|4 hours ago|| Hamilton wins third straight F1 race at Chinese GP|
SHANGHAI (AP) Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton captured his third straight Formula One race with ease on Sunday, leading from start to finish to win the Chinese Grand Prix.
Mercedes showed again that it's in a different class from its rivals, with Hamilton's teammate Nico Rosberg taking second place - the third time in four races this season the pair have finished one-two.
"This is a team on a roll, that's for sure," Hamilton said. "I'm going to be working hard, we're going to keep working hard because obviously the others are pushing to catch us."
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso held off fast-charging Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo to finish third and give his team its first podium finish of the year, with new team principal Marco Mattiacci watching from the garage.
Ricciardo was fourth, finishing one place ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel after the four-time defending world champion was asked by his team to allow the faster Ricciardo to pass for the second race in a row.
Hamilton's win gave him his first career hat trick following his victories in Malaysia and Bahrain. The Briton may have even had a fourth win this season but was forced to retire in the season-opener in Australia after starting from pole position due to engine trouble.
With the win, he inched closer to his teammate's lead in the drivers' championship with 75 points, just four behind Rosberg.
Hamilton, who moved one ahead of Jim Clark for most poles by a British driver with the 34th of his career in Shanghai, was cruising so comfortably at the end of Sunday's race that he wasn't even rattled when the checkered flag was mistakenly shown a lap too soon, at the end of lap 55.
"That was very strange. I was thinking, `Am I seeing things?' I looked up, I was coming across the line expecting to do another lap and, all of a sudden, I looked for a split second and I saw the flag," he said.
According to F1 regulations, if the checkered flag is sh
|4 hours ago|| Yankees' RHP Nova on DL due to elbow ligament tear|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) New York Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, an injury that often requires Tommy John surgery.
Nova left Saturday night's game against Tampa Bay in the fifth inning. An MRI after the game revealed the injury and he was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
"It's hard," Nova said. "I really don't know what to say. I'm sad right now."
Nova will be further examined Monday in New York by Yankees team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad. He had no discomfort in the elbow until his 82nd and final pitch Saturday when he felt a pop.
If Nova needs elbow-ligament replacement surgery he could be sidelined more than a year.
"Usually when you have that (tear), it eventually leads to that," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno, started and threw five shutout innings Sunday against Tampa Bay, are in the mix to replace Nova. Alfredo Aceves is starting in the minors for the Yankees at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees also, as expected, reinstated first baseman Mark Teixeira from the 15-day disabled list and he was in the starting lineup for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Teixeira hurt an adductor muscle that runs alongside the hamstring trying to make a play on a foul grounder during an April 4 game against Toronto.
New York recalled right-hander Preston Claiborne from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and right-hander Bryan Mitchell from Double-A Trenton. Infielder Scott Sizemore was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, while reliever Matt Daley was designated for assignment.
Closer David Robertson, on the DL with a groin strain, is expected to rejoin the team Tuesday.
Robertson felt discomfort April 6 in the ninth inning of a 6-4 win over Toronto and was placed on the disabled list. He is replacing major league saves leader Mariano Rivera, who retired after last season.
|4 hours ago|| Brewers win in 14th after early brawl with Pirates|
PITTSBURGH (AP) Khris Davis delivered the biggest hit in a game interrupted by a punch-filled brawl, homering in the 14th inning to lift the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Sunday.
Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez, Pirates outfielder Travis Snider and Milwaukee bench coach Jerry Narron were ejected after the third-inning fracas.
The problems started when Gomez paused at the plate and flipped his bat after hitting a two-out triple. Gerrit Cole, who was near third base backing up the play, stormed toward Gomez and they exchanged words.
Gomez took a couple steps toward Cole before players rushed the field from both dugouts. Milwaukee's Martin Maldonado threw a punch that knocked off Snider's hat.
The Brewers won their third in a row and sent Pittsburgh to its third straight loss.
|4 hours ago|| Anna, Beltran key Yankees' 5-1, 12-inning win|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Dean Anna drew a bases-loaded walk on a full-count pitch with two outs in the 12th inning and Carlos Beltran followed with a two-run single as the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 on Sunday.
Yangervis Solarte was walked by Heath Bell (0-1) to open the 12th. After failing twice to bunt against C.J. Riefenhauser, Brett Gardner reached on a fielder's choice and went to third on Brian McCann's two-out single. Jacoby Ellsbury was intentionally walked before Anna checked his swing to complete an eight-pitch at-bat and score the go-ahead run.
