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Sports News Roundup: Spring training roundup: Jose Abreu’s bat, Astros’ arms overpower Cards; Tennis-Alcaraz ‘not surprised’ by quick return from injuries and more

Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.

Spring training roundup: Jose Abreu’s bat, Astros’ arms overpower Cards

Jose Abreu went 3-for-4 with a double, a homer and two RBI Thursday to support five Houston Astros pitchers who combined to shut out the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 on in a spring training game in Sarasota, Fla. Astros starter Ronel Blanco got the win after allowing three hits and no walks while fanning five in 3 1/3 innings. Blanco was followed by Austin Davis (2/3 of an inning), Ty Buttrey (one inning), Spencer Arrighetti (three) and Matt Ruppenthal (one) in keeping the Cardinals off the scoreboard.

Tennis-Alcaraz ‘not surprised’ by quick return from injuries

Carlos Alcaraz said he wanted to emulate Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic by winning titles straight after coming back from injury, with the world number two closing in on the Indian Wells crown with his win over Felix Auger-Aliassime on Thursday. Last month, Alcaraz claimed his first title since last year’s U.S. Open by winning in Buenos Aires – his first tournament after more than three months out due to abdominal and hamstring injuries.

NCAA Tournament roundup: Princeton, Furman pull off upsets

Ryan Langborg banked in a driving layup with two minutes to go Thursday to give Princeton its first lead, and second-seeded Arizona missed its final seven shots as the 15th-seeded Tigers scored a shocking 59-55 victory in a South region first-round game in Sacramento, Calif. Princeton (22-8) finished on a 9-0 run while overcoming a 12-point second-half deficit, posting an upset reminiscent of its 1996 first-round victory over defending champion UCLA. Pac-12 tournament champion Arizona (28-7) bowed out after scoring only four points in the final 8:05 to finish with its season-low point total.

NHL roundup: Panthers pound Canadiens 9-5

Carter Verhaeghe and Aaron Ekblad scored two goals each as the Florida Panthers hammered the Montreal Canadiens 9-5 on Thursday night in Sunrise, Fla. The Panthers’ other goals came from Matthew Tkachuk, Colin White, Gustav Forsling, Ryan Lomberg and Sam Reinhart. Tkachuk finished with four points, Josh Mahura and Aleksander Barkov each had two assists and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 25 shots for the win.

Motor racing-Hamilton indicates unease over return to Saudi Arabia

Lewis Hamilton distanced himself on Thursday from Formula One rivals who said they felt comfortable to be racing in Saudi Arabia this weekend. The Briton, a seven-times world champion and Formula One’s most successful driver, chose his words carefully but left little doubt about his stance.

Broadcaster says MLB streaming dispute pushed it toward bankruptcy

Diamond Sports Group, which owns the broadcasting rights of 14 Major League Baseball teams, said on Thursday the league’s desire to broadcast games directly to fans helped push the company’s regional sports networks into bankruptcy. The Sinclair Broadcast Group subsidiary filed for Chapter 11 protection on Tuesday, citing its high debt, outdated broadcast rights agreements and sports viewers’ cord-cutting trend.

Report: Eagles reach deal with QB Marcus Mariota

Quarterback Marcus Mariota reportedly is headed to the Philadelphia Eagles, this time as a backup instead of as an expected franchise savior. The 29-year-old veteran agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal that could rise to a maximum value of $8 million with incentives, ESPN reported Thursday night.

NBA roundup: Kings clinch first winning season since 2006

Domantas Sabonis totaled 24 points and 21 rebounds for his league-leading 56th double-double as the Sacramento Kings clinched their first winning season since 2005-06 with a 101-96 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night in New York. The Kings won for the 10th time in 12 games to secure their first winning mark since going 44-38 in the season that also marks their last playoff appearance. Sacramento also improved to 12-4 in its past 16 road games and secured its 21st road win, the franchise’s most since 2003-04.

Fencing-Germany cancels World Cup event after Russia, Belarus readmitted

Germany’s fencing federation has cancelled a women’s foil World Cup event after the sport’s global governing body (FIE) reversed a ban on athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus, it said on Thursday. Athletes from the two countries were banned from many international competitions after Russia invaded Ukraine last February in what Moscow calls a “special military operation”.

Tennis-Alcaraz into semis, Indian Wells defending champion Fritz knocked out

Top seed Carlos Alcaraz downed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 6-4 on Thursday to book an Indian Wells semi-final place against Jannik Sinner after the Italian knocked out defending champion Taylor Fritz 6-4 4-6 6-4. U.S. Open champion Alcaraz got off to a flying start, forcing the Canadian to save four break points before landing an inch-perfect forehand winner to break for a 3-2 lead in the opening set.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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