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WWAY's Thursday night sports - June 13

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SAN ANTONIO, TX (AP) - Tony Parker was back. Maybe the San Antonio Spurs don't need to worry about his health.

But they can start fretting over other problems: the Miami Heat tying this series.

Parker started Game 4 of the NBA Finals looking spectacular and showing no signs of a mild hamstring strain that put his status in doubt until Thursday morning. But he didn't score in the second half and took just four shots, finishing with 15 points and nine assists.

The Spurs faded along with their All-Star point guard, losing to the resurgent Miami Heat 109-93.

Now the series is tied 2-all heading into the final home game for San Antonio on Sunday night. Parker appears OK to play, but the Spurs might need him to be spectacular again to win a fifth championship.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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WILMINGTON, NC (SHARKS) -– The Wilmington Sharks came up just short on Thursday night against the Morehead City Marlins 12-11, in a wild game that compiled 23 runs on 20 hits.

The Sharks started out the first seven innings on fire with their bats and gloves. They picked up two runs in the first off the bats of Zach Stephens and Alex Freedman to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead. Andrew Amaro drove in Dylan Bosheers in the second inning to extend the lead to 3-0.

The Sharks picked up two more runs in the fourth and fifth inning to extend their lead to 7-1. Mike Frank threw six innings for the Sharks striking out nine and gave up one run. The bats came alive for the Marlins in the seventh inning as they picked up five runs on three hits and none bigger than a Chase McDonald two RBI double.

The Sharks moved into the top of the ninth inning with a 7-6 lead but, the Marlins struck again as a Dalton Britt RBI single tied up the game at 7-7. The bats continued to stay hot as the Marlins picked up five more runs on three hits to take a 12-7 lead.

The Sharks loaded up the bases in the bottom of the ninth on two straight walks and a single from Stephens and were able to pick up four runs, but just fell short 12-11 as the sharks move to 6-6 and the Marlins move to 7-7 on the year.

Jacob Hoyle went 3-6 against the Sharks and has now gone 6-12 in the last three games against Wilmington. Dalton Britt went 4-5 with a triple and an RBI on Thursday night. Alex Perez went 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored in his third game with the ball club.

The Sharks return back to action on Friday night as they take on the Fayetteville SwampDogs on the road with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.

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ARDMORE, PA (AP) - So much for getting a good night's sleep.

Phil Mickelson arrived at Merion Golf Club about four hours before his 7:11 a.m. tee time and still managed to shoot a 3-under 67 for the clubhouse lead at Thursday's opening round of the U.S. Open.

"I might have used just a little caffeine booster at the turn just to keep me sharp," Mickelson said. "But that was our ninth hole or so, and I just wanted to make sure I had enough energy."

Mickelson flew overnight from San Diego after watching his oldest daughter's eighth-grade graduation, where she was one of the featured speakers. At first, he was a little shaky. But after rolling a birdie putt 8 feet past his first hole and putting his tee shot in the rough at his second, he settled himself -helped by a little more sleep during a rain delay.

It was his lowest opening round since 1999 in a championship he's never won, even though he keeps coming close. He's been runner-up a record five times.

"If I'm able - and I believe I will - if I'm able to ultimately win a U.S. Open, I would say that it's great. ... But if I never get that win, then it would be a bit heart-breaking," Mickelson said.

By the time Mickelson tapped in a par to complete his round, the sun had replaced clouds, and putters had long replaced squeegees. Drenching storms caused a 3½-hour delay, halting play less than two hours after it began.

The rains returned while the marquee group of Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy were on the front nine, and play was stopped again at 6:11 p.m. for about 45 minutes.

Woods winced and shook his left arm after playing shots out of the rough on Nos. 1 and 5. The horn sounded before the three-time Open champion could finish the 5th hole, and he returned after the delay to complete a bogey. He also had a pair of 3-putts and was 2 over at the turn.

Scott was 2 under through nine, while McIlroy was 1 under. Lee Westwood was 3 under through 11, and defending champion Webb Simpson was 2 under through seven, but Mickelson and Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts (69) were the only players in the clubhouse under par.

Merion was as challenging as advertised, despite the onslaught of storms that softened the course during the past week. The slanting greens and heavy rough valued precision over power. Ian Poulter had quite the start, with only one par spaced among four birdies and three bogeys through nine holes on the way to a 71.

Sergio Garcia birdied the 102-yard par-3 13th, but that was an aberration in a terrible start for the Spaniard, who has spent the lead-up to the tournament trying to make amends with Woods. Garcia had a quadruple bogey, double bogey and a bogey in his first five holes, but he later went birdie-eagle on the front nine on the way to a 73.

Garcia was greeted with mild applause and a few audible boos when he was introduced at the start of his round. He is playing his first tournament in the U.S. since a recent exchange with Woods hit a low point when Garcia said he would serve fried chicken if Woods came to dinner during the Open. Garcia has since apologized for the remark. He shook hands with Woods on the practice range this week and left a note in Woods' locker. He was also noticeably friendly to the gallery during Wednesday's practice round, stopping several times to sign autographs.

Garcia said he hasn't heard from Woods about the note, and he acknowledged there were hecklers in his gallery.

"I think there were a couple here and there," he said. "But there was - I felt the people were very nice for the whole day. I think that they, almost all of them, were behind me and that was nice to see."

Cliff Kresge, a Floridian ranked No. 551 in the world, hit the first tee shot of the tournament at 6:45 a.m. The horn blew at 8:36 a.m., and thunder, lightning and downpours followed, sending everyone scurrying for cover.

Safety was a concern on a course that required fans to take long shuttle rides from remote parking lots. At a fan zone, where a replay of the limited action was on a jumbo screen, a worker used a microphone to implore an overflow crowd to move to the merchandise tent.

"We're not feeling safe having this many people in here," he told them. Many folks heeded his message and moved on.

Any major weather disruption to the championship would be a shame, given that the U.S. Open waited 32 years to return to the course where Olin Dutra overcame a serious stomach illness to win in 1934, where Ben Hogan hit the picture-perfect 1-iron approach to No. 18 before winning in a playoff in 1950, where Lee Trevino pulled a rubber snake out of his bag at the first hole of the playoff when he beat Jack Nicklaus for the title in 1971, and where David Graham became the first Australian to win the trophy in 1981.

Thought to be too small to host an Open anymore, Merion had been off the radar for so long that many of the top names in the field - including Woods - had never played it until recently. Organizers had to be creative with the placement of hospitality tents and parking lots on the club's relatively small footprint, and ticket sales were capped at 25,000 a day instead of the usual 40,000 or so for recent championships.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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TEMPE, AZ (AP) - In his record-breaking decade in the NFL, Larry Fitzgerald has grown comfortable in one position.

Now new Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has Fitzgerald on the move, learning to play all three wide receiver spots.

Fitzgerald says after having some success it's hard to shake his familiar role, but he's working to do just what Arians wants.

Arians says it's a simple concept. Moving his star receiver around will make it much harder for defenses to zero in on him with double coverage.

Fitzgerald and the rest of the Cardinals practiced for just a half-hour in their final day of minicamp on Thursday as Arians let them go early as a reward for all the offseason work they had done.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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