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Sports in brief


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Kuznetsova completes finals field

MOSCOW — Top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova secured the last spot at the WTA Finals by beating Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-1 Saturday to retain her Kremlin Cup title. Gavrilova, ranked 38th, was seeking her first WTA title.

Kuznetsova, 31, was a fixture at the season-ending Finals for much of her early 20s but hadn't qualified since 2009. She she returns to take her place in the eight-player draw in Singapore this month at the expense of Johanna Konta.

Stockholm Open: Wild card Juan Martin del Potro reached his second final of the year by beating second seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-5. He faces sixth-seeded American Jack Sock, who beat fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.

et cetera

NBA: A Heat executive said there would be no change in the employment status of the team employee who knelt while singing the national anthem before Friday night's exhibition game against the 76ers at AmericanAirlines Arena. Michael McCullough, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said the team was unaware that Denasia Lawrence, a part-time employee who works on the game-night operations staff, would kneel during the performance while wearing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt that had not been previously visible beneath her blazer. Lawrence, who is black, posted on Facebook: "When I took the opportunity to sing the national anthem at the Heat game, it was bigger than me. Right now, we're seeing a war on Black & Brown bodies — we're being unjustly killed and overly criminalized. I took the opportunity to sing AND kneel; to show that we belong in this country AND that we have the right to respectfully protest injustices against us."

Soccer: Arsenal climbed to the top of the English Premier League with a 0-0 home draw against Middlesbrough that ended its six-game winning streak. Arsenal is in first place on goal difference ahead of Liverpool, which beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at Anfield for a sixth win in nine league matches. … Andres Iniesta's serious knee injury overshadowed another stellar performance by Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who scored his second goal of the game in stoppage time to earn a 3-2 win at Valencia in the Spanish league. Enzo Perez's tackle forced Iniesta off on a stretcher. Iniesta injured a ligament in his right knee and is out six to eight weeks, the team said. The defending champions rose to the top of the league, one point ahead of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

Times wires

Sports in brief 10/22/16 [Last modified: Saturday, October 22, 2016 9:57pm]
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  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose


    UPDATE, 12:34: Cash said he has been pleased with Sucre's work and is trying to find playing time for him. ... Cash also said after reading Farquhar's comments about having trouble re-focusing after getting out of a jam and then going back out for a second inning he will factor that in to how he uses him. ... …

  2. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  3. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”