AUTO RACING: Michael Annett raced to his first NASCAR national series victory in the Xfinity season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Annett held off JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier on the final lap.
BASEBALL: Jameson Taillon will be the Pirates’ opening-day starter March 28 against the Reds at Cincinnati, manager Clint Hurdle said. It will be the first opening-day start of Taillon’s four-year career . ... Reliever John Axford and the Blue Jays completed a minor-league contract. If added to the 40-man roster, the 35-year-old right-hander would get a one-year contract with a $1.65 million salary . ... The Orioles have agreed to terms with shortstop Alcides Escobar on a minor-league contract with an invitation to major-league camp.
GOLF: Justin Thomas got a lot done in just eight holes before leaving Riviera with a one-shot lead and facing a marathon finish at the Genesis Open in Los Angeles. Thomas nearly holed a 9-iron and then made par with a chip off the green and over the bunker in the middle of the par-3 sixth hole to complete a 6-under 65 in the second round. Adam Scott also had a 65 and tied Thomas for the 36hole lead. Thomas began the third round with a 12-foot eagle putt and saved par before darkness halted play . ... Ken Tanigawa had six back-nine birdies in a 5-under 66 for a share of the lead with Glen Day and Stephen Ames at the Chubb Classic in Naples, Fla . ... Gene Littler, whose fluid swing carried him to 29 victories on the PGA Tour and a U.S. Open title at Oakland Hills, died Friday night. He was 88. He rallied from three shots behind in the final round to win the U.S. Open in 1961 for his only professional major title. NFL: Denver police said wide receiver Demaryius Thomas crashed his vehicle near downtown early Saturday. Police said Thomas’ vehicle rolled over and ended up on a grassy median after he apparently lost control at around 12:20 a.m. A female passenger sustained possible serious injuries that weren’t believed to be life-threatening. Thomas and a male passenger suffered minor injuries. Police spokesman Jay Casillas said the cause of the crash was being investigated but it doesn’t appear that drugs or alcohol played a role.
SKIING: Mikaela Shiffrin fought through sickness to win an unprecedented fourth straight slalom title at the world championships in Are, Sweden. No Alpine skier, male or female, had won the same discipline at four successive worlds. The 23-year-old American, who was low on energy because of a chest cold, improved from third after the first run to win by 0.58 seconds over Anna Swenn Larsson. It was the second gold of these championships for Shiffrin after the super-G. She also took bronze in the giant slalom. She has won five golds at worlds and seven medals, putting her just one off the American record held by Lindsey Vonn.
TENNIS: Three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka reached his first final since his comeback a year ago from left knee surgeries. The unseeded Wawrinka beat top-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 at the ABN AMRO World Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, to face Gael Monfils for the title Sunday. The final is Wawrinka’s first since the 2017 French Open, where he last met Monfils in the fourth round.