Beltran had his hit off Josh Leuke before Alfonso Soriano added an RBI single that made it 5-1.
Preston Claiborne (1-0) went two scoreless innings for the Yankees.
The teams split a wild four-game series. After the Yankees beat David Price and the Rays 10-2 in Thursday's opener, Tampa Bay rebounded for 11-5 and 16-1 victories Friday and Saturday.
Derek Jeter opened the 11th with a single off Bell. Ichiro Suzuki pinch-ran for Jeter stole second with one out, but Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon challenged the call and after a 2 minute, 4 second delay the umpires changed the close call to out.
New York took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Gardner was given an RBI double after a challenge by Yankees manager Joe Girardi. The umpires first ruled that Rays right fielder Wil Myers had caught Gardner's drive at the wall for the third out. The call was overturned following a 2:17 delay after replays clearly showed Myers caught the ball after it hit off the top of the wall.
Soriano, who opened the fourth with a double, was on the third and was awarded home on the overturned decision.
Tampa Bay tied it at 1 on pinch-hitter Matt Joyce's two-out sacrifice fly in the seventh. The Rays capitalized after second baseman Brian Roberts dropped a throw on a force play earlier in the inning.
New York starter Vidal Nuno, in the mix to take the spot of injured
|4 hours ago|| Red Sox remember Boston Marathon victims|
BOSTON (AP) The Boston Red Sox held an emotional 20-minute pregame ceremony honoring victims of the Boston Marathon bombings along with law enforcement officials, medical personnel, runners and race volunteers before Sunday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles.
With canvasses of handwritten notes from each of the 50 states being held on the outfield warning track from the left field corner in front of the Green Monster around to the Pesky Pole, a number of victims came walking in from the left-field corner to a loud ovation.
Just over a year ago, two bombs exploded near the finish line - less than a mile from Fenway Park, killing three and injuring over 260 others. It happened about an hour after Boston had defeated Tampa Bay.
The family of Lu Lingzi, a Boston University graduate student from China that was killed in the bombings, made their first ever visit to Fenway Park and closed the ceremony with the traditional "Play Ball!" chant before the Red Sox took the field.
Before the victims entered, police and medical personnel came from canvas alley along the right-field line before runners came in from center field and race volunteers also came straight in from the outfield. They all lined up in the outfield grass near the University of Massachusetts band that played the national anthem.
Jim Gallagher, the president of the One Fund, a fund created to help victims and their families, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to David Ortiz. Former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, current Mayor Marty Walsh and Gov. Deval Patrick were behind the pitcher's mound.
There was a video tribute of the race and victims played with the backdrop music of Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising."
The ceremony was held exactly one year after the Red Sox played their first game in Fenway following the bombings.
Before that game, Ortiz had a stirring moment when he spoke to the crowd and had a rousing speech that included an expletive.
|4 hours ago|| James, Wade lead Heat past Bobcats 99-88 in Game 1|
MIAMI (AP) LeBron James scored 27 points, Dwyane Wade added 23 and the Miami Heat used a late charge to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 99-88 on Sunday in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.
Chris Bosh scored 13 points and James Jones had 12 for the Heat. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday.
Kemba Walker scored 20 points for the Bobcats, who led by nine early and led again in the third. Al Jefferson missed eight of his final 13 shots after getting hurt in the first quarter. He finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who got 17 from Gary Neal and 15 from Josh McRoberts.
Miami sealed it with an 18-4 run in the fourth, all but three of those points coming with James getting a rest.
|4 hours ago|| Duncan scores 27 points, Spurs beat Mavs 90-85|
SAN ANTONIO (AP) Tim Duncan scored 27 points, and the San Antonio Spurs held the Dallas Mavericks to one field goal in the final seven minutes to rally for a 90-85 victory Sunday in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
The Mavericks also went scoreless for 5 1/2 minutes during that stretch, their lone field goal coming as time expired.
Tony Parker had 21 points, and Manu Ginobili added 17. Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Tiago Splitter pulled down 11 rebounds for top-seeded San Antonio, which has won 10 straight against Dallas.
