Here is the latest Mid-America sports news from The Associated Press
CINCINNATI (AP) — Nick Castellanos stood over, flexed and jawed at St. Louis pitcher Jake Woodford after scoring, stetting off a series of scuffles that included relievers shoving in the outfield as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Cardinals 9-6. The dustup began after Castellanos scored on a wild pitch and then got in the face of Woodford, who had plunked him. Catcher Yadier Molina took exception, grabbed Castellanos and it escalated from there. Castellanos was the only player ejected. Aristides Aquino replaced Castellanos and homered. Tucker Barnhart also connected and Tyler Mahle pitched five strong innings for the win. Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright was chased in the third.
DENVER (AP) — Cale Makar scored with 40 seconds left to lift the Colorado Avalanche past the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Nathan MacKinnon also had a goal and Philipp Grubauer stopped 27 shots for Colorado. The Avalanche have won four in a row and are 12-0-2 over their last 14 games. Ryan O'Reilly scored for St. Louis and Ville Husso had 32 saves. The Blues have dropped five straight (0-4-1). The game appeared headed to overtime when Makar's shot from the right point went through traffic and by Husso.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Michael A. Taylor homered and drove in three runs for the second straight game, leading the Kansas City Royals over the Texas Rangers 11-4. Released by Washington after hitting .196 last season, Taylor is off to a sensational start for Kansas City. After getting three hits and throwing out two runners at the plate from center field in a 14-10 win on opening day, Taylor came back with a home run and double as the Royals improved to 2-0. Whit Merrifield also homered for the second game in a row. Texas starter Kohei Arihara allowed three runs in five innings in his major league debut after six seasons in Japan.
UNDATED (AP) — Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has agreed to a new contract that will keep him with the Jayhawks until he retires. The five-year contract automatically adds one additional year after the conclusion of each season. That effectively makes it a lifetime contract. The deal guarantees him $5.41 million per year with a base salary of $225,000, professional services contract of $2.75 million and an annual $2.435 million retention bonus. The deal was struck even as the school awaits the decision from an independent panel investigating five serious infractions charges alleged by the NCAA
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An effort to legalize sports betting in Kansas has stalled. It's not clear that legislators can agree on how many places should offer wagering while also navigating other gambling issues. Some sports betting supporters believe they still have time before the Legislature wraps up its business for the year in May to get a bill passed, but others are skeptical. A Senate-passed proposal would limit sports betting to four state-owned casinos. A House proposal would include as many as 1,200 retail stores. But the broadness of the House plan and other issues, such as reviving the tracks, caused the chamber to vote this week against giving it first-round approval.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Robert Washington ran for 101 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter as Valparaiso beat Drake 10-7. Valparaiso (3-1, 3-1 Pioneer League) won for the first time in Des Moines, and also beat Drake (1-2, 1-2) for the first time since 2003. Drake couldn't get past its own 10 on its final possession with 4:05 to play, and Valpo converted a pair of third downs to help run out the clock. Caden Meis scored on a 7-yard run with about eight minutes left for Drake.
MARTIN, Tenn. (AP) — Andrew Bunch threw for 151 yards and a pair of third-quarter touchdowns as Southeast Missouri State defeated Tennessee Martin 21-16. Bunch connected with Rashawn Palmer on a 74-yard catch-and-run on the second play after halftime and closed the third quarter with a 3-yard TD toss to Zack Smith for a 21-10 SEMO lead. UT Martin cut the gap to 21-16 when John Bachus III capped an 88-yard drive with a 2-yard scoring toss to Colton Dowell with 6:25 remaining. Bachus threw for 275 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but was intercepted once and sacked four times.
Update on the latest sports
Gonzaga escapes, will meet Baylor
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gonzaga's bid for perfection continues after a buzzer-beater by Jalen Suggs put the Bulldogs in Monday's NCAA title game against Baylor.
Suggs drained a 3-pointer from just inside the halfcourt logo with no time left to complete Gonzaga's 93-90 win over UCLA, leaving the Zags 31-0. Suggs' shot came just over three seconds seconds after Johnny Juzang (JOO'-zang) followed up his own miss to tie it for the Bruins.
Drew Timme (TIH'-mee) scored Gonzaga's first six points of overtime despite playing with four fouls. Timme finished with 25 points, Joel Ayai (ah-YAH'-ee) had 22 and Suggs chipped in 16.
