California rolls into U.S. semis with 5-0 win
Little League: Powerful Petaluma, Calif., can pitch, too.
Hance Smith’s three-run homer in the third broke open a tight game, and Quinton Gago struck out seven over 5 1/3 innings in a 5-0 win Tuesday night over Fairfield, Conn., at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.
California moves on to the U.S. semifinals on Thursday night. Connecticut was eliminated.
Fairfield was stifled by Gago, a 12-year-old left-hander.
Connecticut’s best chance came in the second when Michael Ghiorzi led off with a single, and an error made it runners on first and second with nobody out.
But third baseman Cole Tomei charged a bunt and started a 5-6-4 double play, and Gago got a strikeout to end the threat.
• Mexico wins: Ramon Ballina hit a three-run homer and Mexico stayed alive at the Little League World Series with a 6-2 victory over Curacao.
Ballina’s drive to right-center during Mexico’s five-run third inning was his fourth homer of the series. Joel Turrubiates also had a tying RBI single.
Ballina also came on in relief in the fourth and allowed just one hit to pick up the save.
Mexico played without manager Fernando Rios, who was suspended for two games after a player on his roster did not bat during a 4-3 victory over Taiwan on Monday night.
• Uganda defeats Oregon: Uganda is heading home with a victory in the Little League World Series.
The first team from Africa to play in the event beat Gresham, Ore., 3-2 in a consolation game Tuesday.
Lynx defeat Storm for fifth straight win
WNBA: Seimone Augustus scored 22 points, Maya Moore had 20 and Rebekkah Brunson had 20 points and 14 rebounds to lead the visiting Minnesota Lynx past the Seattle Storm 86-73 for their fifth consecutive win.
Moore and Augustus each hit four 3-pointers for defending champion Minnesota (18-4), which has the league’s best record and already has clinched a playoff berth. Lindsay Whalen had nine assists and Moore added seven.
Camille Little scored 20 points to lead Seattle (10-12), which has lost two in a row at home for the first time since July 2009.
Paterno author says family wanted truth
Football: The author of the new biography of Joe Paterno says the late Penn State coach and his family never tried to limit his access to them after the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke.
Joe Posnanski told the Associated Press none of the Paternos ever tried to influence what he wrote. He said they told him only to write the truth the as best he could.
“Paterno” was released Tuesday.
• Coach arrested on child porn charges: The head football coach at Minnesota State, Mankato, has been arrested on charges related to child pornography.
Todd Hoffner was booked into the Blue Earth County Jail on suspicion of using underage people in a sexual performance and possession of child pornography.
Van Garderen takes Stage 2 victory
Cycling: Tejay van Garderen emerged at the front in last few hundred uphill yards, captured the Stage 2 and assumed the race lead at the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado.
Van Garderen, who rides for BMC, completed the 99.2-mile Montrose to Mt. Crested Butte road race in 3 hours, 52 minutes and 24 seconds.
Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) of Lemont, lll., finished second in the same time, and Ivan Rovny (Rusvelo) of Russia was third, trailing the stage winner by six seconds.
Van Garderen, who earned his first win of the season, has the same overall time as Vande Velde. But van Garderen is the race leader based on his higher place in Stage 2.
Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) of Wenatchee, who held the race lead after his Stage 1 sprint win, placed 57th in Stage 2 and is 72nd in the field of 116, trailing by 4:39.
• Clarke winner: Simon Clarke of Australia won the fourth stage of the Spanish Vuelta, while Joaquim Rodriguez took over the red leader’s jersey.
Clarke, riding for Orica Greenedge, finished the 99-mile ride from Barakaldo ending in a summit finish at Estacion de Valdezcaray in 4 hours, 30 minutes, 26 seconds.
Tony Martin was second, followed by Assan Bazayev in third.
The 21-stage race ends on Sept. 21 in Madrid.
Fehr, Bettman resume labor talks
Hockey: NHL Players’ Association executive director Don Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman are set to return to the negotiating table today in a bid to start bridging what is described as a “wide gap” in labor talks.
The negotiations are to be held at the union’s headquarters in Toronto, and mark the first time in a week that the respective leaders meet face to face after discussions hit a snag.
Last week, Bettman essentially rejected the union’s counterproposal by calling it incomplete and suggesting the sides aren’t on the same page.
Zvonareva withdraws from U.S. Open
Miscellany: Two-time Grand Slam runner-up Vera Zvonareva has withdrawn from next week’s U.S. Open because of a viral illness.
The 16th-ranked Russian lost in the final at Flushing Meadows in 2010 to Kim Clijsters. She retired in her third-round match against Clijsters at Wimbledon this year because of illness, then was routed 6-1, 6-0 by Serena Williams at the Olympics.
• IndyCar returns to Texas: Texas Motor Speedway will hold an IndyCar race for the 17th straight year in June.
The announcement ends speculation about the future of the open-wheel series at the Fort Worth track.
• Ohio State, Connecticut head field: Connecticut and Ohio State will headline the first women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge in 2013 at Springfield, Mass.
The two powerhouse programs will play each other as part of a quadrupleheader on Dec. 1, 2013. Marist will face Old Dominion; Monmouth takes on Boston University; and St. Bonaventure will meet Bowling Green.
Before the games in Springfield, Ohio State and UConn will host the other teams in a round robin tournament. Marist, Bowling Green and Monmouth will play at Ohio State. Boston, Old Dominion and St. Bonaventure will be at Connecticut.