Thursday Sports in Brief – Associated Press

NBA

NEW YORK (AP) — The Detroit Pistons selected Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft Thursday night.

Cunningham had been widely expected to be the first name called in New York. The 6-foot-8 point guard was an Associated Press first-team All-American as a freshman with the Cowboys. He averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists at Oklahoma State.

G League preps-to-pros teenager Jalen Green went to Houston with the No. 2 pick, followed by Southern California freshman big man Evan Mobley To Cleveland. The first surprise was Florida State freshman forward Scottie Barnes jumping to No. 4 with Toronto.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers are acquiring All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards for three players and the rights to first-round pick Isaiah Jackson.

According to two people with knowledge of the deal, the Lakers are trading Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell to Washington for Westbrook, who is a Los Angeles native and helped lead UCLA to a pair of Final Four appearances. The Lakers had the 22nd overall pick in Thursday’s draft and selected Jackson, a 6-foot-11 forward from Kentucky.

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The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal can’t be officially announced until Aug. 6, when the salary cap becomes official and teams can also begin making moves for the upcoming season. The Lakers will also receive second-round picks from the Wizards in 2024 and ’28.

— By AP Sports Writer Joe Reedy.

MLB

CLEVELAND (AP) — Indians manager Terry Francona is stepping down for the remainder of this season to address some lingering health issues.

The 62-year-old Francona has been wearing a boot on his right foot all season after undergoing toe surgery for a staph infection in February. He’s also dealing with a hip problem, which will require surgery.

This is the second year in a row Francona has been sidelined due to his health. He managed just 14 games in 2020 due to a serious gastrointestinal issue that landed him in the Cleveland Clinic for weeks.

NEW YORK (AP) — Seattle Mariners pitcher Héctor Santiago was suspended for 80 games Thursday by Major League Baseball following a positive test for external testosterone, exactly one month after he was banned for 10 games when he became the first player penalized under the sport’s crackdown on grip-enhancing substances.

While the sticky substance penalty was with pay, the suspension under MLB’s drug program will cost him about half his $700,000 major league salary.

A 33-year-old left-hander, Santiago is 1-1 with a 3.42 ERA in 13 relief appearances this season. He is a 10-year big league veteran, going 48-51 with a 4.12 ERA and six saves for the Chicago White Sox (2011-13, 2018-19), Los Angeles Angeles (2014-16), Minnesota Twins (2016-17), New York Mets (2019) and the Mariners.

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BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox got All-Star slugger Kyle Schwarber from the Washington Nationals for a minor league pitcher late Thursday night.

The trade was announced after the AL East-leading Red Sox lost to Toronto 13-1 at Fenway Park. Boston is 1 1/2 games ahead of Tampa Bay.

The big league trade deadline is 4 p.m. Friday. Earlier Thursday, the Nationals sent closer Brad Hand to Toronto.

NEW YORK (AP) — Desperate for a powerful, left-handed bat to park balls in the short porch at Yankee Stadium, the New York Yankees got two of them.

Hours after announcing their trade to acquire All-Star slugger Joey Gallo from Texas, the playoff-chasing Yankees worked out a deal for longtime Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo on Thursday.

The swaps came on a day the Yankees lost at Tampa Bay 14-0, leaving them far behind Boston in the AL East and fourth in the chase for two wild-card spots.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers got Kansas City left-hander Danny Duffy in a trade Thursday as the World Series champions boosted their rotation for a playoff push.

The Royals sent their longtime staff member and cash to the Dodgers for a player to be named.

The 32-year-old Duffy is on the 10-day injured list with a strained left flexor and last pitched on July 16. He missed more than a month earlier this season with a similar injury.

Duffy is 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA this season. He got off to a super start, going 4-1 with an 0.60 ERA after five outings.

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners quickly found a replacement for the back end of their bullpen, acquiring right-hander Diego Castillo from the Tampa Bay Rays for reliever JT Chargois and a minor league infielder on Thursday.

Castillo will likely jump into the closer role that was vacated when the Mariners traded Kendall Graveman to the Houston Astros earlier in the week. But unlike Graveman, who will be a free agent after the season, the Mariners gain a significant amount of control for the future with the acquisition of Castillo.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland traded second baseman Cesar Hernandez to the first-place White Sox on Thursday in return for minor league pitcher Konnor Pilkington.

The White Sox, who lead the Indians by 8 1/2 games and open a series with them on Friday, have been in the market for a second baseman since starter Nick Madrigal suffered a season-ending hamstring tear on June 10.

In Hernandez, Chicago is getting a Gold Glove defender who can bat leadoff and drive in runs. The 31-year-old Hernandez is hitting .231 in his second season with the Indians with eight home runs and 47 RBIs in 96 games.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The new-look Nationals have traded right-handed reliever Daniel Hudson to the San Diego Padres in a busy day of moves for retooling Washington, acquiring right-hander Mason Thompson and shortstop Jordy Barley.

San Diego announced the deal late Thursday night out West. Hudson is 4-1 with a 2.20 ERA over 31 outings and 32 2/3 innings, and the Padres will count on him down the stretch as they sit in third place in a tight NL West race behind the San Francisco Giants and the defending World Series champion Dodgers.

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) — Sunisa Lee became the fifth straight American woman to claim the Olympic title on Thursday, edging Rebeca Andrade of Brazil in an entertaining and hotly contested final while defending champion Simone Biles watched from the stands.

Lee’s total of 57.433 points was just enough to top Andrade, who earned the first gymnastics all-around medal by a Latin American athlete but missed out on gold when she stepped out of bounds twice during her floor routine. Russian gymnast Angelina Melnikova earned bronze two days after leading ROC to gold in the team final.

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) — Zach Wilson is officially signed and ready to throw for the Jets.

After missing the first two practices of training camp, the rookie quarterback arrived at the team’s facility Thursday afternoon and inked his fully guaranteed four-year, $35.15 million rookie contract.

The deal for Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft in April, includes a signing bonus of $22.9 million, and has a fifth-year team option.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Southeastern Conference university presidents voted to invite Texas and Oklahoma to join the league and create a 16-team powerhouse on the field and at the bank.

The latest step in a move that has potential to help reshape college sports came two days after Texas and Oklahoma requested to join the SEC in 2025. That’s when the schools’ media rights agreement with the Big 12 expires.

SEC leaders voted unanimously to extend an invitation, effective July 1, 2025.

Now the process goes back to the schools. Texas and Oklahoma both have board of regents meetings schedule for Friday with conference affiliation on the agenda.

SOCCER

NEW YORK (AP) — The three Canadian teams in Major League Soccer are back in Canada for good, the league announced Thursday.

The Public Health Agency of Canada and Minister of Immigration have approved a National Interest Exemption that allows all MLS players to participate in cross-border matches subject to stringent health and safety protocols.

Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver had played all their home matches in the United States until recently because of pandemic-related border restrictions. Montreal and Toronto returned to their home venues earlier this month. Vancouver, which has played at the home of Real Salt Lake, is scheduled to have its first home match on Aug. 21 against LAFC.

BOXING

LONDON (AP) — Conor Benn’s WBA continental welterweight title defense against Adrian Granados was called off Thursday after the British boxer tested positive for COVID-19.

Benn’s bout against the 31-year-old Chicago native was set to headline the card on Saturday night in Essex.

The 24-year-old Benn (18-0) said it “breaks my heart” to tell fans he tested positive and can’t fight.

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