Defending champion Robin Haase wins in Austria (Yahoo! Sports)
KITZBUEHEL, Austria (AP) — Defending champion Robin Haase of the Netherlands rallied past top-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2 Saturday to win the Bet-at-Home Cup. Haase won his second career title in as many finals. The 42nd-ranked Dutchman took control of the match after an hour-long rain delay at 1-1 in the second set. Kohlschreiber, who dropped to 4-3 in career finals, will move into the top 20 for the first time when ATP rankings are released Monday. Kohlschreiber missed six break points as the opening set went with serve. The German won the tiebreaker when Haase hit his third double-fault at 6-2 down. Haase converted his first chance on Kohlschreiber’s serve in the opening game of the second set but dropped his own serve immediately afterward. After the rain delay, Haase dominated play and used two more breaks to take the second set, helped by Kohlschreiber who hit his only double fault in the set at set point down. Like in the opening set, Haase saved six break points in the third to close out the victory. Both players will swap the clay for a grass court at the London Olympics. Haase will play Richard Gasquet of France and Kohlschreiber will face Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia in the first round.
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Reds roll to 10th straight win, beat Rockies 7-2 (Yahoo! Sports)
DENVER (AP) — Mat Latos felt the weight of the Cincinnati Reds’ winning streak when he took the mound. After getting roughed up by the first two batters he faced on Sunday, the big right-hander settled down and kept Cincinnati rolling. Latos pitched eight strong innings, and Drew Stubbs homered to lift Cincinnati over the Colorado Rockies 7-2 and give the Reds their 10th straight win – their longest streak in 14 years. The Reds also won 10 straight in 1998, and now they are two wins away from tying the franchise mark that has been done twice – most recently in 1957. Cincinnati opened a three-game lead over Pittsburgh in NL Central, its biggest edge since mid-June. ”They’re not going to go away, that’s fairly obviously at this point,” outfielder Jay Bruce said of the Pirates. ”We have some series left with them, but anytime you can gain a game it’s great.” Bruce also homered and Stubbs drove in three runs. Ryan Hanigan and Zack Cozart had two hits each for the Reds, who have won 17 of 19. The Reds have swept four of five series since the All-Star break and they are a season-best 21 games above .500 (61-40). They have won nine straight road games, including all six on this just-completed trip. ”I’m always talking a perfect road trip and we finally had one,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. Latos (9-3) didn’t want to be the one to stop the Reds’ momentum, and he rose to the challenge. He allowed four hits and struck out eight. ”A lot of pressure coming into the game knowing we won nine in a row, but I just attacked them,” Latos said. ”Today it was in the back of my mind, but it’s baseball. Just play.” Things didn’t start well. Latos walked Dexter Fowler on five pitches, and Josh Rutledge homered on the first pitch he saw from Latos to give the Rockies a 2-1 lead. ”It was a fastball away. It looked like I beat him but he got it up in the air and into a bad part of the ballpark where it flies out,” Latos said. It was the only bright spot for Colorado, which has lost three straight and nine of 11. ”Josh jumped on that first pitch fastball in the bottom of the first inning after Dexter drew a walk, and then that was it,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. The Reds took a 3-2 lead into the fifth, then broke it open against Jonathan Sanchez (0-2). Cozart led off with a single, and Stubbs hit his 12th home run. One out later, Bruce hit his 20th homer into the second deck in right to make it 6-2 and chase Sanchez. Sanchez, acquired from Kansas City for Jeremy Guthrie on July 20, didn’t fare much better than the pitcher he replaced. In his home debut, Sanchez allowed six runs and eight hits, struck out three and walked two. He has failed to pitch at least five innings in either of his starts for Colorado. ”I got hit a lot,” he said. ”I was throwing strikes and they were swinging the bats.” Miguel Cairo added an RBI single in the eighth off Mike Ekstrom to make it 7-2. Cincinnati took the lead with carbon-copy plays in consecutive innings. In the second, Chris Heisey led off with a triple and scored on Cairo’s sacrifice fly. Cozart followed