BC-AP Sports Digest

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by John Nicholson at 5 p.m. and Dennis Waszak Jr. at 1 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800 845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are available from the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EDT.

A separate World Cup Digest has been sent.

TOP STORIES:

SOC–WCUP-BRAZIL’S SPOTLIGHT

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s day finally arrives. The nation hosts its first World Cup in 64 years and nearly half the world’s population, well over 3 billion viewers, is expected to watch soccer’s premier event over the next month. This will also provide a glimpse of the country that in two years will hold the Summer Olympics. By Bradley Brooks. SENT: 650 words, photos.

BKN–NBA FINALS

MIAMI — Coming off a record shooting performance in Game 3, the San Antonio Spurs look to open a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. The Heat, however, have a history of bouncing back. They have followed their last 13 losses in the post-season with a victory. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 9 p.m. Halftime lead.

– With:

– BKN–NBA Finals-Basketball States. Basketball’s pull in Texas, Florida — where football rules. By Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 2 p.m. Early story.

GLF–US OPEN

PINEHURST, N.C. — All it took was a little sunshine to turn birdies into bogeys at what already was shaping up as another tough U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2. Graeme McDowell and Kevin Na are among the early leaders, and Phil Mickelson isn’t too far behind. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 750 words, photos. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 8 p.m.

WORLD CUP

SOC–WCUP-BRAZIL-CROATIA

SAO PAULO — Hosting the World Cup for the first time since 1950, Brazil opens against Croatia in the first step of a bid for a sixth title and in a stadium not yet finished. If Brazil wins the opener, the problems that plagued the preparations will, for the moment, not seem quite so dire. A loss, quite simply, is unthinkable. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 4 p.m.

– With:

– SOC–WCup-Opening Ceremony. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 120 words, photos UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

– SOC–WCup-Protests. By Adriana Gomez Licon. SENT: 450 words, photos.

SOC–WCUP-US-BECKERMAN’S SHOT

SAO PAULO — With his tattooed torso on display and his dreadlocks messy as ever, Kyle Beckerman is signing autographs. Being in Brazil is what the U.S. midfielder planned all along — from his days at about age 8 when he was an unofficial member of the national team. By Janie McCauley. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 4 p.m.

SOC–WCUP-ENGLAND FEELS HEAT

RIO DE JANEIRO — English soccer players can deal with the weather if it’s wet and bleak, or cold and grim. But the heat and humidity is a different story. The noonday sun is almost a hostile environment for the English. By Stephen Wade. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 3 p.m.

– Also:

– SAO PAULO — SOC–WCup-What To Watch. SENT: 600 words, photos.

– SOC–WCup-Brazil Beat. Brief items on World Cup doings around Brazil. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. Updated throughout day.

– Stories on Friday’s three games: Mexico-Cameroon, Spain-Netherlands, Chile-Australia. SENT.

– CAMPINAS, Brazil — SOC–Portugal-Ronaldo. SENT: 120 words, photos.

– SAO PAULO — SOC–WCup-Blatter-Platini. SENT: 400 words.

– BANGKOK — SOC–WCup-Thailand-World Cup Happiness. By Thanyarat Doksone and Jocelyn Gecker. SENT: 550 words, photos.

– VATICAN CITY — SOC–WCup-Pope’s Message. By Nicole Winfield. SENT: 300 words.

– NEW YORK — SOC–WCup-US Media-Five Questions. By Television Writer David Bauder. SENT: 600 words, photos.

U.S. OPEN

GLF–JIM LITKE-0612214

PINEHURST, N.C. — Phil Mickelson caught a few breaks on and off the course and made the most of them at the U.S. Open — for once. By Sports Columnist Jim Litke. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.

GLF–US OPEN-MCDOWELL

PINEHURST, N.C. — Graeme McDowell wasn’t too concerned with how he was hitting the ball. He just had to make sure he knew right where it was going. The strategy paid off with a 2-under 68 that got the Northern Irishman off to a good start in his bid for another U.S. Open title. By National Writer Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.

– With:

– GLF–US Open-Fitzpatrick. By Aaron Beard. U.S. Amateur champ holds his own against two Open champions. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

– GLF–US Open-East vs West. By Doug Ferguson. Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama, the East-West rivalry in golf. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

– GLF–US Open-Notebook. By Joedy McCready. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 7 p.m.

– GLF–US Open-Glance.

– GLF–US Open-Leader Cards.

– GLF–US Open-Key Hole.

STANLEY CUP FINALS

HKN–STANLEY CUP

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings may have lost Game 4 in New York, but they now have a chance for a Stanley Cup coronation on home ice Friday night. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist has given the Rangers hope with a phenomenal performance to avoid a sweep. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 8 p.m.

BASEBALL

BBA–BLUE JAYS-ORIOLES

BALTIMORE — Mark Buehrle tries to become the first pitcher in the majors with 11 wins when the first-place Toronto Blue Jays play the second-place Baltimore Orioles in a game between AL East contenders. By David Ginsburg. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 7:05 p.m.

