Jun 09, 2021 11:10 AM

Sports Headlines for Wednesday

Posted Jun 09, 2021 11:10 AM

Here is the latest Mid-America sports news from The Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit the longest homer of his major league career in the first inning, and the surging Los Angeles Angels pounded five homers in an 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Max Stassi, José Iglesias and Justin Upton also homered for Los Angeles off Kansas City starter Kris Bubic. Taylor Ward added a two-run shot in the eighth. Andrew Heaney allowed six hits and a run while pitching into the seventh inning of the Angels' 10th win in 15 games. Ohtani's 17th homer of the season was a 470-foot shot deep into the outfield bleachers off Bubic.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — José Ramírez homered and drove in four runs, leading Shane Bieber and the Cleveland Indians over St. Louis 10-1 and sending the Cardinals to their sixth straight loss. St. Louis' skid is its longest since a seven-game slide in June 2017. Cleveland has won four of six. Bieber gave up one run and five hits in six innings, striking out five. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner has won his past three decisions and hasn't permitted more than three runs in any of his 13 starts this year. Carlos Martínez allowed five runs and seven hits, including Ramírez's three-run homer, in four innings.

Update on the latest sports

NBA PLAYOFFS-SCHEDULE

Big 2nd-half run lifts 76ers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers barely managed to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole in the NBA's Eastern Conference semifinals.

Joel Embiid (joh-EHL' ehm-BEED') had 40 points and 13 rebounds as the Sixers knocked off the Hawks, 118-102, evening the series at a game apiece. The 76ers also received big contributions from Shake Milton, who buried a 32-footer and scored 14 points in an electrifying stretch off the bench. Milton fueled a 14-0 run that blew the game open in the second half.

Trae Young and Danilo Gallinari scored 21 apiece for the Hawks, who trailed by just two before Philadelphia's big run.

Game 3 is Friday in Atlanta.

The Jazz opened their Western Conference semifinal series by getting 45 points from Donovan Mitchell in a 112-109 win over the Clippers. Mitchell poured in 32 points in the second half to rally the Jazz from a double-digit deficit.

Jordan Clarkson and Bojan (BOY'-ahn) Bogdanovic chipped in 18 points apiece, with Clarkson and Mitchell combining for 12 3-pointers.

Utah took the lead for good on a 21-9 run bookended by 3-pointers from Bogdanovic.

Kawhi (kah-WY') Leonard scored 23 points to lead Los Angeles, while Paul George chipped in 20 with 11 rebounds.

Game 2 is Thursday in Salt Lake City.

NBA-MVP

Jokic takes MVP honors

DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic (nih-KOH'-lah YOH'-ihch wasn't highly regarded when he was taken in the NBA draft. He's now the league's reigning MVP.

The Nuggets' big man has been revealed as the NBA's top player making him by far the lowest draft pick ever to win the award.

The Serbian product has become a dominant force since being selected 41st overall in the 2014 draft.

Jokic's scoring average jumped from 19.9 points per game last season to 26.4. He tied his career high with 10.8 rebounds per game, and his average of 8.3 assists was just shy of Wilt Chamberlain's all-time season average for a center.

Jokic was the runaway winner, getting 91 of the 101 first-place ballots cast

Philadelphia's Joel Embiid (joh-EHL' ehm-BEED') was second, Golden State's Stephen Curry was third, 2019 and 2020 MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH'-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON'-poh) of Milwaukee was fourth and Phoenix's Chris Paul was fifth.

NHL PLAYOFFS-SCHEDULE

Bolts eliminate Canes; Knights go up 3-2

UNDATED (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning are eight wins away from a second consecutive Stanley Cup.

The Lightning have reached the semifinals with a 2-0 shutout of the Hurricanes in Game 5.

Andrei Vasilevskiy (va-sih-LEHV'-skee) stopped 29 shots for his second shutout of the postseason and third of his playoff career. Vasilevskiy and the Lightning held Carolina to two goals in the three games at Raleigh, stopping 97 of 99 shots.

Brayden Point snapped a scoreless tie with his eighth goal of the playoffs, a power-play tally just over four minutes into the second period. Ross Colton added an unassisted goal midway through the third.

Alex Nedeljkovic (neh-DEHL'-koh-vihch) made 23 saves for the Hurricanes.

The Bolts will play the winner of the Islanders-Bruins series, which New York leads, 3-2.

Meanwhile, a 3-2 win gives the Vegas Golden Knights a three-games-to-two advantage in their second-round series.

Mark Stone scored on a breakaway 50 seconds into overtime, sending the Knights to their third straight victory.

Trailing 2-0 entering the third, the Golden Knights found another gear with Alex Tuch (tuhk) scoring 1:03 into the period and Jonathan Marchessault (MAHR'-sheh-soh) tying it up just 3:04 later.

