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Friday's Sports In Brief
SEBALL

CHICAGO (AP) -- Kris Bryant had such a Chicago Cubs-like start to his major league career.

Called up one day after the team ensured he can't be eligible for free agency until 2021, the prized prospect struck out in his first three at-bats against James Shields and went 0 for 4 in a 5-4 loss to San Diego Padres on Friday.

Seeking their first World Series title in 107 years, the Cubs selected Bryant's contract from Triple-A Iowa and inserted him into their starting lineup as the cleanup hitter and third baseman.

Bryant cleanly handled Derek Norris' sharp first-inning grounder, starting a 5-4-3 double play. Following a two-out walk to Anthony Rizzo in the bottom half, Bryant was given a standing ovation as many in the crowd took photos.

With fans still on their feet, Bryant swung through three pitches for an inning-ending strikeout. He foul-tipped an 89 mph cutter on the low, outside corner, then swung over a pair of changeups.

HOUSTON (AP) - Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia met with Josh Hamilton this week for the first time in months, and says he isn't sure when the star will return to the team.

Scioscia said he had dinner with Hamilton on Wednesday night when the Angels arrived in Houston for a series that begins Friday night. It was the first time Scioscia had seen the slugger since his self-reported relapse into substance abuse.

Scioscia says the former AL MVP is making progress in his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery.

The manager declined to discuss many details of their meeting, except to say that Hamilton is running and hitting and that "there's still some work he has to do before he's ready to play a game."

Scioscia added that they're "still searching for some clarity to the situation and only time's going to give that to us."

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NBA

CLEVELAND (AP) - For LeBron James, his homecoming season with the Cavaliers went up, down and sometimes sideways, like three seasons rolled into one.

The fourth is about to begin. The only one that matters.

James has his sights set on another NBA title, and if he can capture it over the next two months, he'll not only crown his brilliant career but end Cleveland's title drought dating to 1964.

The pursuit begins Sunday when the Cavs open the Eastern Conference playoffs at home against Boston, a familiar opponent - and a fitting one - for James, who has played the Celtics 25 times in the postseason. James' first stint in Cleveland ended with a loss to the Celtics in the second round, and as he stomped off the floor in Boston's TD Garden after Game 6, he memorably yanked off his Cavaliers jersey, a final act before his exit to Miami.

ATLANTA (AP) - Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha is recovering from surgery on his right leg, which he says was injured during his arrest by New York police last week.

The team says Sefolosha had surgery Thursday to repair a fractured fibula and ligament damage. The operation was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson at the OrthoCarolina Foot & Ankle Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Sefolosha will miss the playoffs, with an expected recovery period of about six months. The team hopes he'll be ready for the start of training camp next season.

Sefolosha and teammate Pero Antic were arrested outside a Manhattan nightclub where Indiana's Chris Copeland was stabbed. The Hawks players were charged with obstructing authorities and disorderly conduct, but have denied any wrongdoing. Antic says he and Sefolosha weren't even with Copeland.

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NHL

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll was arrested Friday for suspected cocaine possession at the MGM Grand Hotel's Wet Republic pool complex.

Las Vegas police Lt. Michael Mauntel said Stoll is being held at the Clark County Detention Center.

Stoll is the boyfriend of Erin Andrews, the "Dancing with the Stars" co-host and Fox Sports reporter. Stoll also was engaged to actress and model Rachel Hunter, singer Rod Stewart's former wife.

The 32-year-old Stoll is an unrestricted free agent after struggling this season. He had six goals and 11 assists in 73 games, his seventh with Los Angeles after five with Edmonton.

"We are aware of police reports out of Clark County, Nevada, regarding Jarret Stoll," the Kings said in a statement. "Our organization is concerned and has begun conducting a thorough internal investigation. While we continue to actively gather facts, we are withholding further comment at this time."

Stoll helped the Kings win Stanley Cup titles in 2012 and 2014. Los Angeles missed the playoffs this season.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Flyers have fired head coach Craig Berube.

General manager Ron Hextall said this week he had not decided on Berube's fate following a season in which the Flyers missed the playoffs. The Flyers announced the decision on Friday.

Berube went 75-58-28 (.553) with the Flyers and took them to the playoffs last season. He had one season left on his contract.

He spent six seasons as a Flyers assistant. He has spent 18 seasons with the organization as a player, assistant coach and head coach, doing all three with both the Flyers and Phantoms.

The Flyers went 42-27-10 under Berube last season and lost a seven-game playoff series to the New York Rangers.

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GOLF

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - Little-known Troy Merritt one-upped the Masters champion Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage.

Merritt shot a 10-under 61 on Friday to tie the course record at Harbour Town Golf Links only a few hours after Spieth wowed the gallery with a bounce-back 62 to match his lowest PGA Tour round.

Merritt tied David Frost's tournament mark set in 1994 and topped the leaderboard at 12-under 130, a stroke off the 36-hole event record shared by Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson.

Merritt, who opened with a 69 on Thursday, saw Spieth's score in the morning and knew the opportunity was there to go low.

Spieth looked like the headliner Friday, following a 74 on Thursday with the 62 - which tied his career low set at the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2013.