Wednesday Sports in Brief

National Sports

TENNIS

Serena and Venus Williams added themselves to the list of big-name withdrawals from the U.S. Open on Wednesday, making this the first time since 2003 neither of the sisters will appear in the year’s last Grand Slam tournament.

Serena, who turns 40 next month, cited a torn right hamstring that has kept her out of competition since she was injured in the first set of her first-round match at Wimbledon in late June.

Venus, who is 41, said she has a leg injury.

They announced their decisions via social media posts about 10 hours apart.

”Not the best news from Serena and I today. I, too, am unable to play the U.S. Open. It’s super super super disappointing,” Venus said. ”Having some issues with my leg all this summer and just couldn’t work through it.”

MLB

BALTIMORE (AP)The Baltimore Orioles snapped their 19-game losing streak Wednesday night, rallying to beat Los Angeles 10-6 after a shaky start by Shohei Ohtani left the Angels’ bullpen with too much to do.

The Angels were up 6-2 in the fourth inning and 6-4 when Ohtani left the game after the top of the sixth. But Baltimore scored a run in the seventh and five in the eighth. Ramon Urias and Kelvin Gutierrez drew bases-loaded walks to put the Orioles up 7-6, and pinch-hitter Austin Hays added a two-run double.

The Orioles were two losses shy of the American League record for the longest skid – which they set themselves in 1988 when they started 0-21.

Ohtani allowed three homers on the mound and struck out three times at the plate.

It was 6-5 when Jake Petricka (0-1) allowed a single, a double and an intentional walk to start the bottom of the eighth. He then walked Urias, his final batter, on four pitches to tie the game.

Tanner Scott (5-4) won in relief for the Orioles.

NFL

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Urban Meyer figured Trevor Lawrence would be his starting quarterback long before he even took the Jacksonville job.

But Meyer insisted Lawrence earn the spot, whether his goal was to send a message to his young team or set a tone for his NFL tenure. So Meyer staged a sometimes laughable ”competition” during offseason workouts, training camp and the preseason.

Meyer finally ended the charade Wednesday by naming Lawrence the team’s starter for the season opener at Houston on Sept. 12, one of the least surprising decisions in franchise history.

Meyer gave Lawrence the nod over third-year pro Gardner Minshew after two preseason games and a month of training camp. Meyer expects Lawrence will never have to earn a starting job in the NFL again.

ENGELWOOD, Colo. (AP) – The Denver Broncos are going with the steady over the spectacular.

Coach Vic Fangio informed the team Wednesday morning that Teddy Bridgewater has edged incumbent Drew Lock to win the starting quarterback job.

For much of training camp, the QB clash was a drudging one in which neither passer strung together stellar performances from one day to the next, and sometimes not even from one drill to another.

Both of them elevated their play in the preseason, however.

Lock had a splashy game at Minnesota in the preseason opener but Bridgewater won the job with a stellar relief performance against the Vikings and an outstanding start at Seattle.

Lock’s preseason included an 80-yard touchdown throw to K.J. Hamler and just Tuesday he began practice with a 60-yard dime to Jerry Jeudy. But he continued to scuffle in three-wide formations and didn’t show as much huddle command, pre-snap management, pocket awareness and precision as Bridgewater did.

NBA

A diversity report found the NBA continues to lead men’s professional sports in racial and gender hiring practices, fueled by more general managers and assistant coaches of color in the league.

Wednesday’s report card from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at Central Florida assigned an overall B-plus grade, with an A for racial hiring and a B for gender hiring. The report annually examines positions for franchises as well as in league leadership, with this edition using data from early in the 2020-21 season.

The overall and racial-hiring grades were down slightly from last season (A-minus and A-plus respectively), while numerical scores in all three major categories fell slightly. Institute director and lead report author Richard Lapchick noted that decrease was due largely to a change in methodology that includes team ownership for the first time, which he expects will lead to drops for every league.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – ESPN is canceling Rachel Nichols’ show, ”The Jump,” and pulling her off NBA programming.

David Roberts, who was named last week to oversee the network’s NBA coverage, said in a statement that ”we mutually agreed that this approach regarding our NBA coverage was best for all concerned.”

Nichols also confirmed the move on her Instagram page. Sports Business Journal was the first to report it.

Nichols posted: ”Got to create a whole show and spend five years hanging out with some of my favorite people talking about one my favorite things. An eternal thank you to our amazing producers & crew – `The Jump’ was never built to last forever but it sure was fun. More to come .”

ESPN will have a new daily NBA show that will premiere sometime before the regular season begins in October. Roberts also will be responsible for revamping and finding a host for the network’s ”NBA Countdown” show with Maria Taylor’s departure to NBC.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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