- - Thursday, March 24, 2011

BASEBALL

Showalter names Guthrie Orioles’ opening day starter

SARASOTA, Fla. | Jeremy Guthrie will start on opening night for the Baltimore Orioles in Tampa Bay on April 1.

Manager Buck Showalter made the announcement Thursday, saying, “I don’t think that’s some big secret.”

It will be the third opening day start in four years for the right-hander. Guthrie went 11-14 with a 3.83 ERA last season.

Showalter says lefty Brian Matusz will start the second game in Tampa Bay, and second-year pitcher Jake Arrieta will likely pitch in the home opener against Detroit on April 4. The competition for third starter remains open.

GOLF

Levin takes first-round lead at blustery Bay Hill

ORLANDO, Fla. | On a tough and blustery day at Bay Hill, Spencer Levin made it look easy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Levin played bogey-free Thursday in the afternoon for a 6-under 66, a score so good that it gave him a three-shot lead over Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan and was more than eight shots better than the average score.

The power group of Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland all failed to break par. Woods, a six-time champion at Bay Hill, opened with a 1-over 73, his highest start at Bay Hill since 1999.

SUSPENSION

Va. Tech football player faces child-abuse charges

BLACKSBURG, Va. | Blacksburg police say a Virginia Tech football player is facing child-abuse charges in connection with injuries to his infant.

The Roanoke Times reports that 20-year-old Xavier Boyce and his girlfriend, Olivia Hutchins, were arrested Wednesday on charges related to cruelty and injuries to the girl. Boyce is a redshirt sophomore split end for the Hokies.

Police say they believe the child was injured Jan. 31 at the couple’s home but did not say in what way the child was hurt.

Boyce and Hutchins were released on bond.

Under the school’s athletic department policy, any athlete charged with a felony is automatically suspended from all athletic-related activities. That means Boyce won’t be able to participate in the spring practice period that runs from March 30 to April 23.

FOOTBALL

Eagles Hall of Famer Bednarik hospitalized

PHILADELPHIA | Philadelpia Eagles Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik is in serious condition in a hospital near his Pennsylvania home.

Bednarik, 85, played linebacker and center for the Eagles long after the heyday of two-way players. His game-saving tackle helped the Eagles capture the 1960 NFL championship, the last title won by the franchise.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.

FOOTBALL

Work to replace Metrodome roof set to begin Friday

MINNEAPOLIS | Workers will begin replacing the Metrodome’s storm-damaged roof Friday.

New fabric panels will be delivered to the downtown Minneapolis stadium, and Birdair Inc. will begin by replacing three diamond-shaped panels that ruptured during a December snowstorm.

Work is expected to continue through July.

TENNIS

Djokovic-led soccer exhibition raises $100,000 for Japan

MIAMI | When some of the world’s top tennis players formed a soccer team for a charity game, they had trouble divvying up duties.

“We gathered around 10 or 15 players, and every single one of them wanted to be on attack,” event organizer Novak Djokovic said. “So that was a big issue before the match.”

Andy Murray and Marcos Baghdatis scored goals, but the tennis players lost to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers professional team Wednesday night.

Proceeds from the game and a dinner raised $100,000 for the American Red Cross Japan disaster relief effort, organizers said.

The tennis stars are in South Florida to compete in the Sony Ericsson Open. More charity games are planned in the coming months, Djokovic said Thursday.

BASEBALL

Japanese major leagues move opening day back

TOKYO | Japan’s Central League has agreed to push its opening day back to April 12, matching the starting date of the Pacific League as professional baseball adapts to the effects of this month’s earthquake and tsunami.

The Central League announced earlier this week that its initial March 25 start date would be moved to March 29, but after an emergency meeting Thursday it said the season would start even later.

The leagues had also agreed not to play night games in April, as there is a shortage of electricity following the March 11 disaster.