Major League Baseball suspended umpire Fieldin Culbreth two games Friday because he was in charge of the crew that allowed Astros manager Bo Porter to improperly switch relievers in the middle of an inning. Culbreth and the rest of his crew — Brian O'Nora, Bill Welke, and Adrian Johnson — were also fined an undisclosed amount, after MLB admitted its umps goofed for the second straight day. With two outs and the Astros ahead, 5-3, Thursday, Houston’s Wesley Wright came in from the bullpen and threw several warm-up pitches. Porter then ran out to stop him and brought in another reliever, Hector Ambriz. Angels manager Mike Scioscia argued Wright was required to pitch to at least one batter, but the umpires let Ambriz stay in. The problem in Houston came a day after Angel Hernandez and his crew in Cleveland failed to reverse a clear-cut home run after a video review. MLB vice president Joe Torre said the umpires made an ‘‘improper call.’’ . . . The Rangers put catcher A.J. Pierzynski on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle . . . Lefthander Francisco Liriano will come off the disabled list and make his Pirates debut Saturday against the Mets . . . Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth is likely headed to the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain
Crosby, Ovechkin, Tavares vie for Hart
Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, and John Tavares of the New York Islanders were named finalists for the NHL’s Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player most valuable to his team. Crosby finished fourth with 56 points despite missing 12 games with injuries. Ovechkin had 32 goals in 48 games, and Tavares was third with 28 goals. The winner will be announced during the Stanley Cup Final . . . The NHL is ‘‘proceeding under the assumption’’ its players will play in next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, according to deputy commissioner Bill Daly. NHL representatives and international hockey and Olympic officials met in Stockholm in talks aimed at securing an agreement for the NHL to participate in the Sochi Games . . . The Colorado Avalanche announced Pierre Lacroix is stepping down as team president after 18 seasons and two Stanley Cup titles. Josh Kroenke will replace Lacroix, who will serve as an adviser. Former Avalanche star Joe Sakic is being elevated to executive vice president of hockey operations . . . Russia lost for the second day in a row at the IIHF World Championships in Helsinki, falling to Finland, 3-2. Petri Kontiola scored twice and Antti Raanta made 34 saves in the win. In other games, Austria edged Slovakia, 2-1, in Helsinki; in Stockholm, the Czech Republic beat Slovenia, 4-2, and Canada knocked off Belarus, 4-1 . . . Jamie Tardif scored twice as the host Providence Bruins beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 8-5, in Game 1 of their best-of-seven AHL Eastern Conference semifinal series.
LB Dansby rejoins Cardinals for a year
The Cardinals signed linebacker Karlos Dansby to a one-year contract. Terms were not released. Dansby played six seasons for Arizona before spending the last three with Miami. He led the Dolphins with 133 tackles, including one sack, in 2012 . . . Ex-Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o practiced for the first time with the Chargers, determined to push the infamous girlfriend hoax and his lackluster national championship play into the past . . . The Giants signed linebacker Aaron Curry to a one-year deal, hoping the fourth overall pick in 2009 can reinvent himself after showing little while with Seattle and Oakland . . . The Lions signed defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, the fifth overall pick in last month’s draft, to a five-year contract.
America’s Cup catamaran broke apart
The America’s Cup catamaran that capsized Thursday in San Francisco Bay, killing Olympic gold medalist Andrew ‘‘Bart’’ Simpson, nosedived during a difficult maneuver and broke into many pieces, an official said. But it remained unclear why the Artemis flipped, trapping Simpson under the wreckage for at least 10 minutes . . . Rutgers men’s basketball coach Eddie Jordan is not a graduate of the university as the school had claimed, another embarrassment for a program smarting from the firing of previous coach Mike Rice. Jordan’s biography on the athletic department’s website says he earned a degree in health and physical education in 1977. But the registrar’s office says Jordan never graduated, though he earned 103 credit hours from 1973 to 1985 . . . Rafael Nadal rallied past David Ferrer, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0 in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open. Serena Williams struggled before defeating Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-3, 0-6, 7-5, while Maria Sharapova eased past Kaia Kanepi, 6-2, 6-4 . . . Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s win over Robert Guerrero will exceed 1 million pay-per-view buys, the Showtime network said. That’s short of the 1.5 million buys for Mayweather’s previous fight against Miguel Cotto.