Sports News

ARGELES-GAZOST, France - Vincenzo Nibali has won the 18th stage of the Tour de France, emphatically stamping his dominance on the race in its last mountain leg with a solo breakaway on the day's last climb.

After setting off from Pau, riders tackled the famed Tourmalet pass — the highest Pyrenean peak on the Tour — before heading up to Hautacam ski station at the end of the 145.5-kilometre (90-mile) leg. Both climbs are among the toughest in professional cycling.

The Italian, winning his fourth stage of the Tour, essentially turned the race into a competition for second.

GLASGOW, Scotland - Kirsten Sweetland pumped her arms, grit her teeth and ran hard through the finish line — and in that moment put six years of pain and frustration behind her.

The 25-year-old from Victoria captured Canada's first medal of the Commonwealth Games on Thursday, a silver in the women's triathlon.

"Totally pain free. It feels so good," Sweetland said with a tired smile. "It feels unbelievable to get a medal."

GLASGOW, Scotland - Double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah has pulled out of the Commonwealth Games because he has not recovered fully from a recent stomach ailment.

Team England said Thursday, on the opening day of the games, that Farah, who had planned to run the 5,000 and 10,000 metres — the same distances he won gold at during the London Games in 2012 — would remain at his training base in France.

Wednesday's Games

MLB

American League

Minnesota 3 Cleveland 1

Kansas City 2 Chicago White Sox 1

N.Y. Yankees 2 Texas 1 (5 innings)

Toronto 6 Boston 4

L.A. Angels 3 Baltimore 2

Oakland 9 Houston 7

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National League

Milwaukee 5 Cincinnati 1

Colorado 6 Washington 4

Pittsburgh 6 L.A. Dodgers 1

San Francisco 3 Philadelphia 1

Atlanta 6 Miami 1

San Diego 8 Chicago Cubs 3

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Interleague

Detroit 11 Arizona 5

N.Y. Mets 3 Seattle 2

Tampa Bay 3 St. Louis 0

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VANCOUVER - Vancouver Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit will announce his retirement Thursday, The Canadian Press has confirmed.

A person with knowledge of the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Whitecaps will hold a news conference to announce that DeMerit, Vancouver's first-ever Major League Soccer signing, is retiring after three-plus seasons with the team.

TORONTO - Aaron Sanchez didn't know which Boston Red Sox hitters he'd be facing, and he didn't know the score.

Making his major league debut against Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli protecting a one-run lead, the Toronto Blue Jays' top prospect just tried to pretend no one was in the batter's box.

"My mentality out there was just me and the catcher," Sanchez said.

With 35,696 fans watching, Sanchez did just about the best he could do, working two perfect innings to help preserve Toronto's 6-4 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night at Rogers Centre.

TORONTO - Toronto FC fans got to see the man of the moment, England forward Jermain Defoe, wear the captain's armband against his old club, and perhaps a glimpse of the future in Canadian teenage striker Jordan Hamilton.

It was the 18-year-old from Toronto who got on the scoreboard in a losing cause as Tottenham defeated Toronto 3-2 in a soccer friendly Wednesday on the strength of an 85th-minute goal by Andros Townsend.

WOODSTOCK, Ont. - Brooke Henderson carded a 4-under 67 at Craigowan Golf and Country Club on Wednesday to take the lead at the Canadian women's amateur championship.

Henderson, from Smiths Falls, Ont., opened her second round with a 3-under 32 and followed it with back-nine birdies on the par-5 13th and par-4 17th holes to grab the outright lead at 5-under 137. The 16-year-old has played near flawless golf since opening the tournament with an over-par front-nine on Tuesday.

NEW YORK - Hall of Fame football star Jim Brown — running out of time to retrieve his 1964 NFL championship ring — has sued a memorabilia dealer.

The 78-year-old Los Angeles resident filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Manhattan federal court against Lelands.com and Lelands Collectibles Inc.

The lawsuit seeks to halt the sale of the ring in an online auction that ends Friday. It also seeks unspecified damages over broadcast remarks that Lelands' founder, Joshua Evans, made about Brown.

GLASGOW, Scotland - The Loch Ness Monster, tartan-clad bagpipers and giant pieces of shortbread took the place of footballers on the Celtic Park pitch as the Commonwealth Games began with a celebration of Scottish mythology and exports on Wednesday.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes is asking for the public's help to track down the man police say killed his aunt in Northern California.

Barnes took to his Twitter and Instagram accounts Tuesday, asking anyone who knows the whereabouts of 51-year-old Michael Williams of Sacramento to call police.

Barnes also posted photos of Williams on his accounts. Williams is married to Barnes' aunt, 48-year-old Tanganyika Williams.

DENVER - Free-agent NHL defenceman Cory Sarich is recovering in a Calgary hospital after a cycling accident this week.

His agent, Tim Hodgson, released a statement Wednesday saying that Sarich was airlifted to the hospital after being hit by a motor vehicle in Invermere, British Columbia. The release said the extent of Sarich's injuries isn't known, but were not considered life-threatening. He remains in stable condition.

