DENVER (AP) – As a rule, Colorado Rockies reliever Matt Belisle gives up few home runs. He allowed five in 72 innings last year and one in his first 52 innings this season. But Belisle has yielded home runs in his past two appearances, including a particularly costly one Wednesday night when the Rockies lost 9-6 to the St. Louis Cardinals. Belisle (3-3) gave up a three-run shot to Matt Holliday on the second pitch he threw that put the Cardinals ahead 6-5. After a rain delay of 1 hour, 26 minutes at the end of the seventh, the Cardinals scored a run in the eighth when Matt Reynolds completed a walk with a wild pitch and added two more runs in the ninth off Carlos Torres to send the Rockies to their fifth straight loss and their seventh in a row at home. The Rockies have lost eight of their past nine games and are 4-13 since the All-Star break. Holliday homered twice, giving him 21 for the season, and tied his season high with five RBIs. He went 3-for-4 and is 13-for-24 against Colorado this year. Rockies rookie Josh Rutledge had his fourth straight multihit game and his fourth homer of the season. Jake Westbrook (10-8) pitched six innings, giving up four runs in the sixth when the Rockies went ahead 5-3 with a barrage of five extra-base hits.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Peyton Manning is discovering that one of the biggest benefits to joining the Denver Broncos is their star-studded secondary. It’s helping him gauge his progress in his comeback, sharpen his timing with his new targets and scrape away the rust after his lost 2011 season. The Broncos restocked their defensive backfield over the winter after seeing Pittsburgh’s four-wide receiver sets and New England’s big tight ends torch them in the playoffs. They added veterans Tracy Porter, Drayton Florence and Mike Adams along with rookie Omar Bolden, released Andre’ Goodman and wished Brian Dawkins well in his retirement.
AT THE OLYMPICS:
Gold for American women
WINDSOR, England (AP) – The heavily favored team from the U.S. won its second straight Olympic rowing gold medal in the women’s eight today. The U.S. held off Canada to get the gold, maintaining its six-year dominance of the high-profile event.
The U.S. won in a time of 6 minutes, 10.59 seconds. Canada finished a half-length behind in second and the Netherlands took the bronze.
The U.S. hasn’t lost a competitive race in the eight since winning the world title here in 2006.
Phelps was second fastest in 100 butterfly
LONDON (AP) – Michael Phelps had the second-fastest time in qualifying this morning for the 100-meter butterfly later today. Chad Le Clos of South Africa was the fastest qualifier with a time of 51.54, while Phelps turned in 51.72 to win his heat.
Le Clos outtouched Phelps to win the 200 fly on Tuesday, when Phelps became the most decorated Olympian ever.
Parker scores and France wins
LONDON (AP) – Tony Parker scored 27 points as France beat Lithuania 82-74 in men’s Olympic basketball. Ronny Turiaf (ROHN’-ee TOOR’-ee-ahf), now with the Los Angeles Clippers, pulled down 10 rebounds for France, which is 2-1.
Serena Williams and Bryan brothers advance
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) – Serena Williams has reached the semifinals in the Olympic tennis tournament. She dominated former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki (wohz-nee-AK’-ee) of Denmark in their quarterfinal match, 6-0, 6-3. Williams, who is seeking the first singles medal of her career, will face top seed Victoria Azarenka (ah-zah-REN’-kuh) on Friday for a berth in the final. Azarenka advanced with a 6-4, 7-5 win over seventh-seed Angelique Kerber of Germany.
Americans Bob and Mike Bryan moved onto the doubles semifinals by edging Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram of Israel, 7-6, 7-6. The Bryans sealed the victory on their fourth match point when Erlich double-faulted into the net. The twins, who are top-seeded, won the bronze in 2008.
British hopeful Andy Murray won his quarterfinal match. The third seed will face the winner of the No. 2 Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) and No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (SAHNG’-guh) quarterfinal.
IOC wants an investigation
LONDON (AP) – The IOC is asking the Chinese, South Korean and Indonesian national Olympic committees to investigate the coaches of the badminton players who were disqualified for trying to lose matches. Four women’s doubles teams were kicked out of the competition Wednesday after playing badly in pool matches to secure a more favorable draw in the next round.
LONDON (AP) – Two members of the gold medal American gymnastics team are back in action today in the all-around competition. Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman will be going for gold against the likes of Russia’s Viktoria Komova.
In swimming, the gold medal finals are on tap in the men’s 200-meter backstroke, the men’s 200-meter individual medley, the women’s 200-meter breaststroke and the women’s 100-meter free. The men’s 200-IM features another Ryan Lochte (LAHK’-tee)-Michael Phelps face-off as Lochte swims in lane 4 and Phelps lane 3. On the women’s side of things, 17-year old Missy Franklin is gunning for a second individual gold in the 100-freestyle. She won the 100-meter backstroke on Monday.
In men’s beach volleyball, the men’s team of Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser has a match against a team from the Czech Republic. The men’s basketball team has its next game with the opposition coming from Nigeria. The U.S. is unbeaten in two games with a winning margin of 37 points a game.