King Felix clobbered…Bulls pick Hoiberg…Panthers, Newton close to deal…Devs get a coach

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was roughed up in his bid to become the majors’ first nine-game winner of the season. Hernandez was tagged for seven runs on six hits and five walks in just 4 2/3 innings as the Mariners fell 7-2 to the New York Yankees. Hernandez was pulled one batter after Mark Teixeira (the-SHEHR’-uh) hit a grand slam that put the Yanks ahead 5-0.

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls will hold a news conference today to announce the hiring of Fred Hoiberg as head coach. Hoiberg comes to Chicago from Iowa State, where he led the Cyclones to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and back-to-back Big 12 tournament titles. He replaces Tom Thibodeau (THIH’-boh-doh), who was let go last week after guiding the Bulls to a 255-139 regular-season record but was 23-28 in the playoffs.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A person close to the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the Panthers and Cam Newton are close to finalizing a contract extension that could be completed within the next two days. Newton is expected to command a contract in excess of $20 million per season, which would be in line with what several other starting quarterbacks have accepted. The 26-year-old Newton is entering his fifth season with the Panthers and has led them to back-to-back NFC South championships.

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A person with knowledge of the hiring tells The Associated Press that John Hynes will be behind the New Jersey Devils’ bench next season, with a news conference scheduled for today. The 40-year-old Hynes was hired as head coach of Pittsburgh’s AHL team while current Devils general manager Ray Shero was the Penguins’ GM. Hynes takes over a team that has missed the playoffs the past three seasons.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Belmont Stakes field is thinner after two horses dropped out, leaving seven rivals to face Derby and Preakness winner American Pharoah in his bid to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Trainer Todd Pletcher says Carpe Diem won’t run Saturday and will point toward the Haskell Invitational or Jim Dandy Stakes this summer. Trainer Ken McPeek withdrew The Truth or Else, who has an ankle issue and did not run in the Kentucky Derby or Preakness.