Thursday’s Sports In Brief
BOSTON (AP) — Two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and the Boston Red Sox finalized a $10 million, one-year contract on Thursday.
The deal includes an $11 million club option for 2024, which could escalate by $2 million based on starts this year: $500,000 for 20 and $750,000 apiece for 25 and 30.
He can earn $2 million in performance bonuses for starts: also $500,000 for 20 and $750,000 each for 25 and 30.
In addition, Boston avoided salary arbitration with left-hander Josh Taylor by agreeing to a one-year contract for $1,025,000.
The 36-year-old Kluber joins his third AL East team in as many years. He went 5-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 16 starts for the New York Yankees in 2021, including a no-hitter in a 2-0 victory at Texas. He had a 10-10 record and a 4.34 ERA in 31 starts for Tampa Bay this year.
HONOLULU (AP) — Jordan Spieth played about the way he expected Thursday, another sign of growing confidence in his game, as he opened with a 6-under 64 and a share of the lead at the Sony Open with Chris Kirk and Taylor Montgomery.
Harris English had a 65 on a gorgeous day at Waialae Country Club, with a blazing sun and just enough wind to make players think every now and then. The large group one behind also included Olympic silver medalist Rory Sabbatini of Slovakia.
S.H. Kim of South Korea was 5 under with two holes to play when the opening round was halted by darkness.
Spieth ended nearly four years without a victory when he won the Texas Open in 2021, and then added another win at Hilton Head last year. Missing on this day was the slow swing rehearsal to ingrain the changes he made to his swing.
His key word is freedom, and it sure looked that way at Waialae. He had three birdies in a a four-hole stretch around the turn, and outside of his lone bogey on 13th hole, his only disappointment was having to settle for par on his final hole at the par-5 ninth.
K.J. Choi, making a rare PGA Tour start age 52, was in the group at 66 that included Stewart Cink, who turns 50 in May.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos scored his 499th goal on a 5-on-3 power play in the third period to help the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 on Thursday night.
On the verge of becoming the 47th NHL player to reach 500 goals, Stamkos beat Collin Delia from the left circle to make it 5-2 at 5:30. Delia made four strong saves on the Lightning captain, including a pair during the ensuing one-man advantage.
Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson scored to pull Vancouver to 5-4. Curtis Lazar had an in-close shot turned aside by Andrei Vasilevskiy with two seconds to play.
Corey Perry, Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov and Brandon Hagel also scored for the Lightning, who have won nine straight at home. Vasilevskiy made 36 saves.
Delia stopped 30 shots, and Conor Garland and J.T. Miller added goals for Vancouver. Hughes added two assists and has 201 career points.
Alyssa Thompson was the top pick Thursday in the National Women’s Soccer League draft by Angel City, becoming the first high school player to be selected in the history of the league.
Thompson, an 18-year-old forward out of Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles, declared her eligibility for the draft late last week. She initially committed to Stanford.
Thompson made her debut with the U.S. senior team last year while also playing for the under-19 Total Futbol Academy boys’ team in MLS NEXT. Thompson and her younger sister Giselle also became the first high school players to sign a name, image and likeness deal with Nike last year.
The Kansas City Current selected MAC Hermann Trophy winner Michelle Cooper out of Duke with the second pick of the draft. The Current acquired the pick in a trade with Gotham for forward Lynn Williams.
In the hours before the draft, NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman spoke to reporters at length about the state of the 12-team league, which is preparing for its 11th season amid ongoing fallout from a pair of investigations into coach misconduct.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Former Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines and about two dozen demonstrators outside the NCAA convention Thursday protested the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports and threatened the association with legal action if it doesn’t change its policies.
Gaines competed in last year’s NCAA swimming and diving championships against Penn’s Lia Thomas, who became first transgender woman to win a national title (the women’s 500-yard freestyle). She also placed fifth in the 200 freestyle, tying with Gaines.
The topic has divided the U.S. for the past several years, with critics saying transgender athletes have an advantage over cisgender women in competition. Eighteen states have passed laws banning transgender athletes from participating in female school sports; a federal judge earlier this month ruled West Virginia’s ban is constitutional and can remain in place.
The NCAA has permitted transgender athletes to compete since 2010.