Devin Harris scored 19 points for the Mavericks, which nearly pulled off a huge upset.
|4 hours ago|| Nene dominates, Wizards rally past Bulls, 102-93|
CHICAGO (AP) Nene dominated with 24 points, Trevor Ariza scored 18, and the Washington Wizards rallied from 13 down to beat the Chicago Bulls 102-93 in their playoff opener on Sunday night.
John Wall scored 16 in his postseason debut. Marcin Gortat added 15 points and 13 rebounds, and the fifth-seeded Wizards pulled out the victory even though they looked like they were ready to be blown out.
They cut a 13-point deficit to one in the third and trailed by three going into the fourth, before outscoring Chicago 18-6 over the final six minutes to come out on top in their first playoff appearance since 2008.
Game 2 is Tuesday.
Gortat's layup started the decisive run, and Trevor Ariza gave the Wizards an 88-87 lead when he hit a pair of free throws with 4:17 remaining. Jimmy Butler tied it for Chicago with one of his own, but a layup by Gortat and basket by Nene made it 92-88, and Washington hung on after Chicago's Joakim Noah cut it to two on a tip-in with 2:11 left.
Gortat hit two free throws and added a jumper with 34 seconds left to make it a six-point game, and the Wizards took the early lead in the best-of-seven series.
|4 hours ago|| Aldridge leads Portland over Houston 122-120 in OT|
HOUSTON (AP) LaMarcus Aldridge scored a franchise playoff-record 46 points and Damian Lillard added 31, including the go-ahead free throws in overtime, to lift the Portland Trail Blazers to a 122-120 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Aldridge fouled out with about a minute left in overtime and Lillard, who was making his playoff debut, took over. He scored the next five points for Portland and put the Trail Blazers on top by one point with a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston.
Aldridge, who was playing in his home state, also had 18 rebounds and two blocks. James Harden and Dwight Howard each scored 27 points for Houston.
|4 hours ago|| Flyers rally to beat Rangers 4-2, even series|
NEW YORK (AP) Luke Schenn scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, and backup Ray Emery made 31 saves for the Philadelphia Flyers, who rallied to beat the New York Rangers 4-2 on Sunday to even the first-round playoff series.
Schenn put Philadelphia in front after Game 1 goat Jason Akeson tied it 2-2 earlier in the period. That was enough for the Flyers to snap a nine-game losing streak at Madison Square Garden and send the series to Philadelphia tied at 1.
Game 3 is Tuesday night.
Jakub Voracek brought the Flyers within 2-1 in the first after Martin St. Louis and Benoit Pouliot staked New York to the early two-goal lead. Emery did the rest, looking especially sharp in the second and third periods while subbing for injured No. 1 goalie Steve Mason.
|4 hours ago|| Bruins top Red Wings 4-1, even series at 1-1|
BOSTON (AP) Justin Florek and Reilly Smith scored in a three-minute span in the first period and the Boston Bruins evened their playoff series with a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings in the Game 2 on Sunday.
Showing more spark after not taking enough challenging shots on goal in their 1-0 loss Friday night, the Bruins had 18 shots in the first period after managing just 25 in the entire opener.
Luke Glendening cut Boston's lead to 2-1 at 13:20 of the second period before Milan Lucic scored late in the second and Zdeno Chara added a power-play goal early in the third.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series between the top-seeded Bruins, who won the Presidents' Cup with an NHL-high 117 points, and eighth-seeded Red Wings is set for Detroit on Tuesday night.
|4 hours ago|| Sharks take 2-0 series lead with 7-2 win vs. Kings|
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Fourth-liners Mike Brown and Raffi Torres scored second-period goals to spark a San Jose comeback and lead the Sharks to a 7-2 victory Sunday over the Los Angeles Kings and a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.
Justin Braun, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton also scored for the Sharks, who overcame a two-goal deficit after the first period of a playoff game for just the third time in 26 tries in franchise history. Antti Niemi made 24 saves.
Jake Muzzin and Trevor Lewis scored first-period goals before Jonathan Quick allowed seven goals in the final two periods. Los Angeles heads home for Game 3 on Tuesday looking to get back into this series.
The Kings can take comfort in the fact that the home team has won 18 of the previous 19 games between these teams, including nine in the playoffs.
|Yesterday|| Hopkins wins split decision over Shumenov|
WASHINGTON (AP) Bernard Hopkins made some more boxing history, and did it in rather easy fashion.
Then, the 49-year-old boxer showed his age, referencing a TV character that might have gone over the heads of many young fans.