Juzang had a game-high 29 points for UCLA.
Baylor made the most of its first NCAA men's basketball semifinal appearance since the Truman administration.
Jared Butler led a balanced attack with 17 points as the Bears smothered Houston, 78-59 to reach Monday's title game. He provided all his scoring while Baylor carved out a 45-20 halftime lead.
Butler had 11 points during a 16-3 run late in the half that cracked open the game.
Davion (DAY'-vee-ahn) Mitchell and Matthew Mayer were among five Bears to score in double figures, finishing with 12 points apiece. Mitchell also had 11 assists for Baylor, which was in its first NCAA semifinal game in 71 years.
Marcus Sasser had 20 points for the cold-shooting Cougars, who hit 38% of their attempts and were 6 of 19 from 3-point range
Indiana officials looking into Alabama COVID death
UNDATED (AP) — Health officials in Indiana say they are investigating whether anyone was exposed to COVID-19 by Alabama residents following Friday night's death of a Crimson Tide fan who was in Indianapolis for the NCAA Tournament last weekend. The Tuscaloosa News says Alabama student Luke Ratliff was hospitalized shortly after returning to Tuscaloosa on March 29, one day after attending Alabama's game against UCLA at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The 23-year-old Ratliff was a well-known fan known as Fluffopotamus, familiar to many in his plaid jacket this season and the leader of the Crimson Chaos basketball campus support group.
In other college basketball news:
— Michigan senior Isaiah Livers has had surgery on his right foot. Recovery time is expected to be a minimum of six months. Livers averaged 13.1 points a game this season.
— Cincinnati has put put coach John Brannen on paid leave. The school announced it was investigating the program after six Bearcats players decided to transfer last month because of a rift between them and Brannen. The Bearcats finished 12-11 in Brannen's second year at Cincinnati after a 20-10 season in 2019-20.
76ers win in Embiid's return
UNDATED (AP) — Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid (joh-EHL' ehm-BEED') made a triumphant return after missing 10 straight games with a bone bruise in his left knee.
Embiid delivered 24 points and eight rebounds as the Sixers got past the Timberwolves, 122-113. He played 29 minutes in his first action since March 12.
Tobias Harris had a team-high 32 points for the 76ers, who moved back into a tie with the Nets for first place in the NBA's Eastern Conference at 34-15.
Checking out Saturday's other NBA action:
— The Jazz set a league record by making 18 3-pointers in the first half in a 137-91 throttling of the Magic. Donovan Mitchell made 6 of 7 from beyond the arc to help Utah open a 78-40 advantage at the break. Joe Ingles and Bojan (BOY'-ahn) Bogdanovic each had 17 for the Jazz, who ran their team-record home winning streak to 22 games.
— The Bucks pulled out a 129-128 win over the Kings as Jrue (jroo) Holiday scored a season-high 33 points to go with 11 assists and seven rebounds. Brook Lopez had 26 points and Donte DiVincenzo added 12 points, seven assists and a season-best 14 rebounds for Milwaukee. The Bucks won their third in a row despite playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo (an-teh-toh-KOON'-poh) because of left knee soreness.
— CJ McCollum scored 20 points to lead eight Trail Blazers in double figures in a 133-85 dismantling of the Thunder. Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons each added 16 points for the Blazers, who sent their starters to the bench before Portland took a 104-59 lead into the final quarter. Portland led by as many as 52 points and the final margin was the largest ever for the team at the Moda Center.
— Luka Doncic (DAHN'-chihch) contributed eight rebounds and six assists as the Mavericks capped a five-game road trip with their fourth straight win, 109-87 over the Wizards. Jalen Brunson scored 19 points and Boban Marjanovic (BOH'-bahn mahr-YAH'-noh-vihch) posted his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Russell Westbrook had 26 points and 14 rebounds as Washington posted a season-low point total.
— Duncan Robinson scored 18 points on 6-for-9 from 3-point range as the Heat topped the Cavaliers, 105-101. Bam Adebayo (ad-eh-BY'-oh) finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds to help the Heat beat the Cavaliers for the 20th straight time in Miami. Trevor Ariza scored 15 points and Jimmy Butler added 15 points and 11 assists for Miami.
