- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015


PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pirates rookie shortstop Jung Ho Kang underwent surgery to repair a broken left leg and torn knee ligament sustained on a takeout slide at second base by Chris Coghlan of the Chicago Cubs.

The team said Kang is expected to be out six to eight months, meaning he could miss the start of the 2016 season.

The 28-year-old Kang went down hard when Coghlan slid into him while trying unsuccessfully to break up a double play in the first inning of Chicago’s 9-6 victory earlier in the day. Kang was helped off the field and taken to a hospital. An MRI revealed the extent of the damage.

Kang declined to place blame on Coghlan in a statement released through agent Alan Nero.


LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Only the weather could stop Jason Day at the BMW Championship on Thursday.

Day began his latest quest to reach No. 1 in the world by holing out from a fairway bunker for eagle and powering his way to nine birdies. The PGA champion was 10-under par through 17 holes when the first round at Conway Farms was halted because of approaching storms.

Day had just hammered a tee shot 346 yards with the wind at his back, leaving him 44 yards to the hole at No. 9. He needed to hole that shot for a 59, and he had to wait until Friday morning for that. The round was to resume at 7:30 a.m.

Day won the FedEx Cup opener at Plainfield for his fourth tour victory of the year. The Australian was four shots ahead of PGA Tour rookie Daniel Berger, who had a 6-under 65.

Jordan Spieth had a hole-in-one and followed with a chip-in from 80 feet for birdie to get his game on track. He was at 5 under.


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Julio Jones vows his sore right hamstring is no cause for alarm.

The two-time Atlanta Pro Bowl receiver missed practice for the second straight day, but promises to be in the starting lineup when the Falcons visit the New York Giants.

Coach Dan Quinn added there’s “zero” chance Jones will miss the game.

Jones caught nine passes for 141 yards and two first-half touchdowns against Philadelphia in Week 1.

After tweaking the hamstring, Jones’ snaps were limited in the second half, but he still caught a 44-yard pass - the game’s longest play - to set up the winning field goal.


SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Speaking publicly for the first time since he became the subject of a sexual assault investigation, Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane said he has done nothing wrong and expects to be exonerated.

Kane is accused of assaulting a woman in August at his offseason home outside Buffalo, New York, a person familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because police have not revealed details of the case.

Kane has not been charged, but the investigation has shadowed the Stanley Cup champions for weeks as they prepare for a season that begins at home on Oct. 7.

Appearing calm and poised, Kane then deflected several questions that got anywhere close to the ongoing investigation.

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Islanders agreed to a one-year deal with right wing Steve Bernier.

The 30-year-old Bernier matched his career high with 32 points for New Jersey last season, tying for second on the team with 16 goals.

Earlier in the day, the Islanders traded forward Michael Grabner to Toronto for forwards Taylor Beck and Carter Verhaeghe, defensemen Matt Finn and Tom Nilsson and goaltender Christopher Gibson.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Boxing great Muhammad Ali once again heard a crowd chanting his name and had a medal draped around his neck in his Kentucky hometown.

The three-time world heavyweight champion basked in the attention in Louisville, where he received an award from the University of Louisville. School President James Ramsey presented Ali with the medal as the first-ever Grawemeyer Spirit Award winner for his role in inspiring others.

Grawemeyer Awards are presented each year for music composition, education, religion, psychology and improving world order.

After a series of tributes recounting his triumphs as a boxer and his humanitarian efforts outside the ring, the 73-year-old Ali appeared on stage at a downtown theater. Ali, who is battling Parkinson’s disease, stayed seated but raised his right hand briefly to acknowledge the crowd, which chanted “Ali! Ali!”


NEW YORK (AP) - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner won the WNBA defensive player of the year award for the second straight season.

The 6-foot-8 star became the first player in league history to average at least four blocks a game with 105 in just 26 contests. She was suspended for the first seven games of the season following a domestic violence arrest.

Griner becomes the sixth player to win the award in multiple seasons. Tamika Catchings won it five times and Sheryl Swoopes three. Lisa Leslie, Teresa Weatherspoon and Sylvia Fowles have won it twice.

Bill Laimbeer was honored as the league’s coach of the year. He guided New York to a franchise record 23 wins and the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs for the first time. It’s the second time in his career that Laimbeer earned the award, also winning it in 2003 when he was coaching Detroit.

Chicago’s Allie Quigley also was a repeat winner as the league’s sixth woman of the year for the second consecutive season.

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