Yankees star Alex Rodriguez struck out twice and went hitless Saturday in his latest minor league game, a day after declining to join New York’s Triple A team. Rodriguez was 0 for 3 for Single A Tampa, dropping to 2 for 18 with one RBI and five strikeouts during his injury rehabilitation assignment. Rodriguez met Friday in Tampa with Major League Baseball officials investigating the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs. With rain in the area, the Yankees wanted Rodriguez to travel to Buffalo, where Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is playing this weekend, a person familiar with the plans told the Associated Press. Rodriguez told the Yankees he was too worn down to go, the person said. The New York Post first reported the situation.
Astros secure second baseman Altuve
The low-budget Astros signed second baseman Jose Altuve to a four-year contract through 2017. Altuve’s deal with Houston covers his arbitration-eligible years and includes club options for 2018 and 2019. Media reports have the deal worth $12.5 million with the options at $6 million and $6.5 million . . . Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke will sit out this week’s All-Star Game because of stiffness in his lower back. Locke will also skip his scheduled start Sunday against the Mets. Rookie Gerrit Cole will start in Locke’s place . . . Third baseman Brett Lawrie was activated from the 15-day disabled list by Toronto after missing almost two months with a left ankle sprain.
Hawks match offer sheet for Teague
Atlanta matched the four-year, $32 million offer sheet Jeff Teague received from Milwaukee, retaining the point guard. Teague, who averaged 14.6 points and 7.2 assists last season, was pursued by the Bucks before they signed free agent guard O.J. Mayo to a three-year, $24 million deal Saturday. The 25-year-old Mayo averaged 15.3 points for the Mavericks last season. Dallas, meanwhile, agreed to a three-year deal with former Milwaukee guard Monta Ellis worth a reported $25 million to $30 million. Ellis scored 19.2 points last season . . . The Spurs re-signed center Tiago Splitter after the best season of the Brazilian’s career. The contract is reportedly worth $36 million over four seasons . . . The 76ers acquired the rights to Royce White and Furkan Aldemir from the Rockets for future draft considerations. White was a first-round pick last summer and never played for Houston while dealing with an anxiety disorder . . . Dwight Howard was introduced as the newest member of the Rockets after the sides agreed to terms last week . . . Erlana Larkins scored 15 points and the Indiana Fever beat the host New York Liberty, 74-53, in the WNBA . . . Lindsay Whalen scored 25 points as the Minnesota Lynx won, 86-75, at the Tulsa Shock.
Sharapova turns to Connors as coach
Maria Sharapova hired eight-time Grand Slam champion Jimmy Connors as her new coach, one day after splitting with Thomas Hogstedt. Connors, 60, was ranked No. 1 in the world three times. In 2008, he quit as Andy Roddick’s coach after 19 months . . . Philipp Kohlschreiber and Fabio Fognini will play in the final of the ATP Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany. Kohlschreiber beat Victor Hanescu, 6-3, 6-3, becoming the first German finalist since Tommy Haas in 1999.
America’s Cup finally gets underway
Emirates Team New Zealand routed Italy’s Luna Rossa in the first real race of the America’s Cup challenger series on San Francisco Bay. Italy boycotted last Sunday’s opening race while awaiting an international jury’s decision in a rules spat. Team New Zealand sailed alone for a point. The Kiwis did the same thing Tuesday, and the Italians Thursday, when their scheduled opponent was Artemis Racing, which is struggling to rebound from the fatal capsize of its first boat in May . . . Misato Kawona hit a leadoff homer, helping Japan beat the United States, 7-4, in the eighth World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City. Japan (3-1) clinched a berth in the gold-medal game. The US (2-1) could advance to Sunday night’s title game with a win Sunday over Puerto Rico . . . Team Supernova beat Team Eclipse, 24-15, in the Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C. The Boston Cannons’ Kevin Buchanan had four goals for the victors.