"I was so in my living room watching Archie Bunker," Hopkins said, playfully comparing himself to the main character from the 1970's series "All in the Family."
"I was so relaxed, so relaxed."
Already the oldest boxer in history to hold a world championship, Hopkins became the oldest to win a unification bout Saturday night as he captured a split 12-round decision over Beibut Shumenov of Kazakhstan.
Afterward, the Philadelphia native sounded far from finished - or satisfied.
"The pound-for-pound best fighter in the world right now is Floyd `Money' Mayweather," Hopkins said. "I'll tell you, behind Andre Ward, who I believe is second and should be, I'm not that far from the top three. My age and the way I'm doing it.
"I'm just telling you, I'm not done yet."
Hopkins was in complete control Saturday and it was reflected in the statistics. Of the 608 punches thrown by Shumenov, only 20 percent landed. Of the 383 punches Hopkins threw, he landed 49 percent.
"I didn't do that when I was 30," Hopkins joked. "He was really surprised the way I could stand there and let him miss."
When the split decision was announced the pro-Hopkins crowd of 6,823 jeered its disapproval. Two judges scored the fight 116-111 for Hopkins. The other judge gave the nod to Shumenov 114-113.
"I shut him out," Hopkins said.
If there was any doubt about the outcome, it was removed in the 11th round when Hopkins rocked Shumenov with a chopping overhand right for the only knockdown of the fight, igniting chants of "B-Hop! B-Hop!" from the D.C. Armory crowd.
It was a reminder for Hopkins of 20 years ago, when he fought for the first time in Washington, losing a decision to Roy Jones Jr. at
|Yesterday|| Wie shoots 67, wins LPGA LOTTE Championship|
KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) Michelle Wie rallied from four strokes back entering the day to shoot a 5-under 67 on Saturday and win the LPGA LOTTE Championship.
The 24-year-old American finished at 14-under 274 after coming into the final round trailing third-round leader Angela Stanford by four shots after Friday's play. It was Wie's third career victory on the LPGA Tour, and first since taking the CN Canadian Women's Open in 2010.
Stanford had her worst round of the tournament, shooting a 1-over 73 that put her at 12-under 276 and two shots behind Wie. Top-ranked Inbee Park finished third with an 11-under 277.
|Yesterday|| Harper pulled for not hustling, Nats fall to Cards|
WASHINGTON (AP) Bryce Harper hit the ball to the mound, jogged to first base and took a right turn to the dugout before getting halfway down the basepath.
That would be his final play in the Washington Nationals' 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.
First-year manager Matt Williams will tolerate physical miscues, such as the error that provided St. Louis three unearned runs, but he won't take the nonchalance that the normally aggressive Harper displayed during his sixth-inning jog.
"Lack of hustle. That's why he came out of the game," Williams said. "He and I made an agreement, this team made an agreement, that when we play the game, that we hustle at all times."
Now in his third season, the 21-year-old Harper is one of Washington's brightest lights and already a two-time All-Star. The outfielder once ran into a wall in the relentless pursuit of a fly ball, but on this day Harper was left explaining his casual approach on a comebacker.
"I respect what he did," Harper said of Williams' decision. "That's part of the game."
Harper was replaced by Kevin Frandsen, who entered as Washington's left fielder in the seventh and assumed Harper's position as the second batter in the lineup.
In the ninth inning, Frandsen came to the plate with runners on second and third with one out and Washington trailing 4-2. He drove in a run with a groundout before Jayson Werth struck out on three pitches against Trevor Rosenthal, who earned his fifth save.
"Kevin Frandsen put on a nice `AB' against Rosenthal," Williams said, "but (Harper's) spot came up with the ability to win the game. And that's a shame for his teammates."
Said Harper: "Man, that's tough to watch, not being able to be up there in that situation. It's something that I thrive on and I want to be in. You know, it's in the past and there's nothing we can do about it now."
Williams said Harper would be back in the starting lineup Sunday for t
|Yesterday|| Warriors beat Clippers 109-105 in playoff opener|
LOS ANGELES (AP) Klay Thompson scored 22 points, David Lee added 20 and the Golden State Warriors got Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in foul trouble to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-105 on Saturday in their playoff opener.
Stephen Curry added 14 points for the Warriors, who trailed by 11 points to start the game before rallying in the third when Griffin and Paul were on the bench together.
