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Off the wire

by Compiled from Democrat-Gazette Press Services | March 25, 2023 at 1:50 a.m.
FILE - St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas throws during spring training baseball practice Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, in Jupiter, Fla. Mikolas is sticking with the Cardinals. The 34-year-old veteran right-handed pitcher signed a two-year contract extension with the Cardinals on Friday, March 24, that runs through the 2025 season.(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)


Mikolas signs 3-year deal

Miles Mikolas is sticking with the St. Louis Cardinals. The veteran right-hander signed a three-year, $55.75 million contract with the Cardinals on Friday that will carry through the 2025 season. The new deal replaces his current contract, a four-year deal signed in February 2019 that covered the 2020-23 seasons and was set to expire this fall. Mikolas will receive a $5 million signing bonus payable July 1 and will make $18.75 million in 2023 and $16 million in each of the following two seasons. There are several award bonuses available to Mikolas, including $250,000 for winning a Cy Young. Mikolas is scheduled to make the second opening-day start of his career Thursday when the Cardinals host Toronto. Mikolas went 12-13 with a 3.29 ERA last season while helping St. Louis to the NL Central title. Mikolas is 45-40 with a 3.79 in 143 games with San Diego, Texas and St. Louis. He recently pitched six shutout innings in two appearances for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.


Memphis player charged

A Memphis basketball player has been charged by Bowling Green campus police with assault after punching a Falcons player in the handshake line following a Women's NIT game, according to the Bowling Green athletic department. As the teams walked toward center court Thursday night following Bowling Green's 73-60 win in the Round of 16 game, Memphis' Jamirah Shutes stopped to talk with the Falcons' Elissa Brett. After a short conversation, Shutes appears to throw a punch at Brett's face. Brett fell toward the scorer's table and onto the sideline. There was no immediate word about what caused the confrontation. The Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper reported that Shutes, who leads the Tigers in scoring, took an elbow to her face with 24 seconds left in the opening quarter and played just eight minutes in the first half. She returned to start the second half. Shutes, a fifth-year player who finished with 13 points in her final game with the Tigers, was a second-team All-AAC selection this season. Brett scored 15 points in the win.

Doncic fined for gesture

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic was fined $35,000 on Friday for directing a money sign toward officials in the final seconds of a loss to Golden State. Doncic walked toward officials while rubbing his fingers together with 1.7 seconds left in the 127-125 loss on Wednesday night. The four-time All-Star apparently was upset that a foul wasn't called when he missed a layup. Dallas was trailing 125-122 when Doncic caught a pass under the basket and his layup bounced off the back of the rim. After the Mavericks committed a foul to stop the clock, Doncic made the gesture. The NBA said the fine was for "an inappropriate and unprofessional gesture toward a game official."


Niners trade for kicker

The San Francisco 49ers have found their potential replacement for longtime kicker Robbie Gould after agreeing to acquire Zane Gonzalez from the Carolina Panthers on Friday. The teams will exchange a conditional swap of late-round picks in the 2025 draft to complete the deal which will be finalized once Gonzalez passes a physical. Carolina re-signed kicker Eddy Pineiro on Thursday and planned to release Gonzalez before reaching the deal with San Francisco. The Niners had been seeking a kicker since deciding not to bring back Gould as a free agent. The 40-year-old Gould joined the 49ers in 2017 and made 87.5% of his field goals over six seasons. Gould was the most reliable postseason kicker in NFL history, making all 29 field goal attempts and 39 extra points in 16 playoff games for the Bears, Giants and 49ers.


Three share LPGA lead

Jenny Shin of South Korea had a run of five consecutive birdies to close out her front nine on the way to a 5-under 67 on Friday and shared the lead with Maddie Szeryk of Canada and Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand after two rounds of the LPGA Drive on Championship in Gold Canyon, Ariz. Jutanugarn raced up the leaderboard, following an opening 67 with a bogey-free 7-under 65 that included an eagle and five birdies. Szeryk pieced together a round that included an eagle and six birdies, including one on her final hole, while Shin used seven birides to offset two bogeys to get to 12-under 132 at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club in the LPGA's first full-field event of the year. American Lilia Vu shot a 6 under and was a stroke off the lead, while South Korea's Na Rin An and American Alison Lee were tied for fifth place at 10 under. Former University of Arkansas golfers Gaby Lopez (71) and Stacy Lewis (68) are at 8-under 136. Maria Fassi (Razorbacks) missed the cut at 2-over 146.

Toms in front at Champions

David Toms holds a one-shot lead over Kevin Sutherland at the Champions Tour's Galleri Classic in Rancho Mirage, Calif., after the first round. Toms shot a 7-under 65 at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course. John Daly (Dardanelle, Razorbacks) and Ken Duke (Arkadelphia, Henderson State) both turned in rounds of 72 on Friday.

Wallace grabs 1-shot lead

Matt Wallace of England birdied his last three holes Friday for a 6-under 66, giving him a one-shot lead going into the weekend in the Corales Puntacana Championship. Wallace had missed six out of seven cuts on the PGA Tour until he was in the mix last week in the Valspar Championship. He tied for seventh, and it looks as though he has carried some of that momentum to the Dominican Republic. He had a one-shot lead over Sam Stevens and Wyndham Clark, who each had a 65 on a breezy day that wasn't quite as strong as the opening round. Either way, Wallace appears to have it figured out. Wallace was at 11-under 133. Austin Cook (Jonesboro, Razorbacks) is tied for 10th after posting a 68 on Friday. Cook is at 6-under 138 overall.


Alcaraz advances in Miami

Carlos Alcaraz picked up a straight-set win at the Miami Open Friday to keep his world No. 1 ranking over idle Novak Djokovic. Djokovic is not participating in the Miami Open because he still can't travel to the United States as a foreign citizen who is not vaccinated against covid-19. The 19-year-old Alcaraz, who beat Casper Ruud in the 2022 U.S. Open final for his first No. 1 ranking, defeated Facundo Bagnis 6-0, 6-2 to advance to the third round. No. 1 American and No. 9 seed Taylor Fritz began his tournament campaign with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Emilio Nava. Fritz is 17-1 in his opening rounds of hard court tournaments since the start of 2022, with his only loss coming at the 2022 US Open to No. 303 Brandon Holt. Fritz will next face No. 24 Denis Shapovalov, who defeated Guido Pella on Friday. On the women's side, Bianca Andreescu -- the 2019 U.S. Open champion -- came from a set down to oust No. 7 seed Maria Sakkari 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

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