SPORTS BRIEFS: Jefferson County to hold softball tourney

PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson County Rec Adult Softball League tournament will return this week at HJ Carrol Park, Memorial Field and Irondale Park.

Games begin today with County Wreck playing Sirens at 5:45 p.m. at HJ Carrol Park. Justice League will play the Barflies at 6 p.m. at Memorial Field, and Pour House will play Breaks at 7:15 p.m. at HJ Carrol Park.

League champion Arrow Lumber will play the winner of County Wreck and Sirens at 6 p.m. Thursday. There will be other second-round games Thursday with further rounds on July 22, July 27 and July 29. The championship game will be played at 6 p.m. Aug. 3 at HJ Carrol Park.

Arrow Lumber won the rec league title with a 9-1 regular-season record. Justice League was second at 8-2. The Barflies won the league’s sportsmanship award.

Kikuchi off injured list

SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners reinstated left-hander Yusei Kikuchi from the injured list Monday, making him eligible to participate in the All-Star Game.

Kikuchi was selected to the American League All-Star team for the first time in his career and is Seattle’s lone representative.

The Mariners placed Kikuchi on the injured list Sunday but did not disclose an injury and manager Scott Servais said he could not comment but wasn’t concerned about Kikuchi’s status.

Seattle used the open roster spot to promote top catching prospect Cal Raleigh, who made his major league debut Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels.

The Mariners optioned infielder Donovan Walton to Triple-A Tacoma and designated for assignment reliever Will Vest in order to reinstate Kikuchi.

Kikuchi has been one of the top left-handers in baseball this season, his third since signing with the Mariners and moving to the major leagues from Japan. He’s 6-4 with a 3.48 ERA and 98 strikeouts.

McLain drafted

PORTLAND, Ore. — West Coast League alumnus Matt McLain of UCLA was selected in the first round of the MLB Draft, as the Cincinnati Reds picked McLain 17th overall. It is the fifth consecutive season that a former WCL player has been taken in the first round of the MLB Draft.

McLain, a UCLA infielder, earned the WCL’s Top Prospect Award in 2018 as a member of the Bellingham Bells. Also that summer, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected McLain with the 25th overall pick in the draft, but instead of signing a professional contract, he enrolled at UCLA and continued his baseball career there. The Baseball America Preseason All-American and Pac-12 Player of the Year hit .333 with nine home runs and 36 runs batted in this spring for the Bruins.

The MLB Draft continued Monday and today.

Storm beat Mercury

EVERETT — Epiphanny Prince scored 15 points, Katie Lou Samuelson matched her career high with 14, and the Seattle Storm beat the Phoenix Mercury 82-75 on Sunday.

Jewell Loyd’s 3-pointer with 1:48 left gave the Storm (16-5) a six-point lead, and Sue Bird’s running bank shot was the dagger, making it 80-72 at 43.9 seconds.

Seattle goes into the Olympic break with the best record in the WNBA and will return from it to open a five-game road trip, with a 47-day stretch until their next home game on August 27 when they visit the Chicago Sky. Breanna Stewart and Bird added 13 points each.

Kia Nurse scored 28 points and had a career-high seven 3-pointers for the Mercury (9-10). Skylar Diggins-Smith added 17 points and Brittney Griner scored 16.

In a pregame ceremony Samuelson, Loyd, Breanna Stewart and Bird were recognized for making the USA Basketball team. Bird will be seeking her record fifth Olympic gold medal.

Ohtani will start for American League

DENVER — Shohei Ohtani will be the American League’s starting pitcher in tonight’s All-Star Game and will bat leadoff, too, as the designated hitter in another landmark for the two-way Japanese sensation.

A 27-year-old in his fourth major league season with the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani is the first two-way starter in the history of the All-Star Game, which began in 1933.

“I was actually not expecting to be chosen as a pitcher at all,” Ohtani said Monday through a translator. “It’s a huge honor and I’m going to try my best.”

“This is what the fans want to see. It’s personally what I wanted to see,” said AL manager Kevin Cash of Tampa Bay.

Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals will be the starting pitcher for the National League in the game at Coors Field.

Ohtani is the most accomplished two-way player since Babe Ruth, who last pitched regularly in 1919.

Ohtani has generated huge buzz across baseball for his exploits at the plate and on the mound. He leads the majors with 33 home runs and is 4-1 with a 3.49 ERA in 13 starts.

Ohtani was elected to start at DH by fans and was voted to the AL pitching staff by fellow players. He’s hitting .279 with 70 RBIs, trailing only Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (73) and Boston’s Rafael Devers (72).

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