=== News Summaries from The Sports Network - Saturday, April 19th ===
=== Jays activate Reyes from DL ===
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Blue Jays activated shortstop
Jose Reyes from the 15-day disabled list and inserted him into the leadoff
spot for Saturday's contest against the Cleveland Indians.
Reyes hasn't played since aggravating a hamstring injury in his first at-bat
of the season on Opening Day.
The 30-year-old veteran flied out to lead off the game and did not come out to
play in the field in the bottom of the frame. An MRI exam taken the following
day revealed mild inflammation in his left hamstring.
A four-time All-Star, Reyes batted .296 with 10 home runs, 37 RBI and 15
stolen bases last season, but was limited to just 93 games due to a severely
sprained left ankle.
In addition to the Reyes move, Toronto placed first baseman Adam Lind on the
15-day DL, selected the contract of infielder Juan Francisco from Triple-A
Buffalo, optioned infielder Munenori Kawasaki to Buffalo and transferred
infielder Maicer Izturis from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.
Lind sustained a lower back injury on Tuesday in Minnesota and was originally
listed as day-to-day before landing on the DL on Saturday. The 30-year-old
lefty slugger has hit .324 with one homer and six RBI in 13 games this season.
Francisco batted .341 with two homers and 11 RBI over 12 games at Buffalo this
season after clubbing 18 homers and hitting .227 over 124 combined games with
Atlanta and Milwaukee in 2013.
Kawasaki was recalled from Buffalo on Tuesday after Izturis landed on the 15-
day DL with a torn lateral collateral ligament in his left knee, which will
likely leave him sidelined for the rest of the season.
=== Nats activate OF Span from 7-day DL ===
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Nationals activated
outfielder Denard Span from the seven-day disabled list Saturday prior to the
team's home game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Span sustained a concussion during an April 11 contest against Atlanta when he
collided with Braves second baseman Dan Uggla while rounding first base in the
The 30-year-old outfielder stayed in the game and played the remainder of the
10-inning contest before being placed on the short-term DL the following day.
Over 10 games this season entering Saturday, Span batted .222 with three
doubles, one triple and four runs batted in.
To make room on the roster, Washington optioned outfielder Steven Souza Jr. to
Souza was recalled from Syracuse after the injury to Span and made his major
league debut on April 13. The 24-year-old managed just one hit in five plate
appearances over five games.
=== Reds' Marshall comes off DL ===
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Cincinnati Reds activated reliever Sean
Marshall from the 15-day disabled list prior to Saturday's game against the
Marshall missed all of spring training due to inflammation in his left
shoulder. The 31-year-old was limited to just 16 appearances and 10 1/3
innings last season because of a shoulder sprain.
The 6-foot-7 southpaw posted a 1.74 earned run average in 2013 and owns a
37-46 record with a 3.77 ERA and 16 saves over 381 major league games with the
Reds and Cubs.
Pitcher Curtis Partch, who tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings over three games
after making the Opening Day roster, was optioned to Triple-A Louisville in a
=== Yankees designate Cabral for assignment; add Daley ===
St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Yankees have designated
pitcher Cesar Cabral for assignment just a day after he hit three Tampa Bay
batters in the same inning.
Cabral had trouble finding the plate during his short stint on Friday in an
11-5 loss to the Rays. He faced six batters and allowed three singles while
also plunking three.
After hitting Logan Forsythe in the back with a pitch, Cabral was ejected by
home plate umpire Joe West.
Cabral made four appearances for the Yankees this season and totaled one full
inning. He was charged with three runs on four hits with two walks and the
three hit batsmen.
New York filled the roster spot by selecting the contract of pitcher Matt
Daley from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Daley was 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in
four minor league games this season.
The 31-year-old right-hander had a 1.04 ERA in nine spring training games and
last September for the Yankees was 1-0 with eight strikeouts over six
scoreless innings in seven appearances.
=== Federer tops Djokovic to set up all-Swiss final with Wawrinka ===
Monte Carlo, Monaco (SportsNetwork.com) - Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka
will meet in an all-Swiss final at the Monte Carlo Masters after both were
semifinal winners on Saturday.
Federer has never won this storied clay court event, mostly because of the
dominance of Rafael Nadal, but will get a chance on Sunday after a 7-5, 6-2
win over defending champion Novak Djokovic in the second semifinal. The
second-seeded Serb battled through an injured wrist in the second set.