with a leadoff triple in the third and came home on Stubbs’ sacrifice fly to give the Reds a 3-2 lead. ”The bats have picked up the past couple of days,” Bruce said. ”We’ve been doing what we need to do. Whether it’s the long ball, base hits, sac flies, we’ve been playing really good baseball.” The Reds struck first when Brandon Phillips’ single scored Stubbs from second base in the first. The Rockies answered in the bottom half when Rutledge homered. ”Latos threw the ball great,” Baker said. ”Other than that first-inning, two-run homer he was lights out. We got some timely hits out of guys.” Phillips left the game in the fifth inning with cramping in his left calf but said he should be fine. ”I’m all right. The knot is still there but I’ll be OK,” he said. ”People were saying it was the altitude, the dry heat, I didn’t drink enough water or something. I’m ready to play (Monday). I think I’m going to play.” NOTES: Heisey, who also doubled, has had multiple extra-base hits in four games this season. … The Reds went 5-1 against Colorado this season. … The Reds open a six-game homestand with Mike Leake (4-6) facing San Diego on Monday. … Colorado’s Jeff Francis (3-2) will pitch the first game of a three-game series against St. Louis on Tuesday.
Storm upend Mercury 83-64 (The Associated Press)
PHOENIX (AP) — Katie Smith scored 14 of her game-high 19 points in the first quarter and the Seattle Storm beat the Phoenix Mercury 83-64 on Friday night. Camille Little added 15 and Shekinna Stricklen had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Storm (9-10), who beat the Mercury for the second time in six days. DeWanna Bonner scored 18 points, Lynetta Kizer had 14 and Alexis Hornbuckle added 13 for Phoenix (4-15), which matched a franchise record with six third-quarter points, set twice previously and most recently in 2008. The Mercury have lost six straight and eight of their past nine. The game was the last for both teams before the league’s monthlong break for the Olympics. Smith connected on all five of her field-goal attempts, including three 3-pointers, as the Storm ran out to an early 27-20 lead. Phoenix rallied late in the second after point guard Samantha Prahalis left the game with a left ankle injury, pulling within 39-37 on a 3-pointer by Bonner with 1:17 to go. Seattle pushed the lead back to 41-37 at the half and held Phoenix without a field goal over a 7:54 span of the third and fourth quarters. Prahalis returned at the start of the second half and played the entire second half, scoring the last of Phoenix’s third-quarter points on a free throw following a technical foul.
AP sources: Timberwolves making run at Pau Gasol (Yahoo! Sports)
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves are pulling out all the stops in an effort to land Pau Gasol. If they have to part with the highest draft choice in franchise history after just one season, the Wolves appear ready to do it. That much became clear leading up to the NBA draft on Thursday, when Minnesota offered Derrick Williams to the Charlotte Bobcats for the No. 2 pick as a vehicle to help them land Gasol from the Los Angeles Lakers, two people with knowledge of the discussions told The Associated Press. The deal never came together before the draft began, and the Bobcats stayed at No. 2 and took Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The people requested anonymity because the talks were meant to remain private. The Timberwolves were expected to continue their pursuit of Gasol in hopes of putting him with fellow Spaniard Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love on a revamped roster aimed at getting the team back to the playoffs, and beyond, for the first time since 2004. The Wolves’ interest in Gasol has long been rumored, with the highly skilled big man considered an ideal fit for coach Rick Adelman’s corner offense, and the kind of playoff-tested veteran needed on one of the youngest rosters in the NBA. He is also close friends with Rubio, the Wolves’ superb young point guard who is recovering from a torn ACL and hopes to be ready early next season. Gasol has teamed with Kobe Bryant to win three titles in Los Angeles, but has always seemed to catch the brunt of the criticism when things went wrong. That was the case again this year when he averaged just 12.5 points along with 9.5 rebounds in the playoffs, and the Lakers were abruptly eliminated in the second round by the younger, quicker Oklahoma City Thunder. He often appeared to get lost in the shuffle while Bryant and Andrew Bynum got