The 35-year-old Sarich said it's been "a rough couple of days and I'm grateful for the support I've been receiving." There's no timeline for his recovery.

TORONTO - Head coach Dwane Casey and the Toronto Raptors will head to Vancouver for a portion of their pre-season training camp the club announced on Wednesday.

The Raptors will open camp at Toronto's Air Canada Centre Sept. 29-Oct. 2 before departing for the West coast. The team also conducted its 2010 training camp in Vancouver.

NEW YORK - Some of the hottest tickets in town — to Broadway hits, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake concerts, a New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game — were snapped up by an international ring of cyber thieves who commandeered more than 1,000 StubHub users' accounts to make big money by fraudulently buying tickets and reselling them, prosecutors said Wednesday.

TORONTO - David Ortiz has his place in Rogers Centre history, and it has come from tormenting the Toronto Blue Jays.

With his three-run home run off R.A. Dickey on Wednesday night, the Boston Red Sox slugger passed Alex Rodriguez as the visiting player with the most home runs in the stadium's history.

Ortiz's home run, his fourth of the series, was his 37th in the building formerly known as SkyDome in his 107th game here.

ATLANTA - Fourth-seeded Vasek Popisil of Vancouver advanced to the Atlanta Open quarter-finals, beating Ukrainian qualifier Illya Marchenko 7-5, 6-3 on Wednesday.

American Jack Sock topped New Zealand's Michael Venus 6-4, 6-2 in another second-round match, and seventh-seeded Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan beat American Alex Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-4 in a first-round match.

Defending champion John Isner, the No. 1 seed, will open play Thursday against wild-card entry Robby Ginepri of Atlanta. Ginepri beat Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky on Tuesday.

TORONTO - English striker Jermain Defoe wore the captain's armband Wednesday as Toronto FC hosted his former team, Tottenham Hotspur.

Defoe, 31, played 362 times in two stints with the English Premier League side before departing for Toronto FC in January.

Steven Caldwell, Toronto's regular skipper, is out with a quad tear. Midfielder Michael Bradley, who has worn the armband in Caldwell's absence, started on the bench Wednesday.

Wednesday's friendly was part of the deal that brought Defoe to Major League Soccer

PLA D'ADET, France - On the last of four Pyrenees ascents, Rafal Majka winked at a French TV camera and tugged playfully at a motorcycle's antenna.

Even this late in the Tour de France, the Polish rider made winning look easy as he took Stage 17 on Wednesday.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Even as dementia began to rob him of some of his fondest memories over the past few years, Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen reported to work every day to oversee multimillion-dollar upgrades to the team's training facilities and roster.

So his absence from Dove Valley headquarters on Wednesday as players reported for physicals on the eve of training camp was as jarring as the announcement that the 70-year-old Bowlen was giving up control of the team because of Alzheimer's disease.

MONTREAL - It was 60 years ago that Pat Fletcher won the Canadian Open.

No other Canadian has won the national open golf tournament since then, but that could change when the PGA Tour event returns this week to Royal Montreal, the tree-lined course that played host to the 2007 Presidents Cup.

Mike Weir, Graham DeLaet and David Hearn are among the 19 home-grown players looking to end the losing run.

TORONTO - Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Bill Stephenson, who spent several decades on Canadian radio and television, has died. He was 85.

Newstalk 1010 in Toronto, where Stephenson worked for many years when the station was known as CFRB, says he died Tuesday night.

Born in Elrose, Sask., Stephenson started his radio career in his early 20s at CJAV in Port Alberni, B.C., before moving to Victoria's CKDA and Vancouver's CKWX.

WINNIPEG - Receiver Nick Moore is getting ready to return to the Lion's den but this time in a Winnipeg Blue Bomber uniform.

"I want to beat them just as bad as I want to beat everybody else," said Moore, who spent three seasons with the B.C. Lions until he was scooped as a free agent by the Bombers after the end of 2013.

"I want to win every game. They're just another team."

TORONTO - Toronto FC acquired versatile midfielder Warren Creavalle from Houston on Wednesday, paving the way for the Dynamo to sign U.S. international fullback DaMarcus Beasley as a designated player.

The clubs exchanged allocation ranking positions in the deal, moving Houston to the top of the list while Toronto dropped to No. 14. MLS uses the allocation ladder to regulate players returning to the league.

Toronto also sent allocation money to Houston, which would help in paying for Beasley.

Creavalle adds depth across a variety of positions for Toronto.

TORONTO - LeBron James going home to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers led to speculation about whether a star NHL player might do the same in the near future.

Naturally, Steven Stamkos was at the centre of that speculation. The Tampa Bay Lightning captain and Markham, Ont., native could be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2016, and the allure of playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs could be there.

GLASGOW, Scotland - Patricia Bezzoubenko lives with her parents in a tiny rented apartment in Moscow, a bus ride away from the training facility where she practises alongside Russia's top rhythmic gymnasts.

But this week at the Commonwealth Games, Bezzoubenko hopes to climb the medal podium for Canada.

"I want to bring glory for Canada," Bezzoubenko said after a training session in Glasgow.