Paul led the Clippers with 28 points, and J.J. Redick added 22 points in 30 minutes. Griffin finished with 16 points, fouling out with 48 seconds left and the game tied at 105. DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and 14 rebounds.
|Yesterday|| Durant leads Thunder past Grizzlies 100-86|
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Kevin Durant scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 100-86 on Saturday night in the opening game of their first-round series.
Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder, who nearly squandered a 25-point lead but recovered from a dismal third quarter to make 10 of 16 shots in the fourth.
Zach Randolph led Memphis with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but he made just seven of 21 shots and got into foul trouble in the second half. Mike Conley had 16 points and 11 assists, Mark Gasol scored 16 points and Tony Allen added 13 points for the Grizzlies. The Thunder held Memphis to 36 percent shooting.
Oklahoma City was the only home team to win on the first day of the postseason.
|Yesterday|| Williams scores 24 as Nets beat Raptors 94-87|
TORONTO (AP) Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each scored 24 points, Paul Pierce scored nine of his 15 points in the final quarter and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 94-87 Saturday in Game 1 of their first round playoff series.
Shaun Livingston scored 10 points and Kevin Garnett had five as the Nets won despite making 4 of 24 3-pointers.
Kyle Lowry scored 22 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Raptors.
Valanciunas is the second Raptors player to have a double double in his postseason debut. Tracy McGrady had 25 points and 10 rebounds against New York in his first playoff game in 2000.
Valanciunas also set a Raptors record for playoff rebounds by surpassing Keon Clark, who had 16 against Detroit in 2002.
|Yesterday|| Blue Jackets edge Penguins 4-3 in double overtime|
PITTSBURGH (AP) Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury stuffed the initial shot by Cam Atkinson but Calvert stood all alone at the left post and wristed a shot into the open net to even the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at one game each.
Game 3 is Monday in Columbus.
Jack Johnson tied the game with 6:01 left in regulation for the Blue Jackets. Ryan Johansen also scored the first playoff goal of his career for Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky overcame a shaky start to finish with 39 saves.
Brian Gibbons scored twice and Matt Niskanen added his second goal of the playoffs but Pittsburgh was outplayed for much of the final three-plus periods. Fleury made 41 stops but was helpless on the game-winner.
The Penguins have dropped four straight home overtime playoff games and blew a chance to take a 2-0 series lead when they failed to bury the Blue Jackets early on.
Instead, Columbus weathered an opening storm and recovered to collect the team's first playoff victory since the expansion team made its debut on Oct. 7, 2000 - 4,493 days ago.
The Blue Jackets were the better team for long stretches and kept Pittsburgh's high-powered special teams in check. The Penguins went just 1 for 8 on the power play.
Both teams traded quality chances in the first overtime period. Bobrovsky made an excellent blocker save on Sidney Crosby racing down the right wing. Fleury stuffed R.J. Umberger from point blank range earlier in the period.
There was no back-and-forth in the second extra session. Brandon Dubinsky started the winning play by jabbing the puck at Fleury and Pittsburgh's defense offered little resistance until the puck was on Calvert's stick for the winner.
The Penguins knew they couldn't afford a repeat of th
|Yesterday|| Hawks take 1-0 lead by rolling past Pacers 101-93|
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Jeff Teague scored a playoff career-high 28 points and Paul Millsap added 25 as eighth-seeded Atlanta rolled past top-seeded Indiana 101-93 on Saturday night, taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Hawks ended an eight-game road losing streak in the playoffs, which dated to May 2011. Game 2 is Tuesday in Indianapolis.
Indiana, which spent the whole season working to get home-court advantage in the playoffs, wasted no time in giving it right back with a dismal third quarter. Paul George finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Atlanta opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run, breaking a 50-50 tie, then pulled away when Teague scored nine points in a 14-0 run that made it 74-58 with 4:08 left in the quarter. Indiana couldn't get closer than eight the rest of the way.
It was a fitting twist to open the best-of-seven series.
Indiana played fast and energetic in the first half, playing more like the team that was so good over the first half of the season. Then in the second half, the Pacers reverted to their recent script of being unable to make shots and get defensive stops when they needed them most. The Pacers were just 5-of-19 from the field in the third quarter and were 15-of-41 in the second half.
Atlanta took advantage of those struggles, becoming the first team to beat the Pacers on their home court twice this season and stealing the win they needed. It was the first time the Hawks won a postseason road game since the first game of the 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals at Chicago.
