Ben Jipcho, the ‘rabbit’ who helped Keino beat Ryun, dies UNDATED (AP) — Kenyan runner Ben Jipcho has died at the age off 77. Jipcho was famous for sacrificing his own hopes of winning an Olympic medal to help teammate Kip Keino beat American rival Jim Ryun to the gold in the 1,500 meters at the 1968 Mexico City Games. Jipcho played the role of the “rabbit’ by setting a relentless pace for the first half of the race in the high altitude. The tactic worked perfectly as Keino went on to win gold and became a pioneer for Kenyan track and field. Jipcho won a silver medal in the 3,000-meter steeplechase four years later at the 1972 Munich Olympics. — Cavan Biggio belted a three-run homer and the Blue Jays began their season away from Toronto by topping the Rays 6-4. Biggio’s infield single began a three-run fourth inning off 36-year-old Charlie Morton, who made his first career start on opening day. Randal Grichuk (GRIH’-chuhk), Rowdy Tellez and Teoscar (tay-AHS’-kur) Hernandez drove in the runs. — Lance Lynn struck out nine in six sharp innings and the Rangers inaugurated their new retractable-roof stadium with a 1-0 win over the Rockies. The Rangers didn’t get their first hit off Rockies starter German (hehr-MAHN’) Marquez until after Lynn had thrown the last of his 108 pitches in his first opening day start. Danny Santana had a one-out double in the sixth, and scored on a two-out double by Rougned Odor that chased Marquez . MLB-NEWS UNDATED (AP) — The displaced Toronto Blue Jays will play in Buffalo this year amid the pandemic. The Blue Jays said in a statement Friday that the greater part of their home schedule will be played at Sahlen (SAY’-len) Field in Buffalo, home of the club’s Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons. The team looked for a major league stadium after the Canadian government declined to allow them to play in Toronto but was unsuccessful in securing a site. Toronto opens the season at Tampa Bay on Friday. In other NBA news: — Missouri basketball players Xavier Pinson, Mitchell Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon Jr. have withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return to the Tigers for the upcoming season. Tigers coach Cuonzo Martin’s roster will have 11 players that are juniors or seniors. That is the most in the Southeastern Conference and third-most among all Power Five programs. ACC-NOTRE DAME AP sources: ACC, Notre Dame eye 2020 football membership UNDATED (AP) — The Atlantic Coast Conference and Notre Dame are considering whether the Fighting Irish will give up their treasured football independence for the 2020 season play as a member of the league. Zimmer has a 57-38-1 record over six years and owns a .599 winning percentage, the third-best of the nine head coaches in team history. Only Bud Grant and Dennis Green have a better mark. Zimmer’s also seventh in winning percentage among active NFL head coaches with a minimum of 50 games. Also around the NFL: — Washington quarterback Alex Smith needs to pass his physical with a team doctor Monday before being cleared for football activities, according to a team spokesman. ESPN had reported Smith was already cleared after the 36-year-old said that during an interview while filming a documentary for the network. Smith hasn’t played since November 2018 when he broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg. He underwent multiple surgeries in the aftermath of the injury and has since worked to get back to game action. PGA-3M OPEN Thompson, Werenski top leaderboard Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-SCHEDULE Mets get another opening win UNDATED (AP) — The New York Mets picked up another season-opening victory with help from their returning slugger. — The Chicago Cubs have finalized minor-league deals with infielder Derek Dietrich and outfielder Ryan LaMarre. Dietrich and LaMarre will report to the team’s camp in South Bend, Indiana. — A record 109 players from the Dominican Republic were on opening-day major league rosters, boosted by an expanded pool following the layoff caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Major League Baseball said Friday that 288 of 1,026 players on opening-day rosters were born outside the 50 states, which comes to 28.1%.NBA-TIMBERWOLVES SALE AP Sources: Afflalo headlines group bidding to buy Wolves MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that an ownership group led by longtime NBA player Arron Afflalo (uh-FLAH’-loh) is putting together a bid to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves. The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal is still in the process of being submitted. They say the ownership group will consist of two to five individuals with a net worth of more than $10 billion. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who bought the club in 1994 to keep it from moving to New Orleans, has put the franchise up for sale on the condition it remain in Minnesota. — Jack Flaherty pitched seven solid innings and Paul DeJong (deh-YUHNG’) hit a two-run homer as part of the Cardinals′5-4 victory over the Pirates. Flaherty did not give up a run until Jacob Stallings hit a two-out, two-run single just under the glove of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt in the seventh.Tyler O’Neill and Dexter Fowler added solo homers for St. Louis. — Eric Hosmer hit three-run doubles in consecutive innings to in his Padres debut to guide a 7-2 decision over the Diamondbacks. The six RBIs tied Hosmer’s career high and backed 24-year-old right-hander Chris Paddack, who threw six scoreless innings in his first opening day start. Losing pitcher Madison Bumgarner allowed three runs and four hits over 5 2/3 innings in his DBacks debut. — J.D. Martinez and Kevin Pillar each drove in three runs in the Red Sox’s 13-2 dismantling of the Orioles. Jackie Bradley Jr., Jose Peraza, Martinez and Pillar each doubled as part of a four-run third inning. Nathan Eovaldi (eh-VAHL’-dee) gave up just one run and five hits, striking out four over six innings in his first career opening day start. — The Reds were 7-1 winners over the Tigers as Mike Moustakas (moos-TAH’-kahs) supplied a two-run homer and four RBIs in his Cincinnati debut. Sonny Gray fanned nine and gave up three hits in six innings, including C.J. Cron’s homer. Japanese product Shogo Akiyama singled home a run as a pinch hitter in his first big league game. — Jesus Aguilar (AG’-ee-ahr) hit a two-run homer off Aaron Nola and Sandy Alcantara (al-KAN’-tah-rah) pitched neatly into the seventh inning of the Marlins’ 5-2 verdict over the Phillies. Alcantara gave up one earned run and three hits, striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings. Didi Gregorius (greh-GOHR’-ee-uhs) lined a solo shot in his first game since signing a $14 million, one-year deal with the Phillies. Yoenis Cespedes (yoh-EH’-nehs SEHS’-peh-dehs) belted a seventh-inning homer and four Mets combined in a three-hitter in a 1-0 downing of the Atlanta Braves. The blast came two years and four days after Cespedes last played a major league game. Numerous leg injuries have kept him sidelined and caused him to accept a renegotiated contract last winter. Jacob deGrom was in vintage form as the two-time NL Cy Young winner held the Braves to one hit while striking out eighth over five innings. Seth Lugo worked two innings for the victory and Edwin Diaz got the final three outs to notch the save. The Mets are 39-12 in season openers since dropping their first eight. Their 39-20 mark on opening day is the best in major league history. In other major league finals: — Dusty Baker posted a win in his first game as the Astros manager, an 8-2 thumping of the Mariners. Michael Brantley hit a three-run homer to back Justin Verlander, who struck out seven over six innings of his 12th career opening-day start. Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Former U.S. Olympic long-distance runner and congressman Jim Ryun has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House. Ryun was the first U.S. high schooler to run a mile in under 4 minutes. He was the 1968 Olympic silver medalist in the 1,500-meter run and a three-time Olympian. Ryun went on to serve as a member of the House representing a Kansas congressional district from 1996 to 2006. The White House described Ryun as one of the most accomplished American runners in history. OLYMPICS-OBIT-JIPCHO — The Dodgers crushed the Giants for the second straight day as Max Muncy homered twice and doubled in a 9-1 laugher. Ross Stripling allowed four hits, walked none and struck out seven over seven innings to pick up the win. Mookie Betts notched his first RBI for Los Angeles in going 1 for 6, leaving him 2-for-11 since signing the richest contract in the National League.— The Athletics celebrated a 7-3 win over the Angels after Matt Olson crushed a grand slam in the bottom of the 10th. The A’s scored twice in the eighth to pull ahead, but Jason Castro’s solo blast extended the game. Ramon Laureano was 2-for-3 with a walk, two RBIs and three runs scored.— Shane Bieber was fantastic in the Indians’ 2-0 shutout of the Royals, striking out 14 while surrendering four hits in six innings. It was the most strikeouts by a Cleveland pitcher on opening day and the most for any hurler in an opener since Randy Johnson fanned 14 in 1996. Cleveland did its scoring in the sixth inning on Oscar Mercado’s RBI single and a double by Cesar Hernandez. — Max Kepler homered against White Sox ace Lucas Giolito in his first two at-bats to spark the Twins to a 10-5 rout. Jake Cave had two hits and drove in two runs for Minnesota. White Sox slugger Yoán Moncada had three hits, including a three-run shot off José Berrios (beh-REE’-ohs) in the second inning — Kyle Hendricks became the first Cubs hurler in 46 years to toss an opening-day shutout, scattering three hits in a 3-0 win over the Brewers. Ian Happ opened the scoring in the third inning with a two-run blast. Anthony Rizzo added an eighth-inning blast. Update on the latest sports The NFL Players Association’s executive committee and 32 player representatives approved the offers Friday. Players who decide they want to opt out have until Aug. 3 to do so, and they will receive a stipend from the owners. The amount of the stipend will be $350,000 for medical opt outs and $150,000 for voluntary opt outs. Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif became the first player to opt out of the upcoming NFL season on Friday. He’s choosing to put his medical degree to use on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic rather than helping the Kansas City Chiefs defend their first Super Bowl title in 50 years. In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic: — The Chicago Bears have canceled season ticket packages because they’re not sure how many fans — if any — will be allowed at Soldier Field due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Team President Ted Phillips cited “a need to reduce the seating capacity to build a plan that allows for social distancing” in a letter to season ticket holders. BLAINE, Minn. (AP) — Michael Thompson and Richy Werenski will carry a share of the lead into the third round of the 3M Open. The scores crept up after Werenski led the first-round pack with an 8-under 63. The 24-year-old followed that with a 67 as he seeks his first PGA victory. Thompson fired a 66 Friday to grab a piece of the lead at 12 under, one shot ahead of Tony Finau (FEE’-now) and Talor Gooch. RYUN-MEDAL OF FREEDOM Trump honors former track phenom and Kansas congressman Ryun Two people involved in the ACC’s discussions say the league is looking at an 11-game schedule that would include 10 conference games. It would start Sept. 12. Notre Dame would play a full 10-game ACC schedule. Whether those games would count in the standings and the Irish would be eligible to participate in the ACC championship game for a slot in the Orange Bowl is still to be determined. VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS AP sources: NFL owners offer opt-out guidelines for players NFL training camps are set to open after the league and the players’ union reached agreement on several issues. Those issues included future salary cap mechanisms and how players can opt out of the upcoming season because of the coronavirus. In other MLB news: — Four baseball players and two staff tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week. There have been 99 new positive tests since intake screening began June 27. That represents 0.3% of 32,640 samples and includes 84 players and 15 staff. — The Braves were without their top two catchers, Tyler Flowers and Travis d’Arnaud (dahr-NOH’), for Friday’s opening game at New York Mets after both players showed symptoms of the coronavirus. Manager Brian Snitker says Flowers and d’Arnaud have tested negative for the coronavirus but did not travel with the team because they had symptoms. — The Indians elected to wear their blue road jerseys on opening day with “Cleveland” on the front as a unified statement of solidarity for minorities as the team contemplates a name change. Owner Paul Dolan recently announced the franchise is considering changing its name from Indians, which has been the club’s moniker since 1915. Typically, the team wears white jerseys with “Indians” across the chest at home. — Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro went on the injured list before their season opener at Philadelphia. The Marlins didn’t give a reason but said they expected Alfaro to return this season. Alfaro batted .262 with 18 homers and 57 RBIs last year in his first season with the Marlins. July 25, 2020 — Atlanta Dream center Kalani Brown tested positive for the coronavirus on July 9 and remains under — More than two dozen Division I conferences want the NCAA Board of Governors to avoid making any decisions about fall championships until a majority of the leagues determine whether to hold regular-season competition. A letter from College Commissioners Association President Beth DeBauche was sent to the board. — A leading British government adviser says the pandemic will make it “very difficult” for Premier League matches to be staged with full crowds for at least another year and capacities face being capped at 25% when stadiums eventually re-open. The Premier League season ends on Sunday and Calder urged players to avoid going on holiday to COVID-19 hotspots, singling out the United States.NFL-NEWS Vikings extend Zimmer’s deal UNDATED (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have signed head coach Mike Zimmer to a three-year contract extension through the 2023 season.