- - Sunday, August 19, 2012

MASON, OHIO — Top-ranked Roger Federer won a record fifth Cincinnati title Sunday, dominating second-ranked Novak Djokovic at the outset of a 6-0, 7-6 (9-7) win for the Western & Southern Open championship.

It was the first time in the tournament’s history that the top two played for the title. From the start, it was no match.

Federer improved to 5-0 in Cincinnati finals and tied Rafael Nadal for the most Masters titles with 21. Nadal dropped out of the tournament with a sore knee.

Djokovic won the Rogers Cup in Toronto last Sunday and was trying for his first win in Cincinnati, where he reached the final last year but had to quit the title match against Andy Murray because of a sore shoulder.


Mills fired; DeFrancesco takes over lowly Astros

HOUSTON — After spending all summer dumping players, the Houston Astros didn’t stop there.

Brad Mills became the latest to go when the struggling Astros fired their manager and two members of his coaching staff Saturday night.

Mills was in his third season running the Astros, who have the worst record in the majors at 39-82. The move was announced in an email after Saturday’s 12-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Tony DeFrancesco was promoted from Triple-A Oklahoma City to fill the position on an interim basis.

Pirates place Marte on 15-day disabled list

ST. LOUIS — The Pittsburgh Pirates placed outfielder Starling Marte on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right oblique muscle. Marte, who is hitting .253 with four homers and 10 RBI, was injured beating out a bunt single in the fifth inning of Saturday’s 5-4 loss at St. Louis. Outfielder Jose Tabata was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and started in left field.

• An associate of suspended San Francisco Giants All-Star Melky Cabrera purchased a website and attempted to create evidence to support a claim that the outfielder inadvertently took the substance that caused a positive drug test, the New York Daily News reported. Baseball officials uncovered the scheme as Cabrera prepared his case to challenge the test.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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