Nobody was better than Teague, who repeatedly blew through open lanes because the Pacers' defense was spread out by the Hawks' 3-point shooters.
Teague was 9-of-19 from the field with five assists and three rebounds. Millsap had eight rebounds.
With 30 3-point attempts, the Hawks broke their franchise playoff record for 3-point attempts with 30, and the 11 3s they made tied the second-highest
|Yesterday|| Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in OT, take 2-0 lead|
ST. LOUIS (AP) Defenseman Barret Jackman scored on a drive through traffic, giving the St. Louis Blues their second straight 4-3 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday for a 2-0 series lead against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
St. Louis rallied after Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook received a five-minute major and game misconduct penalty for a vicious elbow to the head on Blues captain David Backes, who had to be helped off the ice, went straight to the locker room and did not return for overtime.
Vladimir Tarasenko forced overtime with his second goal of the series, beating Corey Crawford with a wrist shot that banged off the right post and in with 6.4 seconds to go. Kevin Shattenkirk had a goal and two assists for the Blues.
|Apr 19, 2014|| Pujols hits 497th homer, Angels beat Tigers 11-6|
DETROIT (AP) Albert Pujols hit his 497th home run and Howie Kendrick added two of his own to lead the Los Angeles Angels to an 11-6 win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
The Angels chased Detroit starter Drew Smyly (1-1) after three innings and then added seven runs off reliever Luke Putkonen. Los Angeles finished with 13 hits, 10 for extra bases.
Kendrick hit two-run homers in the third and fourth, and Pujols lined a three-run shot to left field in the sixth to give the Angels an 11-1 lead.
Jered Weaver (1-2) allowed a run and three hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out three.
The Angels have won 10 straight against the Tigers, the longest active streak in the majors by one team over another.
Kendrick and Ian Stewart both had three hits for the Angels, with Stewart falling a homer shy of the cycle. Mike Trout doubled twice.
Smyly allowed four runs and six hits in his first start since 2012. The Angels scored two runs each in the second and third, then broke the game open with four off Putkonen in the fourth.
After excelling in the bullpen in 2013, Smyly is going to start for the Tigers this season, but his first two appearances of the year came in relief because Detroit didn't need a fifth starter yet.
His first chance to start went badly. Smyly needed 82 pitches to get through three innings.
With the Angels already ahead 2-0, Pujols led off the third with a double and Kendrick followed with his first homer of the night. Putkonen came on the following inning and couldn't quiet the Los Angeles bats.
After a two-run double by Trout made it 6-1, Kendrick hit a two-out drive to right-center that was ruled a homer after a review. The ball appeared to glance off a rail above the wall.
Pujols hit his fifth homer of the year to move one swing closer to the 500-homer club. After a disappointing, injury-plagued 2013, the Los Angeles first baseman may be rediscovering his slug
|Apr 19, 2014|| Manning, Gase visits to Bama, Saban raise NFL's ire|
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Peyton Manning's never-ending quest to hone his game and Nick Saban's desire to decipher fast-paced offenses led to a recent meeting that the Crimson Tide coach called mutually beneficial.
It also might have violated NFL rules because, according to Saban, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase also was in attendance.
The league doesn't allow players and their coaches to meet before the start of offseason workouts, which for the Broncos begin Monday. On-field instruction won't start until mid-May.
The Associated Press left messages with the team and the NFL on Friday seeking comment.
Gase, one of the rising young stars in the NFL coaching ranks, and Saban go way back. Gase worked under Saban at Michigan State in the late 1990s and followed him to LSU as a graduate assistant in 2000.
Saban also has known Manning for a long time and is friends with his father, Archie.
Saban said after Thursday's practice that Manning and Gase were "making some visits" and stopped by Tuscaloosa, Ala., a couple of weeks ago.
"To be honest with you, he was just trying to learn so he could be a better player," Saban said of the five-time MVP who led the Broncos to the Super Bowl, where they were soundly beaten by Seattle.
With Gase calling the shots, Manning set NFL records by throwing for 55 touchdowns and 5,447 yards in 2013 as the Broncos became the first team in league history to score more than 600 points in a season.
Saban picked their brains about the no-huddle, something Alabama has had trouble with, and Manning picked up pointers from one of the brightest minds in coaching.
