=== News Summaries from The Sports Network - Wednesday, June 19th ===
=== Astros strike deal with No. 1 pick Appel ===
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - The Houston Astros announced that they will
officially sign pitcher Mark Appel, the top overall pick in the 2013 MLB
First-Year Player Draft, to a contract during a Wednesday afternoon press
The Astros also owned the top pick last year and passed on Appel, who was
selected by Pittsburgh with the No. 8 pick. The right-hander returned to
Stanford after failing to come to terms with the Pirates.
Appel, 21, went 10-4 with four complete games and a 2.12 ERA as a senior this
season at Stanford. He compiled 130 strikeouts in 106 1/3 innings and held
opposing hitters to a .203 batting average.
"Drafting and signing Mark Appel was a top priority for our organization this
year," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. "We are an
organization focused on winning championships in the future and we expect Mark
to be a big part of that effort."
Appel, a Houston native, is Stanford's all-time strikeout leader with 372.
=== Hamstring strain sends Padres' Cabrera to DL ===
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera
has landed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
Cabrera was batting .305, well above his career average of .254, with four
homers, 11 doubles and 24 RBI through 69 games this season. His 31 stolen
bases placed him in a tie for the major league lead with Boston's Jacoby
Ellsbury entering play on Wednesday.
The Padres filled the roster spot by recalling outfielder Jaff Decker from
Decker was summoned to the majors for the first time in his career on June 12,
but did not appear in a game before being optioned two days later.
The 23-year-old has played in 63 games with Tucson this season, hitting .260
with five homers and 20 RBI.
=== Nationals' Espinosa activated from DL, sent to minors ===
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - The Washington Nationals activated infielder
Danny Espinosa from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A
Syracuse on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old landed on the DL earlier this month because of a broken bone
in his right wrist.
Espinosa has appeared in 44 games with the Nationals this season, hitting .158
with three home runs and 12 RBI.
=== 49ers ink DT Justin Smith to extension ===
Santa Clara, CA (Sports Network) - The San Francisco 49ers have signed
defensive tackle Justin Smith to a two-year contract extension through the
The four-time Pro Bowl selection has totaled 536 tackles and 32 sacks since
joining the 49ers in 2008.
"Justin's All-Pro contributions on the field, as well as his leadership on and
off the field, are integral to our success as a team," 49ers general manager
Trent Baalke said in a statement Wednesday. "Justin consistently sets a
standard of excellence, serving as an example for everyone within our
organization. This contract allows Justin to finish his career as a 49er!"
The 33-year-old has registered 1,163 tackles, 75 1/2 sacks and three
interceptions in 189 career games, all but four of which have been starts,
with Cincinnati and San Francisco.
The Bengals selected the Missouri product with the fourth overall pick in the
2001 NFL Draft.
=== Nadal seeded fifth at Wimbledon ===
Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Even though he's the hottest player
in men's tennis, reigning French Open champion and two-time Wimbledon
titlist Rafael Nadal received only the No. 5 seed at Wimbledon 2013,
which will commence Monday at the All England Club.
Nadal's fifth seeding means he could meet top-seeded Australian Open champion
Novak Djokovic, last year's Wimbledon runner-up and second seed Andy Murray or
reigning champ and third seed Roger Federer as early as the quarterfinals at
the world's only grass-court Grand Slam event.
French Open runner-up David Ferrer is seeded fourth, followed by Nadal, who
may have to beat all of the world's top-three players in order to capture a
third Wimbledon championship.
The draw will be held on Friday.
Seeds six-through-10 are former Aussie Open runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 2010
Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych, former U.S. Open titlist Juan Martin del
Potro, Richard Gasquet and Marin Cilic. The highest-seeded American is 6-
foot-10 John Isner, at No. 18.
Wimbledon's seeding order is determined using the ATP World Tour rankings and
points are added for achievements in grass-court tournaments over the past 12
The All England Club could have moved Nadal up to No. 4 ahead of Ferrer,
but decided not to.
