Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Tennis: Sakkari battles back to reach semis in San Jose
Maria Sakkari came from behind to defeat top-seeded Elina Svitolina 1-6 7-6(3) 6-3 in a thrilling quarter-final at the Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose on Friday. Sakkari saved four match points and trailed 5-2 in the second set but found her form in time to extend her run at the tournament, where she lost the final last year.
MLB roundup: Astros hammer six home runs to rout M's
Rookie Yordan Alvarez slugged the first of Houston's season-high six home runs as the Astros bashed their way to a 10-2 victory over the visiting Seattle Mariners on Friday. The Astros posted three runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings, all via the home run. Alvarez recorded a leadoff blast to straightaway center field in the second to ignite the surge. Later that frame, Jake Marisnick clubbed the first of the Astros' three two-run homers, extending the lead to 3-0.
Tsitsipas finds his footing to set up Kyrgios semi in Washington
Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame another shoe problem and an angry Benoit Paire on Friday to advance 7-5 6-0 and set up a semi-final against Australian firebrand Nick Kyrgios at the Citi Open in Washington. Frenchman Benoit lost his temper in the third game of the second set when top seed Tsitsipas halted the match to attend to a broken shoe lace.
NFL notebook: Colts work out Marshall, Gillislee
The Indianapolis Colts worked out wide receiver Brandon Marshall and running back Mike Gillislee on Friday, according to multiple reports. Marshall, 35, is a six-time Pro Bowl selection who played seven games with the Seattle Seahawks in 2018. He was signed by the New Orleans Saints in December but was released without playing in a game.
Reports: Lakers-Clippers on Christmas Day schedule
The inner-city rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers headlines the NBA's five-game Christmas Day schedule, according to ESPN. In addition to the battle of L.A., the Golden State Warriors will host the new-look Houston Rockets at the new Chase Arena. The Warriors have eliminated the Rockets in the playoffs the last two seasons.
Philadelphia Phillies sue to keep their 'beloved' Phillie Phanatic
The Phillie Phanatic, one of the most recognizable mascots in American sports, is the subject of a lawsuit by the Philadelphia Phillies, trying to stop the mascot's creators from taking away the baseball team's bright green, fat, furry, long-beaked creature. In a federal complaint filed on Friday in Manhattan, the Phillies accused Harrison/Erickson Inc and its principals, Wayde Harrison and Bonnie Erickson, of reneging on a 1984 agreement to let the Phillies use the Phanatic "forever."
North Korea want to host World Cup qualifier with South in Pyongyang
North Korea have nominated Pyongyang as the host venue for their World Cup qualifying match against South Korea in October, clearing the way for the two countries to play on North Korean soil for the first time in almost 30 years. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) confirmed to Reuters on Saturday that the North Koreans had requested that the game scheduled for Oct. 15 be played at the 50,000-capacity Kim Il-sung Stadium in the northern capital.
Ahead by a century, U.S. storms to 100 Pan Am medals
The United States needed only one week to hit the medal century mark at the Pan Am Games on Friday while Canada shot up the table into second place after sweeping all the titles but one on offer in badminton. It was also another big evening in the boxing ring for Cuba, who picked up four more golds after winning four from five finals on Thursday.
Former Wisconsin WR Cephus acquitted of sex assault
Former Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus was found not guilty of two counts of sexual assault Friday in Madison, Wis. The jury needed only 30 minutes of deliberation to reach its conclusion.
Pro Football Hall of Fame to welcome Gonzalez, Reed on Saturday
Ed Reed was considered the premier safety in the NFL during his career. On Saturday, the former Baltimore Ravens ballhawk takes his place among the all-time greats at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "It's a lot to think about," Reed said of his Gold Jacket moment to come on Saturday, when many anticipate the influential leader will use the stage to discuss football memories and the social issues that drive his post-football passion.