— Julius Randle scored 20 of his 29 points in the first quarter of the Knicks' 125-81 drubbing of the Pistons. Randle and Reggie Bullock had four 3-pointers apiece in the first as New York put it away early. Bullock finished with 22 points and the Knicks returned to .500 by stopping a three-game slide.
— Caris LeVert scored 26 points and the short-handed Pacers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 139-133 overtime victory over the Spurs. Aaron Holiday, Myles Turner and T.J. McConnell each had 18 points for Indiana. McConnell and Turner combined for 11 points in OT for the Pacers, who were without Domantas Sabonis (doh-MAHN'-tahs sah-BOH'-nihs), Malcolm Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb.
Hornets' Hayward out at least 4 weeks with right foot sprain
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Gordon Hayward will miss at least a month after spraining his right foot during the Charlotte Hornets' win Friday night over the Indiana Pacers. Hayward was injured when he stepped on Myles Turner's foot while driving to the basket in the second quarter and immediately crumpled.
The 31-year-old forward is averaging 19.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game in his first season with the Hornets on a $128 million, four-year deal.
Yanks beat Jays in Kluber debut
UNDATED (AP) — One of the New York Yankees' newest starting pitchers looked pretty good on Saturday as the team bounced back from a season-opening loss to Toronto.
Two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber allowed one earned run over four innings of the Yankees' 5-3 win over the Blue Jays. Kluber was signed by New York after pitching just one inning the previous two seasons due to injuries.
Jay Bruce blooped a two-run single in the seventh for his first hit with his new team. Gary Sánchez joined Elston Howard in 1963 as the only Yankees catchers to homer in each of the first two games.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Zach McKinstry hustled for a go-ahead, inside-the-park homer in the eighth inning of the Dodgers' 6-5 win at Colorado. McKinstry put on the burners when left fielder Raimel Tapia reached over the fence to bring the ball back, only to have it bounce out of his glove and roll away.
— Joe Musgrove was brilliant in his debut for his hometown Padres, allowing three hits over six innings of a 7-0 shutout of the Diamondbacks. Manny Machado homered and Wil Myers drove in three runs with a pair of doubles, helping San Diego get its third straight win.
— José Berríos (beh-REE'-ohs) and three relievers combined on a one-hitter with 17 strikeouts to send the Twins past the Brewers, 2-0. The Twins held Milwaukee hitless until Omar Narváez (nahr-VY'-ehz) delivered a one-out single to right off Tyler Duffey in the eighth. Neither team had a hit or walk until Minnesota's Byron Buxton led off the seventh with a homer off Corbin Burnes.
— Garrett Cooper had three hits and three RBIs in the Marlins' first win over the Rays in their last eight meetings, 12-7. Garrett Cooper singled home the tiebreaking run and Jon Berti ripped a two-out two-run single to make it 9-6 later in the seventh.
— The Phillies were 4-0 winners over the Braves as Zack Wheeler retired his final 17 batters while throwing one-hit ball over seven frames. Wheeler also was 2-for-3 with two RBIs in Philadelphia's second straight victory over the defending NL East champs.
— Chris Flexen returned to the big leagues with a win after a year in South Korea, scattering four hits over six innings of the Mariners' 4-0 shutout of the Giants. Mitch Haniger and Ty France each homered and Tayler Trammell (TRAM'-ul) supplied an RBI double for his first big league hit.
— Justin Upton's two-run homer capped a three-run eighth that carried the Angels past the White Sox, 5-3. Chicago's Yermín Mercedes homered, doubled and singled to become the first player since at least 1900 to begin a season with eight straight hits.
— Jake Arrieta (ehr-ee-ET'-uh) pitched six solid innings in a triumphant return to the Cubs, 5-1 over the Pirates. Kris Bryant made it 3-1 in the third with a solo homer against Tyler Anderson, and Jason Heyward bumped the lead to three with a long drive to the right-field bleachers in the sixth.
— Tucker Barnhart belted a two-run homer while the Reds scored six times in the third inning to chase Adam Wainwright in a 9-6 downing of the Cardinals. Nick Castellanos stood over, flexed and jawed at St. Louis pitcher Jake Woodford after scoring, setting off a series of scuffles that included relievers shoving in the outfield.