Marc-Andre Fleury was sensational at times while stopping 28 shots. Fleury picked up playoff win No. 88, which ties him with Billy Smith and Ed Belfour for the fourth-most in NHL history.

Colorado appeared in command after a 2-0 lead courtesy of Brandon Saad late in the first and another from Joonas Donskoi in the second.

The Knights can close out the series at home on Thursday.

NHL-NEWS

Kadri suspension stands

UNDATED (AP) — Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri (NA'-zehm KA'-dree) has seen his eight-game suspension for an illegal hit upheld by an arbitrator.

Kadri has already served six games of a suspension he received after an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in Game 2 of their first-round series. Faulk sustained a concussion, according to the report, and didn't play in the final two games as the Avalanche swept the Blues to advance.

Colorado was holding out hope that Kadri might be available for Game 5 of their second-round series Tuesday in Denver.

Also in hockey:

— The NHL fined Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy $25,000 for his criticism of the officials after their 5-4 loss to the Islanders in Game 5 of the second-round series. The Islanders scored three power-play goals on four chances in a 5-4 victory on Monday night while being called for two penalties themselves. The Islanders ranked 29th out of 31 teams in penalty minutes during the regular season, while the Bruins were fifth and received the most minor penalties.

NFL-NEWS

Rodgers missing from minicamp

UNDATED (AP) — The Aaron Rodgers saga continues in Green Bay.

The three-time MVP quarterback wasn't with the Packers for their first mandatory minicamp session on Tuesday after declining to participate in voluntary organized team activities.

The Packers have the option to fine Rodgers just over $93,000 if he misses all three minicamp sessions this week.

Rodgers' future with the team has been uncertain ever since ESPN reported shortly before this year's draft that Rodgers doesn't want to return to Green Bay.

In other developments from NFL camps:

— Tom Brady is back on the practice field with the Buccaneers. The 43-year-old quarterback was a full participant Tuesday at mandatory minicamp for the Super Bowl champions, taking part in individual drills and doing some 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work. Coach Bruce Arians said last week there was a chance he'd limit Brady's involvement as he recovers from offseason knee surgery.

— Giants running back Saquon (SAY'-kwahn) Barkley isn't going to work out with teammates on the field until his rehabilitation from a major knee injury is complete. Barkley to the ACL in his right knee in the second game last season. He was not on the field Tuesday as the Giants opened a three-day mandatory minicamp.

— The NFL will spend up to $1 million funding up to five studies that will examine how to better help players ease their pain and find alternatives to opioids. Those potential alternatives include marijuana and other cannabis-derived products. The league and the NFL Players Association formed a joint pain management committee in 2019 to help find alternatives to opioids and give players and league medical staffs information on pain management.

— The 49ers have lost two more backups to significant injuries during offseason workouts. The team announced that safety Tarvarius Moore tore his Achilles tendon and offensive lineman Justin Skule tore the ACL in his knee during Monday's practice.

— Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence was held out of parts of practice Tuesday because of tightness in his left hamstring. The No. 1 overall draft pick returned after getting some treatment on the field and threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.

— The Cardinals have signed linebacker and first-round pick Zaven Collins to his rookie contract. Collins is expected to be an immediate contributor in the middle of the defense alongside second-year linebacker Isaiah Simmons, who was the No. 8 overall pick last year. Collins was an AP All-American last season at Tulsa and also won the Nagurski Trophy, Lombardi Award and Bednarik Award

— The Ravens have signed guard Michael Schofield, who played 11 games last season for the Panthers and started three. Prior to that, Schofield played for the Chargers and Broncos.

— Former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel (FAH'-sul) has died at 71. The 1997 NFL coach of the year guided the Giants from 1997 to 2003, posting a 58-53-1 record. New York won the NFC in 2000 before losing to the Ravens in the Super Bowl. John Fassel told the Los Angeles Times his father was taken to a Las Vegas hospital with chest pains and died while being treated Monday.

MLB-SCHEDULE

Rays win again, down Nats

UNDATED (AP) — The AL East leaders continue to swim above their division rivals.

Tyler Glasnow struck out 11 over seven strong innings of the Tampa Bay Rays' 3-1 win over Washington. Glasnow gave up one run, six hits and walked one during a season-high 114-pitch start.

Manuel Margot (mahn-WEHL' mahr-GOH') hit a leadoff homer in the first off Jon Lester, who worked out of two-on, two-outs jams in the second and third.

In other major league action:

— The Red Sox's five-game winning streak is over after Carlos Correa and Yordan (yohr-DAHN') Alvarez homered in Houston's 7-1 victory against Boston. Framber Valdez allowed one run and five hits over 7 1/3 innings, striking out eight to pick up his second straight win over the Bosox.

— Gary Sánchez and Miguel Andújar (an-DOO'-hahr) homered and the Yankees ended a four-game slid with an 8-4 downing of the Twins. Aaron Judge drove in two runs for New York, which had lost eight of its previous 10 and won despite going 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position.

