Friday Sports in Brief – Associated Press


ANAHEIM Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani will pitch for the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday after his sore arm apparently felt much better in a bullpen session.

Ohtani threw about 30 pitches Friday, and the Angels decided their two-way superstar isn’t done yet on the mound as they finish out another non-playoff season.

Ohtani is 9-2 with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 21 pitching starts this season for the Angels, but the AL MVP candidate felt arm fatigue Wednesday while playing catch. He also got raked by the Astros last Friday in Houston, giving up six runs and nine hits while failing to get out of the fourth inning of his first loss since May.

Ohtani had been penciled in to pitch Friday against Oakland in the opener of Los Angeles’ final homestand, but that start was pushed back Wednesday while the Angels debated whether to shut him down on the mound.

Now, Ohtani will face the playoff-chasing A’s to close the weekend.


SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian soccer great Pelé “took a little step back” in his recovery from surgery to remove a tumor from his colon but he is “recovering well” at a Sao Paulo hospital, his daughter Kely Nascimento said Friday.

However, the Albert Einstein hospital said the 80-year-old Edson Arantes do Nascimento had returned to intensive care after “a brief breathing instability” Thursday night. Pelé was currently stable in “semi-intensive” care, the hospital said, and he “continues recovering.” It did not give further details.

Kely Nascimento posted a picture Friday with her father on Instagram which she said she had just taken in his room at the Albert Einstein hospital.

The hospital had not previously issued a new statement on Pelé’s health since Tuesday, when he was removed from intensive care.

Later Pelé confirmed on social media that he is feeling well and that he had been visited by family members during the day.


BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — AJ Allmendinger slid sideways across the Bristol Motor Speedway finish line to edge rival Austin Cindric for both the Friday night win and the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular-season championship.

The race was Cindric’s to win and the reigning Xfinity champion was four laps away from a second straight regular-season title and a healthy lead for the start of the playoffs. Instead, a late caution gave Allmendinger a shot to steal a sixth win from Cindric and continue his own fairytale season.

The rivals crashed each other as the cars crossed the finish line and Allmendinger’s fourth win of the season was awarded because his Chevrolet was sliding ahead of Cindric’s under the checkered flag.

The wreck was a wild way to send the Xfinity Series into the playoffs.

Allmendinger earned a shot at the win when Justin Allgaier spun Sam Mayer with four laps remaining in regulation.

Allmendinger and Cindric were side-by-side on the restart for a frenzied two laps around the 0.533-mile concrete bullring in which Cindric, Allemdinger and Allgaier traded the lead and bounced off one another multiple times.


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — The design meetings have been going on for years. Technology has evolved throughout the process. Painstaking decisions were made time and time again, right down to what an inch or two difference in leg room between rows would mean or where cupholders should be affixed to the seats.

Finally, Steve Ballmer and the Los Angeles Clippers are ready to build their new home.

The Clippers’ long-awaited, $1.8 billion, privately funded arena officially got a name Friday — Intuit Dome, it’ll be called when it opens in 2024, the team making that announcement on the day of the formal groundbreaking ceremony. The practice facility, team offices for both business and basketball operations, retail space and more will all be on the site.

Ballmer, the team’s owner, simply believes it’ll be like no other building in the NBA.

“Basketball mecca! Basketball palazzo!” Ballmer, in his usual excitable way, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

He might be right.


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