— Maikel (MY'-kehl) Franco drove in two runs after another Boston error and Pedro Severino had his second two-hit game in a row as the Orioles beat the Red Sox for the second straight day, 4-2. Matt Harvey fell one out shy of winning his Orioles debut, allowing two earned runs and six hits.
— The Astros are off to a 3-0 start after Yordan Álvarez belted a three-run homer in a 9-1 pounding of the Athletics. Kyle Tucker drove in a pair and Aledmys (ah-LEHD'-mees) Diaz went 3-for-5 with two runs scored to back Lance McCullers, who limited Oakland to a run and two hits over five innings.
— Michael A. Taylor homered and drove in three runs for the second straight game, leading the Royals to an 11-4 thumping of the Rangers. Texas starter Kohei Arihara allowed three runs in five innings in his major league debut after six seasons in Japan.
— Julio Teheran pitched through trouble in his Detroit debut, allowing a run and four hits over five innings of a 5-2 victory over the Indians. Willi Castro hit an RBI triple off Zach Plesac (PLEE'-sak) and came home on Miguel Cabrera's groundout.
Georgia governor vows a fight after MLB yanks All-Star Game
UNDATED (AP) — Baseball fans are divided about Major League Baseball's decision to pull this summer's All-Star Game from Georgia over a new voting law that critics say will hurt communities of color.
But Gov. Brian Kemp vowed Saturday to defend the measure, saying "free and fair elections" are worth any threats, boycotts or lawsuits. Some fans upset about the decision say they won't watch or attend any games because of it.
Others who support the league's move say not taking a stand would have alienated those who oppose the law.
In other baseball news:
— Ty Buttrey has decided to retire from baseball, saying his love for the game had diminished. The 28-year-old right-hander was one of the key pieces of the Angels' bullpen the past three seasons, but he struggled with control problems during spring training and was optioned to the team's alternate training site.
— Pirates third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes left Saturday's game against the Cubs with discomfort in his left wrist. Hayes walked and scored on Kevin Newman's two-out single in the first inning, but he jammed his left hand diving back to first on a pickoff attempt.
— Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson is on the 10-day injured list with a mild right hamstring strain. The move comes two days after he appeared to hurt himself running the bases on a double in the first inning of the Twins' season-opener against the Brewers.
— Marlins right-hander Elieser Hernandez left their game against Tampa Bay on Saturday with inflammation in his right biceps tendon. Hernandez struck out Rich Hill for the first out of the third before he was visited by manager Don Mattingly and pitching coach Mel Stottleyre Jr., along with a trainer.
Vasilevskiy 12-0 against Detroit, Lightning beat Wings 2-1
UNDATED (AP) — There's probably no safer sports bet than going against the Detroit Red Wings in Tampa Bay, especially with Andrei Vasilevskiy (va-sih-LEHV'-skee) in goal for the Lightning.
Vasilevskiy is 12-0 lifetime versus the Wings after turning back 25 shots in the Lightning's 2-1 victory. Ross Colton and Brayden Point scored in the first 7 1/2 minutes of Tampa Bay's 17th consecutive home win over Detroit.
The Bolts are 20-1-1 in their last 22 games against the Red Wings as the two teams prepare to square off again on Sunday.
Adam Erne (UR'-nee) scored and Thomas Greiss (grys) finished with 27 saves for the Red Wings.
The outcome keeps the Lightning in a first-place tie with Florida in the NHL's Central Division at 54 points, three ahead of Carolina.
Alex Wennberg had his first career hat trick as the Panthers beat the Blue Jackets 5-2 on Saturday night.
MacKenzie Weegar and Frank Vatrano each had a goal and an assist, and Sergei Bobrovsky (boh-BRAHF'-skee) stopped 44 shots to help the Panthers win their season-high fifth straight.
— The Stars earned a 3-2 win over the Hurricanes on Tanner Kero's tiebreaking goal 2:52 into the third period. Andrew Cogliano and Jamie Benn also scored for Dallas, which has won back-to-back games for the first time since the opening week of the season. Jake Oettinger made 41 saves for the Stars.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Colorado ran its winning streak to four games as Cale Makar (mah-KAHR') scored with 40 seconds left in a 2-1 decision over the Blues. Nathan MacKinnon also had a goal and Philipp Grubauer stopped 27 shots for the Avalanche, who are 12-0-2 in their last 14 games. Ryan O'Reilly scored for St. Louis and Ville Husso had 32 saves in the Blues' fifth consecutive loss.