Three straight times Federer lost in the final to Nadal, who won this title
eight consecutive years before falling to Djokovic in last year's final. Nadal
wasn't around for the semifinals this year after losing to fellow Spaniard
David Ferrer in the quarterfinals.
Ferrer, the 2011 Monte Carlo runner-up to Nadal, was unable to duplicate his
success from Friday as Wawrinka claimed a 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) victory in the first
Wawrinka dominated early on Saturday, winning the first five games. The second
set was tight until the tiebreaker, which Wawrinka opened by taking the first
four points. Ferrer never recovered.
"I started really well," Wawrinka said about his play Saturday. "I know when
I'm moving well and I can dictate the game, I'm always good against him. I did
a really good job, especially at the beginning."
Wawrinka won the Australian Open earlier this year for his first Grand Slam
title and on Sunday will try for his first Masters crown. He lost to Djokovic
in the 2008 Rome final and fell to Nadal in last year's Madrid title match.
The third-seeded Wawrinka will try for his third title in as many finals in
2014. Before taking the Aussie Open, he captured the season-opening event in
However, he had a tough time in March on the hardcourts in the United States,
suffering fourth-round losses at both Indian Wells and Miami. He'll carry a
6-9 finals record into Sunday's match against Federer.
Federer is 78-38 all-time in title matches and will play in his fourth of
2014. He lost to Lleyton Hewitt in Brisbane to start the year, beat Tomas
Berdych in Dubai and lost to Djokovic at Indian Wells.
It took just 75 minutes for Federer to exact a measure of revenge on Saturday.
Federer saved two set points while serving at 5-4 in the opening set, then
broke serve in the next game and finished the set with an ace. Djokovic
appeared to be favoring his wrist between sets and did not put up much of a
fight in the second.
"Of course, I did see that Novak was struggling at one point," said Federer.
"For me it was more just making sure that from my side I was playing a good,
solid, tough match with some good defensive play sometimes, but mostly trying
to stay on the offensive as much as I could."
Djokovic had a 14-match winning streak stopped, a stretch dating back to a
semifinal loss to Federer in Dubai. He was trying for a fifth straight Masters
crown after pulling off the Indian Wells-Miami double last month.
Federer improved to 18-16 lifetime against Djokovic and will carry a 13-1 mark
against Wawrinka into Sunday's final. The lone Wawrinka victory, however, came
in the 2009 quarterfinals of this event.
"I think it's incredible that we are in the finals together," Federer added.
"We've been playing well for some time now. This one is clearly very special,
especially with the way he's been playing the past few months, the number of
hours we spent together on court either playing doubles or practicing. It's
Sunday's winner will collect $760,000.
=== Cibulkova, Vekic to meet for Kuala Lumpur title ===
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) - Dominika Cibulkova and Donna
Vekic each rallied for semifinal victories Saturday and will play for the
title at the Malaysian Open.
Rain delayed the start of singles action Saturday and both semifinal matches
were played at the same time.
The top-seeded Cibulkova earned a 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-3 triumph over defending
champion Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, while the seventh-seeded
Vekic rebounded from a disastrous first set and claimed a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
victory over second-seeded Zhang Shuai of China.
Vekic appeared on her way to resounding defeat after dropping the first set of
her match in a mere 21 minutes. She then reversed the momentum by winning the
first five games of the second set and broke early in the third en route to
her third career final.
The native of Croatia lost to Daniela Hantuchova last year at the Wimbledon
tune-up in Birmingham and also fell to Irina-Camelia Begu in the 2012 Tashkent
It's been a rough year for Vekic, who lost in the first round of her first
four events and had just four match wins in 2014 before rattling off four this
week. Her best finish in seven previous events this year was a third-round
loss to Petra Kvitova in Miami.
"It's amazing because I didn't have a great start to the year," said Vekic.
"Until a couple of weeks ago I couldn't win a match, and now I'm in another
Cibulkova withstood 17 aces from Pliskova to advance to her third final of
2014. She was the surprise runner-up to Li Na at the Australian Open and beat
Christina McHale for the Acapulco crown in February.
Three of the Slovak's losses this year have come against Li, as the Chinese
star also beat Cibulkova in the quarterfinals at Indian Wells and the
semifinals in Miami. Saturday's win was her WTA-leading 24th match victory of
"I'm playing so well this year," noted Cibulkova. "I think it's because I'm
just trying to enjoy myself on the court."
