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Pakistan coach was strangled, authorities say

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Authorities said Thursday that Pakistan’s cricket coach was strangled in his hotel room the day after his team suffered a humiliating World Cup loss -- a slaying that has shocked the proper world of cricket.

Bob Woolmer, 58, was found unconscious in his blood- and vomit-splattered hotel room in Kingston, Jamaica, on Sunday after his team’s defeat to Ireland ousted Pakistan from the tournament. He was later declared dead at a hospital.

Police Commissioner Lucius Thomas said in a statement that the pathologist report found Woolmer’s death was due to “asphyxia as a result of manual strangulation.” Police said they were reviewing security cameras at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and urging witnesses to come forward.

“It is our belief that those associated with or having access with Mr. Woolmer may have vital information to assist this inquiry,” Thomas said in the statement.

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There was no evidence of forced entry, police said.

BASEBALL

La Russa arrested on drunk driving charge

St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Jupiter, Fla., after police said they found him asleep inside his running sport utility vehicle at a stoplight.

La Russa gave two breath samples and had a blood alcohol content of 0.093%, police said in a statement. Florida’s legal driving limit is 0.08%.

Undercover officers saw La Russa’s SUV sitting partially in an intersection about midnight and not moving despite two green lights, police said.

Officers knocked on the window and La Russa did not initially respond. The SUV was in drive and running, with La Russa’s foot on the brake, police said.

When he woke up, the officers asked him to get out of the SUV.

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The plans to use Jonathan Papelbon, coming off a rookie season in which he had 35 saves and an 0.92 earned-run average, as a starter have been scratched and he will return to the Boston Red Sox bullpen.

The Atlanta Braves made a long-term commitment to Brian McCann, agreeing to a $26.8-million, six-year contract with the All-Star catcher. McCann, 23, batted .333 with 24 homers and 93 runs batted in last season.

PRO FOOTBALL

Houston gets Schaub

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in deal with Atlanta

The Houston Texans acquired quarterback Matt Schaub in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons and named him the starter over incumbent David Carr.

In exchange, the Falcons flipped first-round draft positions with the Texans, with Atlanta moving up two positions to the eighth pick and Houston moving down two spots to the 10th pick. The Falcons will also receive Houston’s second-round selection this year, the 39th overall choice, and the Texans’ second-round pick in 2008.

The Washington Redskins traded Adam Archuleta to the Chicago Bears, one year after making him the highest-paid safety in NFL history.

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Archuleta, 29, earned $5.6 million last year but was benched for the second half of the season except for special teams duty.

Marshall Faulk, 34, ninth in NFL history with 12,279 rushing yards, is expected to announce his retirement Monday. He missed the 2006 season after undergoing major reconstructive knee surgery.

The Miami Dolphins signed receiver Az-Zahir Hakim.

Receiver David Patten was cut by the Washington Redskins after catching only 23 passes over two seasons.

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The Oakland Raiders have signed quarterback Josh Booty, who has been out of football since 2003 and has never thrown a pass in the NFL. Booty’s brother, John David Booty, is USC’s quarterback.

Tony Graziani threw eight touchdowns to help the Philadelphia Soul (3-0) defeat the Colorado Crush, 71-47, in an Arena Football League game at Philadelphia. The Crush fell to 2-2.

MISCELLANY

Cushing is injured

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during USC practice

USC linebacker Brian Cushing suffered a hamstring injury during the second session of spring practice that could force him to miss a few weeks.

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound junior was working at strong-side linebacker after playing along the line of scrimmage last season. He injured his right hamstring near the end of practice and was carted off the field.

Coach Pete Carroll said Cushing would miss “a couple weeks.”

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-- Gary Klein

For more, go to latimes.com/sports/college/usc/

Ricky Carmichael, a legendary motocross racer trying to launch a NASCAR career, will make his X Games debut this summer during the action-sports festival’s inaugural Moto X Racing discipline.

The stadium motocross event, to be held at the Home Depot Center in Carson, will feature 16 top racers.

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The 13th annual ESPN summer X Games are scheduled for Aug. 2-5 at Staples Center and the Home Depot Center.

-- Pete Thomas

Venus Williams recovered from losing the first four games to defeat Yuliana Fedak, 7-5, 6-2, in the first round of the Sony Ericsson Open at Key Biscayne, Fla.

The U.S. lost to Japan, 7-1, in its final round-robin match in the women’s world curling championship at Aomori, Japan.

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