Phoenix — Takashi Saito stood on the mound at Maryvale Baseball Park on Sunday and thought of his family in Japan.
Saito pitched the first inning of the Milwaukee Brewers’ 7-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out two. He said it was difficult to get into a good rhythm.
The Brewers had given him some time off to check on his family in Miyagi City, but he returned to the club Sunday.
“I have gotten more information about what’s going on, and I am in a better place (emotionally),” Saito said through an interpreter.
The 41-year-old Saito’s wife and three daughters were OK in his current home in Yokohama, but the whereabouts of other family members were initially uncertain.
K.C. shortstop Alcides Escobar, who was acquired by the Royals when they sent pitcher Zack Greinke to Milwaukee, hit an inside-the-park homer in the second. Infielder Mike Aviles had two hits for the Royals on Sunday on his 30th birthday.
Optimism visible for ‘11
New York — There will be an NFL season in 2011.
That’s what Commissioner Roger Goodell keeps saying. So do many of the owners and players, even though labor talks collapsed, the union dissolved itself, and star players including MVP Tom Brady asked for a preliminary injunction to prevent a lockout hours before the league even implemented one.
Despite the nasty rhetoric of last week, no one would paint the doomsday scenario of no football come September. Instead, we hear Chargers president Dean Spanos say, “We will get through this. There will be a new agreement and we’re looking forward to playing football this season.”
And Bears president Ted Phillips echoed with “A deal will get done and we expect to play football in 2011.”
“There will be no negotiating for a while,” said Gary Roberts, dean of the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis. “Both sides will wait to see how the legal maneuvering plays out.
Watney prevails at Doral
Doral, Fla. — Nick Watney wound up in another duel at Doral, this one with a much sweeter ending.
Watney poured in two key par putts along the back nine of the Blue Monster on Sunday, then hit two fearless shots on the 18th and finished with a birdie for a 5-under 67 to win the Cadillac Championship by two shots over Dustin Johnson.
Price takes Toshiba
Newport Beach, Calif. — Nick Price won the Toshiba Classic on Sunday for his fourth career Champions Tour title, holding off Mark Wiebe by a stroke at Newport Beach Country Club.
Wade wins custody fight
Miami — Dwyane Wade was awarded custody of his two sons on Sunday, ending a long legal fight with his ex-wife. Wade’s children arrived in Miami on Friday, and will remain with their father going forward.