"Since they're a no-huddle team, we had a lot of questions for them, in terms of what gives them problems and what defensive teams do that gives them problems," Saban said. "That was kind of a mutual, hopefully beneficial - I know it was a benefit to us. I hope it was a benefit to them, as well."
|Apr 19, 2014|| TNT's Sager to miss NBA playoffs due to leukemia|
ATLANTA (AP) TNT analyst Craig Sager will miss the NBA playoffs as he undergoes treatment for leukemia.
A sideline reporter famous for his brightly colored suits, Sager's sense of humor was intact in a statement released by Turner Sports on Friday.
Sager describes the postseason as "my favorite time of year - city to city, round by round, 40 games in 40 nights." He says that "a dramatic turn has matched me with acute myeloid leukemia. From the sidelines to being sidelined, 40 veins and 40 electrolytes."
Sager jokes about the often-terse in-game interviews with San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: "Too bad, I had some probing questions for Pop."
|Apr 19, 2014|| Warriors and Clippers take dislike to playoffs|
LOS ANGELES (AP) As much as the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors don't like each other, they're a lot alike in some ways.
There's an All-Star point guard on each side, they're both young and athletic, and each franchise is trying to distance itself from an inglorious past that cast them as afterthoughts for most of their years in the NBA.
The dislike between the teams goes beyond the Southern California vs. Northern California sense of superiority. They've tangled while splitting their four games this season, most famously on Christmas, when Blake Griffin was elbowed by Warriors forward Draymond Green.
In March, Griffin and Warriors backup center Jermaine O'Neal squabbled in a Clippers victory and it carried over after the game.
"I don't have Jermaine's number so I don't really talk to him," Griffin said Friday. "I don't know if there's a lingering issue or not."
With both teams having been down so long and now competing for a title, Clippers forward Matt Barnes said there's going to be "some hostility and animosity and hatred."
"It'll be an entertaining series just because how the regular season went," Warriors star Stephen Curry said. "You've got to be prepared for anything."
Some of the Clippers, including Griffin and Barnes, got into a playoff mindset by watching "Bad Boys," an ESPN documentary about the Detroit Pistons teams of the 1980s and `90s that premiered on Thursday.
Barnes said he wishes today's players could be as physical as the Pistons. He joked that if he fouled as hard as Isiah Thomas did back in the day, he'd be tossed out of the NBA and need to find a new job.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson added some heat to the fire this week when he said Griffin flopped a lot in games. Griffin is averaging 24.1 points and shooting 53 percent.
"If he's flopping, keep doing it because those numbers look awful good to me, so flop on," first-year Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "B
|Apr 19, 2014|| Stanton's slam sends Marlins past Mariners 8-4|
MIAMI (AP) Giancarlo Stanton hit a grand slam with none out in the ninth inning, and the Miami Marlins took advantage of an overturned call on a replay review to beat the Seattle Mariners 8-4 Friday night.
Reed Johnson was called out on a force play following a bunt, but the umpires reviewed the ruling and determined third baseman Kyle Seager had juggled the ball. The Mariners then deployed five infielders, and Stanton cleared them all with a towering homer to the left of the home-run sculpture.
Stanton had five RBIs to increase his total to 26, most in the majors.
The Mariners lost their fourth game in a row, while the Marlins won for only the second time in the past 11 games.
Johnson singled to start the ninth against Yoervis Medina (0-1), and Christian Yelich beat out a sacrifice bunt for his third hit. Marcell Ozuna's bunt loaded the bases following the replay review, and Stanton hit his sixth homer on a 1-2 count.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his second homer for the Marlins, who won despite two errors that led to three unearned runs.
The Marlins' Nathan Eovaldi pitched six innings and allowed three runs, one earned. He lowered his ERA in seven interleague starts to 1.70.
Steve Cishek (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth.
The Mariners, beginning their first series in Miami since 2005 and their second ever, squandered repeated scoring chances. They went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Abraham Almonte had a double and a triple and scored twice, but slumping Robinson Cano went 1 for 5 and is 4 for 22 on the Mariners' trip.
The Mariners' patchwork rotation again failed to go deep into a game. Chris Young lasted only three innings while giving up seven hits and four runs.
A miscue by Marlins right fielder Stanton led to two unearned runs. The Marlins have allowed 14 unearned runs this season, and they came into the game tied for the most in the majors.
