ST. LOUIS -- The Atlanta Braves cut ties with struggling closer Bob Wickman on Friday, designating him for assignment.
The move came a day after Wickman surrendered a game-winning two-run home run to the Reds' Adam Dunn in the 12th inning of a 9-7 loss. Wickman is 3-3 with a 3.92 ERA and 20 saves in 26 chances.
Manager Bobby Cox did not reveal his new closer, which could be one of several pitchers. He said Rafael Soriano would probably serve in the ninth-inning role on Friday night against the St. Louis Cardinals but that "anybody out there would be a possibililty."
• MLB -- Barry Bonds basked in hometown adulation Friday during a celebration where he received the key to the city and heard not a mention of the steroid controversy that dogged him on the way to the career home run record.
Bonds was joined on stage by family, teammates, politicians and Giants greats Willie McCovey and Willie Mays. The sometimes prickly slugger smiled broadly as he thanked his parents, Mayor Gavin Newsom, team owner Peter Magowan and especially the Giants faithful.
"Love was giving me that strength," Bonds said. "You the fans, the city of San Francisco -- that is why I'm the player I am today."
• COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL -- In Durham, N.C., five-time defending Big South Conference champion Winthrop fell to No. 13 Purdue 30-18, 30-27, 28-30, 30-15 in the first game of the Duke Invitational at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Winthrop's offense was led by junior middle hitter Shannon Sitzmann and freshman outside hitter Kellie Sellers, as each contributed 14 kills. Junior libero Pohai Nu'uhiwa had 21 digs, and senior setter Kelli Kirkwood provided a career-high 26 assists.
The Eagles will play a doubleheader in day two of the Duke Invitational today as they square off against the host Blue Devils at 10 a.m. and finish off by taking on East Carolina at 5 p.m.