Nadal has reached nine finals in as many events since returning to action back
in February, capturing seven titles. The 12-time Grand Slam champion was
sidelined with a knee injury for seven months after suffering a shocking
second-round loss against then little-known Czech Lukas Rosol at last year's
The Spanish great captured his fourth straight and record eighth overall men's
French Open title two weeks ago by beating Ferrer in an all-Spanish finale,
this after outlasting Djokovic in an epic five-set semifinal on the red clay
at Roland Garros.
The six-time major titlist Djokovic beat Nadal in the Wimbledon final two
years ago. Nadal has reached the final in five of his last six trips to the
All England Club (2-3).
Federer secured a record-tying seventh men's Wimbledon title and men's-record
17th overall Grand Slam championship a year ago by beating Murray in the
=== Reigning champ Serena is top seed at Wimbledon ===
Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Red-hot world No. 1 Serena Williams has
been installed as the top seed at Wimbledon, which will get underway Monday at
on the famed grass courts at the venerable All England Club.
Williams is the reigning Wimbledon, French Open and U.S. Open champion, with
only this year's Australian Open championship eluding her grasp at the last
four Grand Slam events. The American superstar is a sizzling 74-3 since losing
to Virginie Razzano in the opening round at last year's French Open.
The 31-year-old Williams is a 16-time major singles champion, with five of her
wins coming at Wimbledon. She beat Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in last year's
finale at the All England Club and topped former No. 1 Maria Sharapova in the
French Open final two weeks ago.
Williams is followed by former world No. 1, second-seeded Aussie Open champ,
and 2012 U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka, the former Wimbledon winner
Sharapova, Radwanska, and former French Open runner-up Sara Errani, who's
Seeds six-through-10 are former French Open champ and this year's Aussie
runner-up Li Na, Angelique Kerber, 2011 Wimbledon titlist Petra Kvitova,
former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, and Maria Kirilenko.
Williams, her fellow career Grand Slam winner Sharapova, and Kvitova are the
only former champions in this year's Wimbledon field, as five-time champ Venus
Williams pulled out on Tuesday because of a back injury.
The 2013 Wimbledon draw will be held on Friday.
=== Li, Wozniacki reach quarters; Kvitova ousted in Eastbourne ===
Eastbourne, England (Sports Network) - Australian Open runner-up Li Na
and former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki landed in the quarterfinals, while
former Wimbledon titlist Petra Kvitova came up a second-round loser Wednesday
at the $690,000 Aegon International tennis event, a final grass-court
The second-seeded former French Open champion Li was scheduled to meet
Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli, but the former Wimbledon runner-up pulled out of
the draw because of a viral infection on Day 3 at Devonshire Park. The oft-
injured Bartoli was the Eastbourne champ two years ago.
Meanwhile, the fifth-seeded 2009 Eastbourne champion Wozniacki cruised past
British crowd favorite Laura Robson 6-4, 6-4 and capable Belgian Yanina
Wickmayer took out the fourth-seeded 2011 Eastbourne runner-up Kvitova 3-6,
In other second-round action involving seeds, Russian Ekaterina Makarova
upended No. 3 Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-3, 6-4 and No. 6 Maria Kirilenko
of Russia overcame British wild card Elena Baltacha 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Kerber was
last year's Eastbourne runner-up to Austrian Tamira Paszek.
Additionally on Wednesday, American qualifier Jamie Hampton beat Taiwan's Su-
Wei Hsieh 6-4, 7-6 (7-2), Czech Lucie Safarova subdued wild card and former
U.S. Open champ Samantha Stosur 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, and Russian Elena Vesnina
outlasted Brit Heather Watson 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, as British players went 0-3 on
Thursday's quarterfinals will pit Li against Vesnina; Wozniacki versus the
2010 Eastbourne titlist Makarova; Kirilenko against Wickmayer; and Hampton
The 2013 Eastbourne winner will claim $117,000.
