■ SoccerRape claims investigated
Police said yesterday they were investigating allegations by a 17-year-old girl that she was gang raped by a group of Premiership soccer players in London over the weekend. The alleged assault was being investigated by the sex crimes unit of the Metropolitan Police Service. "We can confirm that the Metropolitan Police Service have received an allegation of rape from a 17-year-old female," a spokesman said on customary condition of anonymity. "At this stage it would be inappropriate to comment further." The top-selling tabloid newspaper The Sun said eight players were involved in the incident at a luxury West London hotel. The Sun said it could not identify the players for legal reasons. It said the group includes "at least one international and several other household names."
Sorenstam wins Safeway
Annika Sorenstam had back-to-back eagles and shot a final-round 66 Sunday at the LPGA Safeway Classic to defend her title and win her fifth event of the year. Sorenstam finished at 15-under 201, edging Hall of Famer Beth Daniel by a stroke after starting the day in a three-way tie with Daniel and Cristie Kerr. "Obviously it feels wonderful," Sorenstam said. "I love coming down the stretch when it's exciting and hitting great shots when you need to. Winning never gets old." Sorenstam set the tone on her first hole of the day, landing under a tree on the left side of the fairway. She punched out low and landed within 20 feet of the pin, making the birdie. She gave back that stroke on the third hole with a three-putt bogey, then nearly made eagle on No. 5 before hitting back-to-back eagles on the par 4 No. 6 and the par 5 No. 7.
Beckham injures foot
A swollen instep has axed David Beckham from Real Madrid's Champions League game this week and placed him in doubt for England's Euro 2004 qualifier next month. Coach Carlos Queiroz dropped Beckham from the squad list to travel to Portugal for tomorrow's match against FC Porto because of the instep he hurt during the weekend match against Valencia. Beckham did not train with Madrid for a second day yesterday because of the injury. Madrid will decide today whether the team's ace striker Raul Gonzalez will also be dropped. Raul, who is nursing a hip injury sustained a week ago, missed the Valencia match.
Tigers sidestep record
The Detroit Tigers hugged each other on the field and enjoyed some beers in a raucous clubhouse. For once, a last-place team had something to celebrate. The Tigers avoided the 1962 New York Mets' modern-day record for losses, finishing their best six-game stretch of the season with a 9-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday. "I'm glad it's over," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. On a team that was criticized and joked about all season, it seemed fitting that Mike Maroth was the winning pitcher. Maroth, the first pitcher since 1980 to lose at least 20 games, gave up two runs on eight hits and a walk to finish 9-21. "Believe it or not, I can look back on this year with a smile on my face because of how this season ended," said Maroth, who won three of his last four starts. Detroit (43-119) used a seven-run sixth inning to win for the fifth time in six games, allowing the expansion Mets (40-120) to keep the unwanted distinction of having the most losses since 1900.