Cibulkova is 4-6 all-time in title matches and beat Vekic in their only
previous meeting -- a 6-3, 6-2 triumph in the second round at Indian Wells
Sunday's winner will collect $43,000.
=== Czechs open big lead over Italy in Fed Cup ===
Ostrava, Czech Republic (SportsNetwork.com) - Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova
were easy winners Saturday as the Czech Republic grabbed a commanding lead
over Italy in the Fed Cup semifinals.
Safarova cruised to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Sara Errani in the opening singles
rubber before Kvitova topped Camila Giorgi in a 6-4, 6-2 triumph. The Czechs
need only one point on Sunday to wrap up the best-of-five tie and advance to
This weekend's matchup pits the last five Fed Cup champions. Italy won last
year and captured the crown in 2009 and 2010, while the Czechs were back-to-
back champs in 2011 and '12.
It's also the third straight year the two powerhouse nations are meeting in
the semifinals. The Czechs pulled off a 4-1 triumph two years ago in Ostrava
and the Italians were 3-1 winners last year in Palermo. Italy leads the all-
time series, 5-4.
The Italians will have to rally from an 0-2 deficit for the first time in
their storied Fed Cup history.
Errani will try to get Italy on the board in the first reverse singles match
on Sunday against Kvitova. Giorgi and Safarova will then contest the second
singles match. The doubles rubber is currently slated to feature Karin Knapp
and Roberta Vinci for the visitors against Andrea Hlavackova and Klara
There was little drama on Saturday.
Safarova had her serve broken twice early in the opening match and trailed
3-1, but rallied and won five of the next six games to take the opening set.
Errani then held to start the second, but failed to win another game as the
Czech wrapped up the match in just 72 minutes.
Kvitova broke serve to start the match and it proved to be the difference in a
tight first set as neither player budged again. A Kvitova ace finished the set
and she broke to start the second. Another break in the seventh game made it
5-2 and the Czech held in a lengthy final game that featured five deuces.
This weekend's winner will face the Australia-Germany victor in the Fed Cup
final in November.
=== Germany leads 2-0 over Australia in Fed Cup ===
Brisbane, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrea Petkovic and Angelique Kerber
won singles matches Saturday to give Germany a commanding lead against
Australia in the Fed Cup semifinals.
Petkovic defeated former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7),
and Kerber made short work of Casey Dellacqua in a 6-1, 6-0 rout for a 2-0
advantage in the best-of-five tie. The Germans need just one point on Sunday
to wrap up a berth in the final.
"I saw two great matches and I was very proud of the performance of my two
girls," said German captain Barbara Rittner. "There are still three points to
go and tomorrow is a new day. I think the matches were closer than they look."
On Sunday, reverse singles will pit the 19th-ranked Stosur against Kerber and
Petkovic versus Dellacqua. The doubles match has a German tandem of Julia
Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld taking on an Aussie duo of Dellacqua and
Petkovic needed just 37 minutes to win the first set Saturday. She broke serve
to start the match, but Stosur broke right back. It was all Petkovic from
there with three more breaks of serve.
Stosur broke for a 2-1 lead in the second set and was serving for the set at
5-4 when Petkovic broke to even it. The German opened a 6-3 lead in the
tiebreaker, but Stosur won the next three points to keep it going. She saved
another match point soon after, but could not stave off a fifth match point.
"I had put myself in a good position in the second set so it was disappointing
to lose it," said Stosur.
Kerber then had no trouble in the second match Saturday, polishing off
Dellacqua in a mere 51 minutes. Kerber converted 6-of-10 break points and had
her serve broken just once.
"I played very good," said Kerber. "Of course it is easier to go on the court
when your country is leading 1-0, but I knew I had to play very good because
Casey is playing very good at home."
Australia is 8-4 all-time against Germany, including a win in their last
meeting in a World Group Playoff in 2012. The two nations first met in 1966.
The winner will meet the Czech Republic-Italy victor in the Fed Cup final in
=== Westwood leads Malaysian Open by 1 ===
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) - Lee Westwood carded a 1-under 71
on Saturday to remain on top of the leaderboard of the Maybank Malaysian Open.
Westwood, who is seeking his 23rd victory on the European Tour but first since
the 2012 Nordea Masters, finished three rounds at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country
Club at 14-under-par 202.
"It was tricky out there," said Westwood. "I didn't play as well as I did the
first two days, but there were some difficult flags and it was really hot."