=== Wawrinka, Chardy reach Den Bosch QFs ===
Den Bosch, Netherlands (Sports Network) - Stan Wawrinka and Jeremy
Chardy, the only two seeds left standing in Den Bosch, were a pair of second-
round winners Wednesday at the $545,000 Topshelf Open, a final grass-
court Wimbledon tune-up.
The second-seeded Swiss Wawrinka held off game Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 7-6
(10-8), while a fifth-seeded Chardy got past Romanian wild card Marius Copil,
7-5, 6-4 on Day 4 at Autotron Rosmalen.
Wawrinka and Chardy will do battle in Thursday's quarterfinals, which means
only one seed will make it through to the final four here.
In other second-round action, Belgian Xavier Malisse overcame Taiwan's Yen-
Hsun Lu 3-6, 6-1, 6-4; Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut whipped Argentine Carlos
Berlocq 6-2, 6-3; Russian Evgeny Donskoy topped Dutch favorite Robin Haase
6-4, 7-5; French qualifier Nicolas Mahut bested Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-2,
6-4; Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez grounded German Daniel Brands 7-6 (9-7),
6-2; and Czech qualifier Jan Hernych fought back to beat France's Michael
Llodra 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 7-5. Hernych was a Den Bosch finalist in 2006, while
Llodra titled here in 2004 and was the 2005 runner-up.
Thursday's other quarters will pit Malisse against Bautista Agut, Donskoy
versus Mahut and Garcia-Lopez against Hernych.
This week's champion will earn $94,000.
=== Kuznetsova pulls out of Wimbledon ===
London, England (Sports Network) - Two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana
Kuznetsova decided to pull out of Wimbledon on Wednesday, citing an abdominal
The former top-10 Russian star was seeded 26th at the All England Club.
The 27-year-old Kuznetsova captured the U.S. Open in 2004 and French Open in
2009 and is also a two-time Grand Slam runner-up, but has never advanced
beyond the quarterfinals at the world's lone grass-court major.
Wimbledon gets underway Monday.
=== Vinci ousted by hot Halep in Den Bosch ===
Den Bosch, Netherlands (Sports Network) - Top seed Roberta Vinci was sent
packing by surging Romanian Simona Halep in Wednesday's second-round action
at the $235,000 Topshelf Open, a final grass-court Wimbledon tune-up.
Halep, fresh off her first-ever WTA title in Germany last week, dismantled the
Italian veteran and 2011 Den Bosch champion Vinci in 6-0, 6-1 fashion at
Two other seeds avoided upsets, as No. 2 Dominika Cibulkova of the Slovak
Republic overcame Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 and No. 4
Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium snuck past Dutch wild card Michaella Krajicek 7-6
(8-6), 7-6 (7-3). Krajicek, who is the half sister of former men's Wimbledon
champion Richard Krajicek, was the Den Bosch champion back in 2006.
Also in the round of 16, Spanish qualifier Garbine Muguruza leveled American
Lauren Davis 6-2, 6-0 and Ukrainian lucky loser Lesia Tsurenko stopped Swiss
Stefanie Voegele 6-1, 7-6 (7-4).
Thursday's quarterfinals will pit Cibulkova against Muguruza; third-seeded
Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro versus Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova; Flipkens
against seventh-seeded Pole Urszula Radwanska; and Halep versus Tsurenko.
Radwanska was last year's Den Bosch runner-up to Russian Nadia Petrova.
=== Predators, Bartley agree to 3-year deal ===
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - The Nashville Predators signed defenseman
Victor Bartley to a three-year, $2 million contract on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old Bartley made his NHL debut during the shortened 2013 campaign,
joining the Predators in March after starting the year with AHL Milwaukee. He
registered seven assists in 24 games and led Nashville defensemen with a
Bartley was leading Milwaukee defensemen with 26 points (7g, 19a) through 54
games prior to his late-season NHL stint.
06/19 14:39:32 ET