The Marlins also overcame s
|Apr 19, 2014|| Silver wants age limit change, no rush on others|
NEW YORK (AP) Even as the NBA prepares for a draft that could be headlined by freshmen, Commissioner Adam Silver remains committed to keeping them in college.
So much so that NCAA President Mark Emmert was invited to discuss his involvement with owners.
Silver is moving cautiously on potential changes to areas such as the lottery format and playoff structure, but makes it clear that raising the draft age limit to abolish the so-called "one and done" is one of his priorities.
Freshmen Andrew Wiggins of Kansas and Jabari Parker of Duke are expected to be top-five picks in June, but Silver believes teams are taking those players young because of the system in place, not because it's their preference.
"The fact that our teams would draft these players if they were coming out of high school as they used to, or one year out of college, I think doesn't mean change isn't necessary," Silver said Friday.
The age limit requiring American players to be 19 and a year out of high school was implemented in 2005, creating a system where players would simply go to college for a year and then declare for the draft. Silver and predecessor David Stern have long spoken about the desire to increase the limit to 20. But no change, which would have to be discussed with the union, was made during the last round of collective bargaining in 2011.
The sides haven't been able to have much serious discussion since then. The union has been without an executive director since ousting Billy Hunter 14 months ago, but Silver's desire for change remains.
"We're ready to go," Silver said. "We've been thinking about this issue for a long time."
Silver said a change was unlikely for next season, and a transition period would be necessary whenever one was made. In the meantime, he wants the NCAA part of the discussion, so Emmert addressed owners during the two-day meetings.
"One thing that we also agree on is that historically what you've h
|Apr 19, 2014|| Grizzlies PG Nick Calathes suspended for 20 games|
Memphis Grizzlies point guard Nick Calathes has been suspended for 20 games for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy.
The league said Friday night in a release that Calathes tested positive for tamoxifen. The suspension begins Saturday night when the Grizzlies take on Oklahoma City in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Yahoo Sports was the first to report the suspension.
Calathes, a 25-year-old rookie reserve, averaged 4.9 points and 2.9 assists in 71 games this season.
|Apr 19, 2014|| Flyers could have G Steve Mason back for Game 2|
NEW YORK (AP) The Philadelphia Flyers might have No. 1 goalie Steve Mason back for Game 2 against the Rangers.
Mason missed Thursday's 4-1 loss to New York because of an undisclosed upper-body injury. He was hurt last Saturday against Pittsburgh, when he was knocked over and hit the back of his head on the ice. Mason and the Flyers have declined to say whether he has a concussion.
Mason took part in a goalie practice Friday at New York's Chelsea Piers and said afterward that he is feeling better than he did a few days earlier. He has set his sights on playing Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
"I felt pretty good for being on the ice for the first time in a couple of days. It was a good step," the 25-year-old Mason said. "I felt great movement-wise. It was a pretty controlled setting and it felt good.
"I'll know exactly when I am ready to go physically, but it is also a management and doctor's decision, as well."
Ray Emery made 32 saves in Mason's absence Thursday and couldn't be blamed for the loss. The game was tied 1-1 in the third period but changed when the Rangers scored twice during a double-minor, high-sticking penalty against young forward Jason Akeson.
Emery had little chance to stop either scoring shot. His backup's strong performance took some of the sting away from Mason.
But he still hopes to get the call Sunday.
"This is the time that you've worked all season to get to, and to see the team go out there in a playoff atmosphere at Madison Square Garden where the stakes are so high ... it's something that you don't want to be sitting out and watching," Mason said.
"It was difficult, especially since the result. I think everybody expects a much better game on Sunday. I don't think anybody was happy with the way the team played."
Mason expects to practice with his teammates Saturday. The rest of the Flyers had Friday off.
Of bigger concern than their goaltending, the Flyers will
|Apr 19, 2014|| Canadiens top Lightning again for 2-0 series lead|
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Rene Bourque had two goals and David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher also scored Friday night, helping the Montreal Canadiens beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Carey Price stopped 26 shots for Montreal, redeeming himself following a less than stellar performance during a 5-4 overtime win in Game 1.
A second road victory in three nights sends the Canadiens home with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 3 is Sunday.
Bourque and Desharnais scored in the second period after defensive breakdowns left Tampa Bay goaltender Anders Lindback in tough situations. Gallagher made it 3-0 with an unassisted goal in the third period.