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. He continued to pitch into the sixth inning, but was removed shortly after allowing a two-run home run to Simmons.
Baseball goes to Britain
A piece of American sports culture was on display Tuesday in London’s Hyde Park as baseball came to town on July 4, the U.S. Independence Day. The exhibition featured several former major leaguers playing a Home Run Derby in one of London’s best-known open spaces. It’s part of Major League Baseball’s plan to showcase the game to build interest in Britain and Europe, a region where soccer is the overwhelmingly favorite sport. The move comes during the summer hiatus in England’s Premier League. Charlie Hill, managing director of Major League Baseball for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said it’s possible that some regular-season games will be played in London as soon as the 2019 season. “The teams are enthusiastic,” he said. “That is the target and it’s becoming the expectation.” If MLB league games are played in London in two years, baseball will still be way behind the National Football League and the National Basketball Association, which have played official games in Britain for years. Hill said the exhibition was a Home Run Derby, similar to the one that precedes the league’s All-Star Game, an easy-to-understand demonstration of hitting prowess. One concern is that baseball’s somewhat arcane rules might make the game seem incomprehensible to Britons — much as Americans can be slow to grasp the finer points of cricket. “We don’t want to play games here from a cold start,” Hill said.
Player hurt in robbery attempt
A reliever with minor league baseball team the Las Vegas 51s was attacked by a homeless man in an attempted robbery in Utah, authorities said, forcing the team to place him on the disabled list. Logan Taylor was hit in the head with a tire iron after the man approached him and demanded his wallet while he was walking down a street in Salt Lake City on Saturday, police Detective Greg Wilking told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The man had also been carrying a sock full of rocks. Manager Pedro Lopez said Taylor suffered a concussion. Joshua Cruz, 33, was arrested in connection with the attack. The Salt Lake City man is in custody on charges of aggravated robbery and failure to stop at command of law enforcement. Court and jail records do not list an attorney for Cruz, who also has not made an initial appearance in court in connection with the case. Wilking said the man fled on foot after the attack, but officers arrested him in the area. The 51s are the Class AAA affiliate of the New York Mets.
HOCKEY Burakovsky, Capitals deal
Right winger Andre Burakovsky and the Washington Capitals have agreed to a $6 million, twoyear contract. The team announced the deal with the restricted free agent on Tuesday. Burakovsky, 22, had 12 goals and 23 assists in 64 games for Washington last season, his third in the NHL. He has 38 goals and 57 assists in 196 games with the Capitals, who drafted him in the first round in 2013. The Capitals were the Presidents’ Trophy winners for the second time in a row last season, before losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the playoffs. They resigned center Evgeny Kuznetsov to a $62.4 million, eight-year deal and kept right winger T.J. Oshie and defenseman Dmitry Orlov. Washington still has not re-signed backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer.
HORSE RACING Pee Wee Reese wins
Pee Wee Reese won the $100,000 American Stakes by 1¾ lengths on closing day at Santa Anita. Ridden by Joe Talamo, Pee Wee Reese ran a mile on turf in 1:32.26 and paid $12.40, $4.20 and $3 at 5-1 odds in the Grade III race Tuesday. The 4-year-old colt is named for the 10-time All-Star shortstop who played for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. Reese was a teammate of Jackie Robinson and in April his namesake colt won at Santa Anita on the 70th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier. Pee Wee Reese has five victories and two seconds in nine career starts. Tuesday’s victory, worth $60,000, increased his career earnings to $259,990 for owner-breeder Nick Alexander. It was Pee Wee Reese’s first race against graded stakes competition. The colt was coming off a victory on turf in the Crystal Water Stakes at Santa Anita on May 20 under trainer Phil D’Amato. Om returned $2.80 and $2.20 as the even-money favorite. Alert Bay was third.