Four-run eighth lifts Marshall as Bat Cats lose 2nd straight
Kentucky allowed four runs in the bottom of the eighth and wasted a quality start from sophomore lefty Taylor Rogers as Marshall handed the Cats their second defeat in two days, a 6-4 loss at College of Charleston in South Carolina. One day after the Cats lost to the host Cougars to open the season, Rogers struck out seven in six innings, allowing two runs and no walks. But with the game tied at 2 in the eighth, freshman reliever and Tates Creek graduate Trevor Gott gave up three doubles and the decisive four runs after retiring the side in the seventh.
The Cats had the tying run at the plate with no outs in the ninth inning, but Thundering Herd closer Ian Kadish sat down the next three batters. Marshall improved to 2-0 after an 11-inning 4-3 victory over Miami (Ohio) on Friday.
Softball's Cervantes homers twice
Behind a pair of home runs by junior Brittany Cervantes the No. 24 Kentucky softball team beat Georgia Southern 9-1 in six innings Saturday to bring the Cats to 3-1 at Florida State's Garnet and Gold Tournament. UK lost to the Seminoles 2-0 earlier Saturday but will get another shot on Sunday to decide the tournament champion.
Votto biggest of arbitration winners
National League MVP Joey Votto got the steepest pay increase in salary arbitration, with players receiving an average jump of 123 percent. The Reds first baseman went from a $525,000 salary last year to an average of $12.7 million under a $38 million, three-year contract. The 24-fold hike was easily the largest, according to a study of contracts by The Associated Press. The average raise of the 119 players in arbitration was up from 121 percent last year but down from the record 172 percent in 2009.
This year's group went from an average of $1.68 million to $3.76 million. Last year, the 128 players in arbitration increased from an average of $1.4 million to $3.09 million. The record average of $3.26 million was set in 2004.
Former Lexington Legends outfielder Hunter Pence defeated the Astros in the final arbitration case of the off-season Saturday, giving players victories in two of three hearings this year. Pence will make $6.9 million rather than the team's offer of $5.15 million.
Votto had a scruffy look as he welcomed Reds teammates on Saturday to Spring Training in Goodyear, Ariz., gave blood during his physical exam, then took the field for a rain-shortened workout.
A new look for the National League's MVP?
"No," Votto said. "I completely forgot it was the first day."
■ Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera missed the first day of a full-squad practice, and it wasn't clear when he will report.
"Miguel is not going to be here today nor will be here for the next couple of days," Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski said Saturday. "We had conversations yesterday between the commissioner's office, the players association, myself and Miguel's representative and him, and we've decided that it's best to meet with some doctors in the beginning of the week and completely assess what has taken place."
Cabrera was arrested late Wednesday on suspicion of drunken driving in Fort Pierce, about 110 miles southeast of Lakeland, Fla., where the Tigers' camp is located.
Hall of Famer Matson dies at 80
Ollie Matson, a Hall of Fame running back who was once traded for nine players during his 14-year NFL career and won two medals at the 1952 Olympics, has died. He was 80. Mr. Matson died Saturday of respiratory failure surrounded by family at his home in Los Angeles, his nephew Art Thompson III told The Associated Press. Thompson said Matson had been mostly bedridden for several years due to a form of dementia. He said Matson hadn't spoken in four years.
As a senior at the University of San Francisco, Matson led the nation in rushing yardage and touchdowns while leading the Dons to an undefeated season. He was the No. 1 pick of the Chicago Cardinals and third overall in the 1952 NFL draft and went on to share rookie of the year honors with Hugh McElhenny of the 49ers.
Matson played with the Cardinals from 1952-58 before being traded to the Los Angeles Rams for nine players. He made the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1957. Matson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972 and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1976.
Sports in the courts
Man makes bail in tree-poisoning case
The man charged in the poisoning of two oak trees at Auburn's Toomer's Corner was released from jail late Friday. Lee County Sheriff's Major Tommy Carter said Harvey Almorn Updyke Jr., 62, posted bail, which was set at $50,000. Police charged Updyke with first-degree criminal mischief on Thursday for allegedly using a tree-killing herbicide to poison the oaks.
Griffin wins with dunk over car
Blake Griffin leaped over a car and threw down a two-handed dunk to the accompaniment of a gospel choir, winning the slam dunk contest in iconic style before his hometown fans on All-Star Saturday. The Los Angeles Clippers rookie caught a pass out of the sunroof from teammate Baron Davis and easily cleared the 2011 Kia Optima's hood while the Crenshaw Select Choir sang I Believe I Can Fly at midcourt. The inventive slam drove home the obvious point of the All-Star weekend's silly Saturday: Griffin has both the raw athleticism and the showtime flair to be the NBA's next big star. Finalist Javale McGee of Washington and Toronto's DeMar DeRozan didn't stand a chance despite their own inventive dunks at Staples Center.
■ Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has no plans to meet with Carmelo Anthony during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. A spokeswoman for the Russian billionaire released an update Saturday saying that Prokhorov had not met with Anthony and has no plans to meet with the Nuggets star. "I told you that first," Anthony said after practice at the Los Angeles Convention Center. "I told you that first." The announcement casts doubt on whether the Nets will make a deal for Anthony before Thursday's NBA trade deadline.
Roddick makes his 50th finals
Andy Roddick knows a number that sounds even better than reaching his 50th career ATP tournament finals.
"Better than 50 finals would be 30 wins," Roddick said Saturday. "I think that's what I have ahead of me. Certainly a pretty big number. Not sure how many guys have won 30 tournaments, so it certainly kind of rounds off the number. It sounds better than 29."
Only Roger Federer (67) and Rafael Nadal (43) have more career wins among active players than Roddick, and the top-seeded American beat Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 6-3, 6-4 Saturday in the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis to advance. Roddick will play Milos Raonic of Canada, a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 winner over Mardy Fish, in the championship.
■ Caroline Wozniacki, set to regain the No. 1 ranking, beat Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 6-3 Saturday at the Dubai Championships to reach her first finals of the year. The top-seeded Dane downed Jankovic for the first time and will play for the title Sunday against Svetlana Kuznetsova. The 16th-seeded Russian defeated Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal match.
The last word
Lakers star Lamar Odom on the defending champs' stunning loss to the hapless Cavaliers:
"We play the cat-and-mouse game. Sometimes the cat loses."