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Associated Press

Posted on June 16, 2014 at 5:37 PM

WORLD CUP

U.S. scores early on old nemesis

NATAL, Brazil (AP) — The U.S. is seeing its first action against an old nemesis in the World Cup today. The Americans are playing Ghana, the nation which knocked the U.S. out of the last two World Cups. The U.S. jumped on Ghana early, with Clint Dempsey scoring in the opening minute, for a 1-0 lead.

DaMarcus Beasley has become the first American to play in four World Cups. Beasley was starting at left back, a position the 32-year-old has filled for the national team during the last year.

Beasley was a midfielder on the American teams in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

Just hours before the match it was announced that two members of the team from Ghana, World Cup veterans Michael Essien and Kevin-Prince Boateng, were left out of the starting lineup.

A two-day downpour has flooded some streets in the northeastern Brazilian beach town of Natal, where the game is being played. While the skies started to clear a bit Sunday, the forecast was unsettled for tonight's game. A total of 3.11 inches of rain fell Friday and 2.95 more Saturday.

History says the U.S. needs to win this game as the U.S. has never advanced after starting with a loss.

In the first match of the day, Germany defeated Portugal 4-0. Thomas Mueller scored a hat trick for the Germans.

Nigeria and Iran played to a 0-0 stalemate, the first draw of the World Cup.

OBIT-GWYNN

Hall of Famer dies at 54

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has passed away at the age of 54 from cancer. The eight-time National League batting champ and 15-time All-Star spent his entire career with the San Diego Padres. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2007. Gwynn finished his career with five Gold Glove awards as well as 319 stolen bases.

He made headlines in 1994 when he toyed with a .400 batting average, something not achieved in decades. He finished the strike shortened season with a .394 average.

Gwynn had two operations for cancer in his right cheek between August 2010 and February 2012. The second surgery was complicated, with surgeons removing a facial nerve because it was intertwined with a tumor inside his right cheek.

Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux says on Twitter that Gwynn was "the best pure hitter I ever faced." Gwynn owned a .415 lifetime average against Maddux, who never struck him out in 107 at-bats.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer says "our city is a little darker today without him but immeasurably better because of him."

Gwynn had said he believed the cancer was from chewing tobacco.

MLB-SCHEDULE

Royals open series in Detroit

UNDATED (AP) — The surprising Kansas City Royals open up a big series in Detroit tonight. The Tigers, who have won just five of their last 10 games, are playing host to the red-hot Royals who have won seven straight. A check of the American League Central standings shows the Royals are just 1 ½ games back of the Tigers in the standings. Justin Verlander, who is having a very un-Verlander kind of season with six wins and six defeats, is facing KC's Jason Vargas who is 6-2.

A check of the rest of the schedule shows the Indians and Angels opening up a four game set in Cleveland, Baltimore at Tampa Bay in an American League East contest, the Cubs in Miami against the Marlins, Minnesota at Boston, the Braves at home to the Phillies in an NL East game, the Mets in St. Louis, Arizona at home to Milwaukee, Texas at Oakland, the Dodgers hosting the Rockies and the Padres in Seattle.

MLB-ORIOLES

Wieters to have season-ending elbow surgery

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters (WEE'-turz) will have season-ending surgery on his right elbow Tuesday. The team is hoping he'll be ready for opening day next season.

Wieters had his ailing elbow examined Monday by Dr. James Andrews and will have Tommy John surgery. He has not played since May 10 and was hitting .309 with five home runs.

MLB-INDIANS

Tribe calls up Lowe for beleaguered bullpen

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians have recalled right-hander Mark Lowe from Triple-A Columbus and optioned left-hander T.J. House to the same club.

Lowe was promoted Monday to help Cleveland's overworked bullpen, which pitched 17 2-3 innings during a four-game series against Boston. He made four relief appearances with the Indians last month, compiling a 2.08 ERA. Lowe was 1-1 with nine saves and a 3.48 ERA in 20 relief outings in Columbus.

MLB-MARLINS

Miami inks top pick

MIAMI (AP) — Right-hander Tyler Kolek, the second overall pick in the baseball draft, has signed with the Miami Marlins. The Marlins have signed 19 of their 42 draft picks, including their first five.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Kolek pitched for Shepherd High School in Texas, where his fastball consistently registered in the upper 90s and exceeded 100 mph.

SCHUMACHER RELEASED

Veteran F1 driver leaves the hospital

BERLIN (AP) — The manager for seven-time World Driving champion Michael Schumacher (SHOO'-mah-kur) says the Formula One great is no longer in a coma and has left a French hospital where he had been receiving treatment since a skiing accident in December. His manager says Schumacher will continue his long rehabilitation "away from the public eye."

COLLEGE FOOTBALL-NOTRE DAME

Irish backup receiver arrested in Ohio

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame reserve Will Mahone is facing felony charges of assault on a police officer, intimidation of a public servant and vandalism after being arrested in his Ohio hometown.

Mahone appeared before an Austintown judge on Monday to face the three felony charges as well as misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct for an incident Saturday night in Austintown, about 70 miles southeast of Cleveland. A court spokeswoman said Mahone entered not guilty pleas on the misdemeanor charges, but the court doesn't accept an initial plea on the felony charges.

Judge David D'Apolito set bond for Mahone at $75,000 and scheduled a pretrial hearing for July 11. Mahone remained in the Mahoning County Jail on Monday afternoon. His lawyer, James Gentile, declined comment when reached by The Associated Press.

Mahone, who started his career at Notre Dame as a running back, didn't play as a freshman and played as slot receiver in two games last season but didn't have a catch or carry. Mahone had surgery for a fracture to his right foot on March 6.

SUPREME COURT-SCOTTIE PIPPEN

High court rejects Scottie Pippen defamation case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former NBA star Scottie Pippen has failed to convince the Supreme Court that he was defamed by several media outlets. The Supreme Court has declined to revive a defamation lawsuit that the former Chicago Bulls star filed against several media companies for falsely reporting he had filed for bankruptcy. Lower courts found that as a public figure, Pippen could not show the reports were published with actual malice.

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