BBA–TEETERING RANGERS

ARLINGTON, Texas — Yu Darvish is about the only reason for optimism left for the injury-riddled Texas Rangers. They made their 20th move on the disabled list — yes, another pitcher — just before starting an AL West road trip that could make or break their season. By Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.

BBO–HALL OF FAME-75TH ANNIVERSARY

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — All that was missing was the Bambino — and the sun. With rain forcing the festivities inside, the Baseball Hall of Fame celebrates its 75th anniversary one day before a new Babe Ruth exhibit opens. By John Kekis. SENT: 800 words, photos.

NFL

FBN–BROWNS-QB BATTLE

BEREA, Ohio — Johnny Manziel has some catching up to do. With Cleveland’s minicamp over, Manziel appears to be behind Brian Hoyer in the battle to be the Browns’ quarterback. Manziel has made up some ground, but the heralded rookie is still adjusting to life in the NFL. By Tom Withers. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

FBN–SEAHAWKS-HEALTHY HARVIN

RENTON, Wash. — Percy Harvin says this is the healthiest he’s felt since before college. That’s exactly what the Seattle Seahawks want to hear. Harvin’s hip kept him a spectator for most of 2013. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 6 p.m.

FBN–BROWNS-FEMALE OFFICIAL

BEREA, Ohio — Sarah Thomas already feels she’s “one of the guys.” One of two females in the NFL’s officiating development program, Thomas is hoping to be the first female to work in a league game. She’s spent the past few days at Browns minicamp working on her craft. By Tom Withers. UPCOMING; 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.

– Also:

– MIAMI — FBN–NFL Players-Police Report. By Legal Affairs Writer Curt Anderson. SENT: 450 words, photos.

– PITTSBURGH — FBN–Steelers-Pouncey. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

– ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — FBN–Bills-Marrone. By John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 5 p.m.

– CHARLOTTE, N.C. — FBN–Panthers-Cam’s Blindside. By Steve Reed. 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

– ST. LOUIS — FBN–Rams-Stacy. By R.B. Fallstrom. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.

COLLEGE

BBC–CWS-10 THINGS TO KNOW

OMAHA, Neb. — Ten things to know about the College World Series, which starts Saturday. By Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 700 words by 4 p.m., photos.

BKC–ARIZONA ST-JUCO PLAYERS

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State coach Herb Sendek took a chance by bringing in junior college transfer Shaquielle McKissic. Given McKissic’s success on and off the court last season, Sendek has changed his views on recruiting junior college players. He’s added three for next season. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 700 words by 6 p.m.

– Also:

– AUBURN, Ala. — FBC–Auburn-Jacobs. AP interview with athletic director Jay Jacobs. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.

TENNIS

– LONDON — TEN–Queen’s. Andy Murray loses in third round at Queen’s Club. SENT: 500 words, photos.

– BIRMINGHAM, England — TEN–Aegon Classic. Kimiko Date-Krumm, 43, reaches Aegon Classic quarterfinals. SENT: 350 words, photos.

– HALLE, Germany — TEN–Gerry Weber Open. Roger Federer wins his opening match at Gerry Weber Open. SENT: 130 words.

OTHER NEWS

– WASHINGTON — Obama-WNBA. Obama fetes WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx; says team is good example for his daughters. By Josh Lederman. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 350 words, photos by 5 p.m.

– EUGENE, Ore. — ATH–NCAA Track Championships. Decathlon, women’s 10,000 metres highlight second day of NCAA track and field championships. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. 10K starts 10:15 p.m.

– DENVER — SWM–Olympian Injured. Olympic champion swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen to undergo rehab for severed spine at a suburban Denver hospital. SENT: 130 words, photos.

– LA MURE, France — CYC–Criterium du Dauphine. Slovenia’s Simon Spilak wins fifth of Criterium du Dauphine; Britain’s Chris Froome keeps overall lead. SENT: 250 words.

– LONDON — RAC–Frankel Foal. First foal of great racehorse Frankel to be sold at auction Monday. SENT: 130 words, photos.

– BBO–Baseball Capsules.

Thursday’s Time Schedule (EDT)

World Cup

Brazil vs. Croatia, at Sao Paulo, 4 p.m.

NBA Finals

San Antonio at Miami, 9 p.m.

Baseball

L.A. Dodgers at Cincinnati, 12:35 p.m.

San Diego at Philadelphia, 1:05 p.m.

Atlanta at Colorado, 3:10 p.m.

Washington at San Francisco, 3:45 p.m.

Toronto at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.

Milwaukee at N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m.

Cleveland at Boston, 7:10 p.m.

Arizona at Houston, 8:10 p.m.

Detroit at Chicago White Sox, 8:10 p.m.

N.Y. Yankees at Seattle, 10:10 p.m.

WNBA

Phoenix at Connecticut, 7 p.m.

15:23ET 12-06-14

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