- - Sunday, March 25, 2012

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Chase Utley will miss the entire exhibition schedule for the second straight year and will not be in the Philadelphia Phillies’ opening-day lineup because of his injured knees.

The five-time All-Star, limited to 103 games last year when he didn’t play his first game until May 23, said Sunday he will not have season-ending surgery and does not have plans to retire. He says he feels better than he did at this point last year.

In Utley’s absence the Phillies will turn to rookie Freddy Galvis, 22, who entered Sunday hitting .236 (13 for 55) with two homers, two triples and a team-high 12 RBI in 20 games.


Legendary writer Sugar dead at 75 from cardiac arrest

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Bert Sugar, an iconic boxing writer and sports historian who was known for his trademark fedora and ever-present cigar, died Sunday of cardiac arrest. He was 75.

Jennifer Frawley, Sugar’s daughter, said his wife, Suzanne, was by his side when he died at Northern Westchester Hospital. Sugar also had been battling lung cancer.

Sugar was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005. According to the hall’s website, Sugar wrote more than 80 books, including “The 100 Greatest Boxers Of All Time.” He also appeared in a handful of films, including “The Great White Hype” starring Samuel Jackson.

Sugar was born in Washington, D.C., in 1936. He graduated from Maryland and went to law school at Michigan. He passed the bar in his hometown and worked in advertising in New York City before he got into writing in the 1970s.


Rain makes Stewart’s second win of season short and sweet

FONTANA, Calif. — Tony Stewart got his second NASCAR victory of the season Sunday when rain shortened the race at Auto Club Speedway by 71 laps.

The defending Sprint Cup champion has won seven of the past 15 races in a remarkable stretch of dominance, including Las Vegas last month.

Stewart’s Chevrolet passed Kyle Busch 44 laps before the race was stopped when the looming rain clouds finally halted a race run entirely on green flags to that point. The race was called off after a short delay, giving Stewart his 46th career win and his second at Fontana.

Busch finished second, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. added to his strong start to the season in third.

Castroneves pulls past Dixon, to capture IndyCar opener

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Helio Castroneves used a bold pass of Scott Dixon to win the IndyCar season opener through the streets of St. Petersburg, where he celebrated with a tribute to the late Dan Wheldon.

Castroneves stopped his Penske Racing Chevrolet in Turn 10, which earlier this year was renamed Dan Wheldon Way in honor of the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner. After climbing the fence, his traditional victory celebration, he ran to the street sign and patted it, then emotionally doubled over against the wall. Wheldon was killed in the October season finale at Las Vegas.


Venus rallies to claim win in Ericsson Open

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Venus Williams erased a match point and rallied Sunday to outlast Aleksandra Wozniak 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) in the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open.

Williams is playing in her first tournament since withdrawing from the U.S. Open last August after being diagnosed with a fatigue-causing autoimmune disease. The three-set victory was her second in less than 48 hours, and took nearly three hours. Her final shot was a 119-mph service winner.


D.C., Vancouver battle to scoreless draw

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Joe Cannon made three outstanding second-half saves, and the unbeaten Vancouver Whitecaps played a scoreless draw against D.C. United on Saturday night.

Cannon secured Vancouver’s third consecutive shutout by foiling Canadian star Dwayne De Rosario in the 84th minute, making a leg save on a shot from close range.

Cannon has recorded two of the three shutouts. He pulled himself out of last weekend’s 1-0 win at Chivas USA because of a quadriceps injury, and the victory went to backup Brad Knighton.

D.C. went with backup Joe Willis because No. 1 Bill Hamid is playing for the U.S. under-23 team at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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