Sports In Brief

Cubs’ Zobrist starts minor league assignment in South Bend

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Cubs’ Ben Zobrist, who left the team three months ago to deal with a divorce, will begin his minor league assignment in South Bend, Indiana.

Zobrist has been on the restricted list since May 8. The team says he’ll start his assignment with the South Bend Cubs on Friday.

Cubs president Theo Epstein says the 38-year-old Zobrist will eventually progress to Triple-A.

Zobrist was the MVP of the 2016 World Series when the Cubs beat Cleveland to end a 108-year championship drought.

He’ll be the designated hitter with South Bend and is expected to remain with the farm club through the weekend.

Zobrist was batting .241 with 10 RBIs through 26 games this season.


17-year-old American Caty McNally reaches Citi Open quarters

WASHINGTON (AP) — Teenage qualifier Caty McNally has reached the quarterfinals of the Citi Open.

The 17-year-old beat fellow American Christina McHale 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 on Thursday. McNally hadn’t won a main draw WTA match until this week.

The women’s field has opened up after top-seeded Sloane Stephens and Wimbledon breakout star Coco Gauff were knocked out. Also Thursday, fourth-seeded Hsieh Su-wei edged Varvara Gracheva 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (6); Zarina Diyas beat fifth-seeded Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-4; and Camila Giorgi rallied to beat Rebecca Peterson 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

On the men’s side, top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece beat Jordan Thompson 6-3, 7-6 (4).

Tenth-seeded Benoit Paire knocked out fifth-seeded American John Isner 7-6 (3), 6-3. Sixth-seeded Marin Cilic topped ninth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-4 to set up a match against Nick Kyrgios, a 6-2, 7-5 winner over Yoshihito Nishioka.

Britain’s Kyle Edmund came back to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Third-seeded Daniil Medvedev beat American Frances Tiafoe 6-2, 7-5.


Prairie dog plague outbreak cancels fireworks show

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) — Colorado officials have closed parks and canceled a Major League Soccer game’s fireworks display after plague was confirmed in prairie dogs in a Denver suburb.

The Tri-County Health Department said Thursday that prairie dog burrows in Commerce City are being sprayed with insecticide to kill fleas that could transmit the disease to the rodents, people and pets.

Health officials say Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and Prairie Gateway Open Space are temporarily closed.

Colorado Rapids officials say Saturday’s game against the Montreal Impact will go on as scheduled, but they have canceled a fireworks show planned for afterward. Parking at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where the Rapids play, is restricted to asphalt lots.

Rapids officials said in a statement the precautions will minimize the risk of exposure to fans, players and employees.


Nuggets sign Vlatko Cancar to multiyear deal

DENVER (AP) — The Denver Nuggets have agreed to a multiyear deal with forward Vlatko Cancar.

The 22-year-old Cancar was the 49th pick by Denver in the 2017 draft.

Cancar played in the Summer League for the Nuggets the past two years. He spent last season with San Pablo Burgos in the Spanish ACB league where he averaged 10 points and 3.7 rebounds in 34 games.

A native of Slovenia, Cancar also spent time with KK Mega Bemax of the Adriatic League.

Cancar will wear No. 31 for Denver.


Southern Illinois University set to launch new Esports Arena

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University’s Carbondale campus is launching a new Esports Arena as it embraces a new era of competition and electronic gaming.

The Southern Illinoisan reports that the 1,200-square-foot facility opens Aug. 16 with an open house at the Student Center. Interim Chancellor John M. Dunn will conduct the ribbon-cutting festivities. The arena will serve as home base for the SIU esports team.

Esports is one of the world’s fastest growing sports, emerging into a billion-dollar industry with more than 300 million enthusiasts worldwide.

The school’s new arena comprises of more than 20 popular games, which include Fortnite, Apex Legends, Battlefield and assorted FIFA and Madden NFL games.

Student Center official Kent Epplin says that SIU’s move to esports is an ideal way to involve more campus students.


Harvey Frommer, who wrote many sports books, has died

WASHINGTON (AP) — Harvey Frommer, a prolific author who wrote mostly about sports, sometimes collaborating with his subjects on their autobiographies, has died.

Frommer, 83, had lung cancer. He died Thursday at his home in Lyme, New Hampshire, according to one of his sons, Frederic, who worked with his father on a number of books.

The elder Frommer wrote about the 1927 Yankees, the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey, and Shoeless Joe Jackson, and others. He collaborated on books with Nolan Ryan, Red Holzman and Tony Dorsett.

In addition to his son Frederic, he is survived by his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer, along with a daughter, Jennifer Frommer, a son, Ian Frommer, and six grandchildren.


Police: Soccer academy owner faces child seduction charges

NEWBURGH, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say the owner of a southwestern Indiana soccer academy is facing child seduction charges for allegedly having sexual contact with a girl who was one of his soccer students.

Indiana State Police say 37-year-old Jeremy Michael Tudela of Evansville was arrested Thursday and was being held on $20,000 bond at the Vanderburgh County Jail.

Court records didn’t list a lawyer who could comment on his behalf. The Associated Press sent an email Friday seeking comment to Tudela Soccer Academy.

Police say they were informed Monday about allegations against Tudela, who owns the academy in Newburgh, and they determined that Tudela allegedly had sexual contact with the girl who was younger than 16 on several occasions between November and June. He faces multiple counts of child seduction.


Jaguars rookie TE Oliver has ‘significant’ hamstring injury

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars rookie tight end Josh Oliver has a “significant” hamstring injury that could cause him to miss the regular-season opener.

A third-round draft pick from San Jose State, Oliver strained his right hamstring during practice Thursday. Tests later revealed the extent of the damage.

“These hamstring things, is it a serious one? It is,” coach Doug Marrone said Friday. “I don’t know how he heals. I don’t know how he’ll react to it. I’d like to be able to get him back, but we’ll prepare and get everyone else reps.”

The Jaguars are counting on the 6-foot-5 Oliver to bolster the passing game, hoping he creates mismatches for defenses and gives new quarterback Nick Foles a bigger target near the end zone.

Free-agent signee Geoff Swaim and James O’Shaughnessy likely will get more work while Oliver is sidelined.