Andy Sullivan fired a 6-under 66 to jump into second place at 13-under 203,
while Julien Quesne (69) sat in third at minus-10 and Nicolas Colsaerts (72)
owned fourth at 9-under.
Danny Willett (72), Masahiro Kawamura (70), Eduardo De la Riva (71), Ricardo
Santos (70), Garth Mulroy (69) and Rikard Karlberg (67) shared fifth at 8-
Westwood has held the lead since the end of the first round and entered
Saturday with a four-shot advantage.
The Englishman opened his third round with a 20-foot birdie putt at the first,
but gave that shot right back at the second. He later rolled in a birdie at
the fifth to move to 14-under and held a three-stroke lead at the turn.
Westwood converted an 18-foot birdie at the 11th to stretch his lead to four
strokes before Sullivan made a run at the lead.
Sullivan started his race up the leaderboard with a string of birdies at the
third, fifth, sixth and eighth around a bogey at the seventh, moving him to
He closed his round with birdies at the 10th, 12th and 16th pull within two of
"I played well again and tried to limit my mistakes," Sullivan said. "I only
made one mistake, but I got it back straight away. I'm delighted with the way
Westwood, meanwhile, parred six straight from the 12th to remain at 15-under
before a finding a bunker with his second shot at the 18th en route to a
closing bogey, which dropped his lead to just one entering the final round.
"It was a real grind, but I'm leading going into the last round so I'm quite
happy with that," stated Westwood.
NOTES: Westwood won this event in 1997 when it was a part of the co-
sanctioning Asian Tour ... Sullivan is looking for his first career win on the
European Tour. He has finished inside the top five in two of his last four
starts ... Defending champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat withdrew prior to the start
of the third round.
=== Hamilton takes pole for Chinese GP ===
Shanghai, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes claimed his
third pole of the season by topping Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and
Sebastian Vettel in Saturday's rain-soaked qualifying for the Chinese Grand
In wet conditions, Hamilton made a lap around Shanghai International Circuit
in 1 minute, 53.860 seconds to earn the top starting position for Sunday's 56-
lap race. His 34th career pole placed him in sole possession of fourth on
Formula One's all-time pole winners list. Hamilton had been in a tie with Jim
Clark for most pole wins among British drivers in the history of F1.
"It was so slippery out there, trying to find the grip, obviously not making
mistakes on your lap, and really putting it together, especially when you have
these guys [Ricciardo and Vettel] pushing you," Hamilton said. "It was a tough
session. I really enjoyed it. The car was feeling great.
"We always have stuff we can improve, but the team has done a great job this
weekend. It's a good position for the race, and I hope we can follow through
Hamilton is attempting to win his third straight grand prix this weekend. He
started on pole and won in Malaysia on March 30. One week later, Hamilton
scored the victory in Bahrain after starting second there.
Ricciardo will start on the front row with Hamilton after qualifying 0.595
seconds behind him.
"I struggled a bit throughout the session," Ricciardo said. "Personally, I
didn't feel like I was getting on top of the conditions, but then the last set
of inters [tires] right at the end of Q3, we managed to get a bit more out of
it. I put a good lap together so pretty pleased to be on the front row."
Vettel, the four-time defending F1 world champion, qualified third but was
more than one second behind Hamilton.
Nico Rosberg, who is Hamilton's teammate, struggled in Q3. He placed his
Mercedes fourth on the grid. Rosberg started on pole and finished second to
Hamilton in Bahrain. He enters this race as the current world championship
"I had two main problems today," Rosberg said. "I wasn't totally happy with
the feeling on the brakes, which resulted in me locking up and going off on my
fast lap on the second-to-last lap. Then on my final timed lap, I was half a
second quicker going into the last corner, but my time delta on my steering
wheel display said that I was two-tenths slower. So I just took a big risk and
spun because I mistakenly thought I had nothing to lose anyway."
Fernando Alonso from Ferrari qualified fifth, while Williams drivers Felipe
Massa and Valtteri Bottas took the sixth and seventh starting positions. Nico
Hulkenberg from Force India was eighth.
Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and Romain Grosjean from Lotus completed the
Grosjean's teammate, Pastor Maldonado, did not participate in qualifying due
to technical problems he encountered during the final practice session, held
earlier in the day. Maldonado will start at the race stewards' discretion in
22nd. He had already faced a five-place grid penalty for causing a wreck
between him and Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez during the Bahrain Grand Prix.
04/19 13:26:35 ET