most of the touches on offense. He was the subject of trade rumors all season, starting before it began when Commissioner David Stern, operating as owner of the New Orleans Hornets, nixed a deal that would have sent Gasol to Houston as part of a package that would have brought Chris Paul to the Lakers. ”It has been a crazy year and a lot to deal with. … Unfortunately, we had tough losses and things didn’t really go our way for the most part,” the four-time All-Star said at the end of the season. ”You just have to regroup and digest this loss and this season, and learn from it and move on.” Gasol is due to make more than $38 million over the next two seasons, an enormous sum that the salary cap-strapped Lakers might have difficulty footing under the harsher luxury tax penalties that are scheduled to kick in in 2013. Love’s max contract extension kicks in next season, making him the only Timberwolves player who is expected to be on the roster next season making more than $4.6 million. If the Wolves buy out Martell Webster and decline to tender qualifying offers to Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph, as expected, they should have plenty of cap room for Gasol. But if they want to bring him in to play alongside Love in the frontcourt, it likely will come at a hefty price. Offering Williams, the second overall pick last season who showed promise and inconsistency in his rookie year, means the Wolves would be giving up on him after just one season. And at just 21 years old, Williams has plenty of potential to grow into the star that many projected him to be when he entered the draft after his sophomore season at Arizona. Gasol will turn 32 next week and has played nearly 39,000 minutes in his career, raising the question if he has enough gas left in the tank to help turn the Timberwolves from an up-and-coming team into a legitimate contender. Williams is aware that the Wolves are trying to deal him, but it’s unclear how he will respond if he is still on the team when training camp begins. He averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds and was the only Timberwolves player to play in all 66 games last season. Williams had several big games during an up-and-down year in addition to participating in the slam dunk contest during All-Star weekend. He scored 27 points in 27 minutes in a win over the Clippers in Los Angeles on Feb. 28 and had 27 points and eight boards in a loss at Denver on April 11. But the 66-year-old Adelman has been pushing for the franchise to add more veterans, and he grew impatient at times with Williams last season. Williams did most of his damage while playing power forward, which is the same position played by Love, who blossomed last year into a surprising MVP contender. With Love playing so many minutes at power forward, the Timberwolves were hoping Williams could drop some weight this summer to help him become quick enough to play small forward for the majority of the time. Earlier this week, Kahn said that Williams was already down to 233 pounds, with a personal goal of 225. ”I think the most important fact about Derrick to me is that he turned 21 last month. He’s still very, very young,” Kahn said on Wednesday. ”This is a very important summer for him to demonstrate if he’s serious about his craft, his occupation, that he’s serious about himself. This is the offseason. I challenged him in his exit interview, and I’m eager to see the results of this summer.” But Kahn also declined to list Williams with Rubio and Love as ”untouchable” players when the team considers trades this summer. ”We have two untouchables,” Kahn said. ”That doesn’t mean everyone else will be traded this summer. We just don’t know.” — Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/APkrawczynski .
Wade’s knee may keep him out of London Games (Yahoo! Sports)
MIAMI (AP) Dwyane Wade is unsure if he will be able to compete in the London Olympics. The Miami Heat guard told The Associated Press on Friday that he will soon have his ailing left knee examined, and acknowledges that surgery might be a possibility. Wade played through pain in this year’s playoffs, helping the Heat win the NBA Finals for the second time. Wade appeared in all 23 postseason games for Miami, averaging 22.8 points. Wade says he isn’t sure what the exact problem is with his knee, which was drained during the second round of the playoffs. He says he wants to play in the Olympics again, like he did when the Americans won bronze at Athens in 2004 and the ”Redeem Team” took gold at Beijing in 2008.