- - Monday, March 5, 2012


Japanese women post 1-0 win over U.S. in Algarve Cup

FARO, Portugal — Japan beat the U.S. women’s soccer team, just like last summer. And this time, the Japanese didn’t need penalty kicks.

Megumi Takase scored on a 6-yard header off Aya Miyama’s corner kick in the 84th minute to give the world champions a 1-0 victory Monday in a rematch of last year’s World Cup final

The Japanese became the first team in more than three years to hold the Americans scoreless and advanced to a matchup against Germany in the Algarve Cup final.

The Americans, who had been seeking their third straight title and ninth overall in the annual tournament, finished second in Group B with a 2-1 record and will play Sweden in the third-place game Wednesday. The U.S. had gone 58 consecutive games without being shut out since a 0-0 tie against South Korea on Nov. 5, 2008.


Pirates, McCutchen set to agree on six-year extension

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates and All-Star center fielder Andrew McCutchen are closing in on a new contract that will keep the promising 25-year-old with the team through the 2017 season, with a club option for 2018.

The details are still being ironed out and McCutchen must pass a routine physical before it becomes official. A formal announcement is expected Tuesday.

McCutchen hit .259 in 2011 and posted career highs in home runs (23) and RBI (89) while adding 23 stolen bases and making his first All-Star Game. Floating between leadoff and third in the lineup, McCutchen helped keep the Pirates in contention in the NL Central until late July.

Dykstra sentenced to three years for grand theft auto

SAN FERNANDO, Calif. — Disgraced former major league outfielder Lenny Dykstra was sentenced to three years in a California state prison Monday after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement.

Dykstra, 49, has had a series of recent legal troubles and the prison sentence is part of a post-career downward spiral for the stocky slugger known as “Nails” that has included a stint at a sober living facility.


Nets’ Lopez out three weeks with ankle sprain

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez has a sprained right ankle and will miss three weeks. Lopez was injured during the third quarter of the Nets’ 104-101 win over Charlotte on Sunday. He will have his foot placed in a walking boot as a precautionary measure.

The oft-injured Lopez has played in just five games this season, averaging 19.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 27.2 minutes. He missed the first 33 games with a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

• The Sacramento Kings extended coach Keith Smart’s contract through the 2012-13 season. Smart, 47, replaced the fired Paul Westphal in early January. The Kings, who lost 96-88 at Phoenix on Sunday, are 12-25 and have dropped eight of their past 10.


Senators promote Bishop from AHL farm team

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators recalled goalie Ben Bishop from the club’s American Hockey League affiliate Monday and reassigned fellow goalie Robin Lehner. Bishop was acquired by the Senators from the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 26 for a second-round pick in the 2013 draft.

From wire dispatches and staff reports