In Brief

BASEBALL

Pettitte’s testimony clouds
prosecutors’ case vs. Clemens

With two short answers, Andy Pettitte called into question the validity of his testimony against Roger Clemens, part of a discouraging day in Washington for prosecutors in the retrial of the seven-time Cy Young Award winner.

After stumbling its way to a mistrial of Clemens last year, the government is struggling again in the retrial – to the point that the crux of Pettitte’s testimony might be tossed out. First, the exasperated judge criticized the questioning of Pettitte on Wednesday, then he ruled against prosecutors in another matter. Finally he cried out: “You’re taking positions that are totally absurd to me.”

Pettitte, Clemens’ longtime friend and former teammate, was on the stand for a second day in the trial that is to determine whether Clemens lied at a 2008 congressional deposition and hearing when he denied taking steroids and human growth hormone.

During cross-examination, Clemens’ lawyers got exactly the answers they wanted.

Might Pettitte have misunderstood when Clemens supposedly acknowledged using human growth hormone to Pettitte in a conversation during the 1999-2000 offseason?

“I could have,” Pettitte answered.

Is it fair to say there is a “50-50” chance that Pettitte misunderstood?

“I’d say that’s fair,” Pettitte replied.

The government tried to salvage its witness, but prosecutor Steven Durham’s follow-up questions were lacking – at least in the minds of Clemens’ lawyers and, more importantly, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton.

Also: Milwaukee media outlets are reporting that Brewers first baseman Mat Gamel needs surgery for a torn ligament in his right knee and is expected to miss a significant amount of the season.

Gamel was hurt chasing a foul popup in Tuesday’s loss to the Padres and underwent an MRI exam after the game.

The Boston Red Sox placed third baseman Kevin Youkilis on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained back. Youkilis had been a late scratch the past three days.

The Philadelphia Phillies placed first baseman Jim Thome on the 15-day disabled list. Thome, 41, has not played since leaving Saturday’s game with tightness on the left side of his lower back.

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada will have elbow-ligament reconstruction surgery, likely delaying the Japanese left-hander’s major league debut for a year.

The Colorado Rockies optioned struggling right-handed pitcher Jhoulys Chacin (0-3, 7.30 ERA) to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

The San Diego Padres placed left-hander Cory Luebke (3-1, 2.61 ERA) on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left elbow.

MISCELLANEOUS

UNLV baseball’s offense stifled
in home loss to UC Riverside

The UNLV baseball team got shut down by UC Riverside starter Mitch Patito, losing 5-2 to the Highlanders in a nonconference game at Wilson Stadium. Patito threw seven scoreless innings, allowing five hits and three walks, with six strikeouts.

The Rebels trailed 5-0 before finally breaking through in the eighth inning, when Mark Shannon scored on a throwing error after a Danny Higa two-out single. Likewise in the ninth, Erik VanMeetren scored on a fielding error with two outs.

Also: UNLV’s Lucia Batta earned a spot in the NCAA Singles Tennis Championship. Batta, the player of the year in the Mountain West Conference, is 31-8 this season and went 7-0 in conference regular-season play.

As the conference’s top-ranked player (No. 60 nationally), she got the MWC’s automatic bid in the field of 64 players. The tournament, in Athens, Ga., begins May 23.

Butler is leaving the Horizon League and joining the Atlantic 10 beginning with the 2013-14 season.

Butler president James Danko made the announcement in a news conference. The team that was the NCAA men’s basketball national runner-up in 2010 and 2011 will now take a step up in class.

The Atlantic 10 is losing Temple, which will join the Big East in all sports other than football in 2013-14. Temple’s football team will begin playing in the Big East this fall.

The Meadows senior quarterback Garrett Gosse made an oral commitment to Princeton, Mustangs coach Frank DeSantis said.

Gosse, who has a weighted 4.87 GPA, won the national male Wendy’s High School Heisman as a senior.

Buffalo Bills receiver David Nelson described free-agent quarterback Vince Young as looking in great shape during his workout for the team.

What’s unclear is what the Bills think about Young and whether he fits in their plans behind starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills provided no update after Young met with coaches and held an on-field workout at the team’s facility.

Nelson was one of four Bills receivers to run routes and catch passes during the quarterback’s session, and said he was impressed by Young’s appearance and ability.

Paralyzed defensive tackle Eric LeGrand was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

LeGrand broke two vertebrae and suffered a serious spinal cord injury on Oct. 16, 2010, during a kickoff return against Army. His coach at Rutgers then, Greg Schiano, now is coach of the Bucs.

“It’s a symbolic gesture. They can’t give me any money with the salary cap and all that kind of stuff,” LeGrand said. “It’s symbolic, something coach wanted to do, and I appreciate that. It just shows the man that he is.”

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