Clemens chats with Astros’ pitchers
July 21, 2013 2:10 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — Roger Clemens met with Houston’s pitching staff, encouraging the young players to “keep their spirits up” as they navigate through this difficult season.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner and special assistant to Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Saturday that the pitchers are “doing great and they have a bunch of great coaches in there.”

The 50-year-old Clemens also caught up with Mariners first base coach Mike Brumley, with whom he played at the University of Texas. While Clemens was in the Seattle clubhouse he also had a chat with ace Felix Hernandez and signed autographs for some of the younger players.

Bryant items sell at auction

WEST BERLIN, N.J. (AP) — Two NBA championship rings that Kobe Bryant gave to his parents each sold for more than $100,000 at an auction that supported one of his charities.

Goldin Auctions said six items of Bryant memorabilia sold for a combined $433,531 in the monthlong auction that closed early Saturday morning.

A 2000 Lakers championship ring gifted by Bryant to his father, Joe, sold for $174,184. A ring given to his mother, Pamela, from the same championship season went for $108,153.

Bryant had filed a suit against the auction company, saying his mother didn’t have the right to sell the items. A settlement was reached last month allowing six items to be auctioned after the five-time NBA champion’s parents apologized to their son and thanked him for his financial support.

Curry leads American Century

STATELINE, Nev. (AP) — Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry had four birdies in a late six-hole stretch Saturday to take a one-point lead after the second round of the American Century Championship.

Curry had 25 points in the round and 47 overall in the modified Stableford format that awards graduated points for pars or better.

Former NHL player Jeremy Roenick and former NFL quarterback Chris Chandler were tied for second, and former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien was two points back at 45.

After the birdie run, Curry bogeyed Nos. 17 and 18. Overall, he had five birdies and three bogeys for a 2-under 70 at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

Federer upset by qualifier

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — Roger Federer lost to Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4) Saturday in the semifinals of the German Tennis Championships.

Federer, a four-time champion in Hamburg, was outplayed by the 114th-ranked left-hander who advanced to his first career final. In the final, Delbonis will play Fabio Fognini of Italy. Fognini defeated third-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-4, 7-6 (1).

Federer has dropped to No. 5, his lowest ranking in a decade. The 31-year-old Swiss ace’s only title this year came on grass before Wimbleon in Halle, Germany.

• BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Hometown favorite Alejandro Falla advanced to the Claro Open Colombia final Saturday, beating Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4. Falla, a Bogota resident, is seeking his first ATP Tour title. The 29-year-old left-hander will face Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic today in the hard-court tournament at Centro de Alto Rendimiento. Karlovic beat second-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3.

• BASTAD, Sweden (AP) — Serena Williams defeated Klara Zakopalova 6-0, 6-4 Saturday in the semifinals of the Swedish Open. In the other semifinal, Sweden’s Johanna Larsson rallied to overpower Italy’s Flavia Pennetta 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. Williams will meet Larsson in today’s final of the clay-court tournament.

• BAD GASTEIN, Austria (AP) — Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic edged Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 7-5, 6-7 (1), 6-4 to set up a final against Yvonne Meusburger at the Gastein Ladies on Saturday. Meusburger reached her second straight WTA final by defeating Karin Knapp of Italy 6-4, 6-3.

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