— Joel Eriksson Ek scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period as the Wild nipped the Golden Knights, 2-1 to become the first visiting team to sweep a two-game series in Las Vegas this season. Cam Talbot made 27 saves and Ek set up Kirill Kaprizov (kah-REEL' kah-PREE'-zahv) for the tying goal in the final period. The Knights have their first three-game skid of the season at 0-2-1, dropping them four points behind the West-leading Avs.
— Dylan Gambrell scored in the third period to send the Sharks to their fourth straight win, 3-2 over the Kings. Kevin Labanc and Evander Kane each had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who have won six of eight overall to climb back into playoff contention. San Jose goaltender Martin Jones stopped 35 shots after he made 30 saves in Friday night's 3-0 win at Los Angeles.
— The Islanders are 15-1-2 at Nassau Coliseum after Mat Barzal (bahr-ZAL') furnished the winning goal in their 3-2 shootout win over the Flyers. Anthony Beauvillier (boh-VIH'-lee-ay) scored twice to put New York ahead, 2-0, but the Flyers earned a point on Claude Giroux's (juh-ROOZ') two third-period goals. Isles rookie Ilya Sorokin (sah-ROH'-kihn) made 30 saves in 65 minutes of play and improved to 9-3-1 on the season.
— Brad Marchand scored a hat trick and the Bruins erupted for five goals in the second period of a 7-5 downing of the Penguins. Marchand had two goals and an assist during the second-period outburst, two days after coach Bruce Cassidy called out some of his top veterans. David Pastrnak (PAHS'-tur-bahk) scored twice for the Bruins, who were just 4-4-1 in their previous nine games.
— Juuse Saros (YOO'-see SAH'-rohs) made 41 saves to lead the Predators to a 3-0 victory over the Blackhawks. Eeli Tolvanen (EE'-lee TOHL'-vah-nehn), Colton Sissons and Luke Kunin (KOO'-nihn) scored for the Predators, winners of seven of eight. Kevin Lankinen made 18 saves in Chicago's fourth loss in five games.
— Victor Olofsson tied the game with 3:41 left in regulation and Tage Thompson scored the only goal in a shootout to give the Sabres a 3-2 comeback victory against the Rangers. Casey Mittelstadt also scored for the Sabres, and Ullmark made 28 saves in improving to 7-5-3 this season. Buffalo is 2-0-1 since an 0-15-3 skid.
— Evgenii Dadonov (ehv-GEH'-nee dah-DAH'-nahv) scored twice and Artem Anisimov (ahr-TEHM ah-NEE'-see-mahv) had a goal and two assists as the Senators doubled up the Canadiens, 6-3. Anton Forsberg finished with 35 saves to help Ottawa end Montreal's three-game winning streak. Josh Anderson had two goals and Tyler Toffoli also scored for Montreal.
Spieth has piece of Texas Open lead
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jordan Spieth (speeth) shot a 5-under 67 to move into a tie for the lead heading into the final round of the Valero Texas Open.
Spieth and Englishman Matt Wallace are at 12 under after each player birdied their final two holes of the day. Wallace also posted a 67, and Charley Hoffman is alone in third at 10 under after shooting a 65.
Tavatanakit has commanding lead
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Patty Tavatanakit has opened a five-stroke lead at the ANA Inspiration, all but crushing her challengers' hopes with a striking combination of power and touch.
A stroke ahead after each of the first two rounds at Mission Hills, the 21-year-old Thai player shot a 5-under 67 in 100-degree heat to reach 14-under 202 in the first major championship of the year.
Tavatanakit matched the tournament 54-hole record set by Pernilla Lindberg in her 2018 victory.
Defending champion Mirim Lee and Ally Ewing were second at 9 under in the event.
USA Basketball picks Grant Hill as Colangelo's replacement
UNDATED (AP) — USA Basketball has announced that Grant Hill will take over as managing director of the men's national team following the Tokyo Olympics. He will succeed the retiring Jerry Colangelo, replacing one Basketball Hall of Famer with another in the critical role of assembling teams that will compete for gold.
Hill helped the U.S. win Olympic gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games and was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.