Sports briefs: March 30

March 30, 2013 

Baseball

Giants sign Posey to 9-year, $167 million contract

Buster Posey is the San Francisco Giants' new franchise man.

The Giants rewarded the NL MVP and batting champion catcher with a $167 million, nine-year contract Friday, a deal that includes a club option for 2022 that could raise the value to $186 million over a decade.

Posey had been due to make $8 million this year. He instead gets a $7 million signing bonus, with $5 million payable Oct. 15 and the remainder Jan. 15, and his 2013 salary is reduced to $3 million.

He will make $10.5 million in 2014, $16.5 million in 2015, $20 million in 2016 and $21.4 million in each of the following five seasons. The Giants' option is for $22 million with a $3 million buyout.

Posey's agreement includes a full no-trade clause. Is the longest for a catcher and the largest in Giants history.

• Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander agreed Friday to a $180 million, seven-year contract, topping Felix Hernandez for the richest deal for a pitcher in baseball history.

The 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner had been signed through 2014 under an $80 million, five-year contract paying him $20 million in each of the next two seasons.

The new deal keeps those salaries and adds $140 million in guaranteed money: $28 million each season from 2015-19. It includes a $22 million option for 2020 that would become guaranteed if he finishes among the top five in 2019 Cy Young voting. The deal could be worth $202 million over eight seasons.

• Former AL MVP Miguel Tejada has made the Kansas City Royals' opening-day roster as a utility infielder. Manager Ned Yost made the announcement Friday before the Royals' exhibition game against Cleveland.

The 38-year-old is a six-time All-Star who last played in the major leagues in 2011 with the San Francisco Giants. He hit .239 with four homers and 26 RBIs in 322 at-bats. He spent last season with Baltimore's Triple-A team at Norfolk.


Golf

McIlroy barely makes cut at Houston

Steve Wheatcroft hates going to Monday qualifiers. He was reminded Friday why they can be worth it.

Wheatcroft, who narrowly qualified for the Houston Open at the start of the week, ran off three straight birdies early in his round and kept bogeys off his card for a second straight 5-under 67. That gave him a one-shot lead over D.A. Points and Jason Kokrak going into the weekend at Redstone Golf Club.

Rory McIlroy also will be around for two more days, but just barely.

In only his 10th full round of the year, McIlroy walked onto the seventh green — his 16th hole of the day — and saw that he was tied for 77th. He two-putted from 85 feet on the fringe for birdie on his next hole, and then safely found the green at the par-3 ninth for a 70. By the end of the day, McIlroy made the cut on the number.

His big surprise came later. McIlroy, feeling as though he needs more rounds to get ready for the Masters, decided to enter the Texas Open next week.

Phil Mickelson also made the cut on the number after a bogey on the last hole for a 71.

Marcel Siem of Germany shot a 4-under 68 Friday to move to maintain his three-shot lead after the second round of the Hassan II Trophy tournament. The French Open champion made seven birdies mixed with three bogeys on the Golf du Palais Royal course to move to a 12-under total of 132. Mikko Ilonen (66) of Finland and 2011 winner David Horsey (67) of Britain were tied for second.


NBA

Wall pours in 35 in Wizards' loss

Tobias Harris had a career-high 30 points and 11 rebounds to help the Orlando Magic break an eight-game losing streak with a 97-92 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

Maurice Harkless added 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

John Wall led the Wizards with 35 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Martell Webster was the only other Wizard in double figures, scoring 19.

Harris had a key basket, a 15-foot floater that gave the Magic a 93-88 lead with 1:22 left in the game.

Wall made two free throws to get the Wizards within 93-90, but after the Magic missed, Wall couldn't convert at the other end and the final 20 seconds became a free throw shooting contest.

LeBron James scored 36 points, hitting six consecutive three-pointers in less than six minutes during the first half, and the Miami Heat rebounded from their first loss in nearly two months to beat New Orleans 108-89. Ex-Cat Anthony Davis had 11 points, five rebounds and four steals for the Hornets.

J.R. Smith scored 37 points, his third consecutive 30-point outing, and the New York Knicks beat Charlotte 111-102 on Friday night for their season-high seventh straight victory. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 14 points for the Bobcats.


UK sports Men's tennis blanks Alabama

With wins in every match of the afternoon, including on court one, where senior Anthony Rossi picked up his 99th career win, the Kentucky men's tennis team shut out Alabama 7-0 at the Hilary J. Boone Complex.

• The Tennessee softball team rode a strong pitching performance by junior Ellen Renfroe, who allowed only two hits over seven innings,to win 6-0 over Kentucky on Friday night at the UK Softball Complex.

• The Kentucky women's tennis team went down 6-1 to Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. UK freshman Nadia Ravita knocked off No. 26 Mary Anne Macfarlane in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5. The win improved her record to 17-3.


Sports in the Courts

Ex-Ohio St. star Katzenmoyer arrested

Former Ohio State football star Andy Katzenmoyer has been arrested on a charge of violating a protection order. The court clerk's office says the 35-year-old from suburban Westerville pleaded not guilty Friday in Columbus and was released without having to pay bond. The circumstances of the protection order and the alleged violation weren't immediately clear.


Auto racing

Deal to replace Hamlin blows up

A deal to loan Mark Martin to Joe Gibbs Racing as a replacement driver for injured Denny Hamlin fell apart Friday, when Michael Waltrip Racing said Martin will fulfill his commitment to its team.

When the dust settled for both teams, Brian Vickers wound up as Hamlin's replacement driver for at least four races. He was already scheduled to drive Martin's car for MWR at Martinsville next week and will keep that commitment, with Martin driving Hamlin's car.

Then Martin will go back to MWR, and Vickers will drive Hamlin's car until he's medically cleared to return from a fractured vertebra in his lower back.

The about-face came down from MWR roughly 24 hours after JGR said Martin will take over the No. 11 Toyota until Hamlin returns. He's out at least five races.


The last word

Notre Dame basketball's Natalie Achonwa has always had a physical edge to her play, according to Coach Muffet McGraw. Achonway herself explained why with a laugh:

"My physical style comes from being a middle child. My older brother and younger sister always were teaming up against me, and no matter what happened, it was my fault."

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