— Andrew Vaughn homered in the seventh inning and delivered a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth, pushing the White Sox past the Blue Jays, 6-1. Leury (lay-OOR'-ee) García added a two-run triple and Garrett Crochet got three outs for the win as the AL Central leaders moved a season-high 14 games over .500 at 37-23.

— José Ramírez homered and drove in four runs, leading Shane Bieber and the Indians to a 10-1 pasting of the Cardinals. Bieber gave up one run and five hits in six innings, striking out five, sending St. Louis to its sixth consecutive loss.

— The Tigers earned a 5-3 win over the Mariners behind Matthew Boyd, who allowed an unearned run, six hits and a walk over six innings. Eric Haase hit a two-run homer while Detroit was building a 3-0 lead in the first inning.

— Mike Tauchman hit a go-ahead grand slam and Brandon Crawford homered twice in the Giants' 9-4 thumping of the Rangers. Crawford appeared in his 1,326th game at shortstop to break Travis Jackson's franchise record for the position.

— Athletics hurler Chris Bassitt struck out six over seven strong innings to win his sixth consecutive decision, 5-2 against the Diamondbacks. Christian Walker led off the second with a home run and Bassitt limited Arizona to two runs and four hits.

— Shohei Ohtani (SHOH'-hay oh-TAH'-nee) hit the longest homer of his major league career, a 470-foot blast in the first inning of the Angels' 8-1 drubbing of the Royals. Max Stassi (STAS'-ee), José Iglesias and Justin Upton also homered off Kris Bubic (BOO'-bihch) before Taylor Ward added a two-run shot in the eighth.

— Ke'Bryan Hayes hastily missed first base and was called out after hitting a first-inning homer, sending Walker Buehler on his way to seven scoreless innings as the Dodgers beat the Pirates, 5-3. Chris Taylor smacked a two-run homer to back Buehler, who retired his last 13 batters and had two hits while allowing just two hits.

— Zach Davies allowed just one hit in six scoreless innings in pitching the Cubs to a 7-1 win over the Padres. Anthony Rizzo homered and drove in four runs, and Patrick Wisdom went deep again for Chicago.

— Avisail (ah-vih-sah-EEL') Garcia homered and singled home another run in the Brewers' 10th win in 11 games, 5-1 versus the Reds. Milwaukee starter and winner Adrian Houser pitched 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball.

— Maikel (MY'-kehl) Franco become the sixth player to hit a home run into the second deck at Camden Yards, helping the Orioles post a 10-3 win over the Mets. Bruce Zimmermann allowed a two-run homer in the first inning to Pete Alonso, but the Mets managed only one more hit off him in five innings.

— Austin Riley, Ronald Acuña (ah-KOON'-yah) Jr. and William Contreras each hit a solo homer to power the Braves past the Phillies, 9-5. Acuña also had a single, double and three RBIs as the reigning three-time NL East champions evened their record at 29-29.

— Pablo Lopez allowed only two runs in a career-best eight innings, and Corey Dickerson hit a two-run triple for the Marlins in a 6-2 win over the Rockies. Jesus Aguilar had two hits and two RBIs to help Miami bounce back from a 1-8 road trip.

MLB-NEWS

Red Sox ace Sale eager to return

UNDATED (AP) — Injured Red Sox ace Chris Sale made a positive step in his return from Tommy John surgery, throwing 25 pitches off a bullpen mound at Fenway Park.

The 31-year-old left-hander said he would start tomorrow if the team would let him. But Red Sox manager Alex Cora said they needed to be patient to make sure Sale comes through rehab OK. Sale had elbow ligament replacement surgery in March, 2020. It typically takes a minimum of 12 months to recover from the procedure, but can stretch to two years.

Also in the majors:

— Khris Davis has been designated for assignment by the slumping Rangers as the team continues to rebuild with youth. Davis hit .157 with two home runs and five RBIs in his 22 games after missing the Rangers' first 34 contests because of a left quad strain. He has struggled at the plate since leading the majors with 48 home runs in 2018.

— Mets manager Luis Rojas says he expects infielder Jeff McNeil to begin a rehab assignment by the end of the weekend. McNeil hasn't played since May 16 because of a strained left hamstring. Rojas also said outfielder Michael Conforto is probably a couple weeks from starting his rehab assignment as he comes back from a strained right hamstring, but Luis Guillorme (gee-OHR'-may) could be activated this weekend

— The Nationals have placed pitcher Austin Voth on the 10-day injured list with a fractured nose. Voth was sent to a Philadelphia hospital Sunday to get his nose reset. It was broken when he was hit by a pitch while squaring around to bunt against Philadelphia's Vince Velasquez.

— The Blue Jays have put Danny Jansen on the 10-day injured list and recalled fellow catcher Riley Adams from Triple-A Buffalo. Jansen strained his right hamstring running the bases during Sunday's 6-3 loss to Houston.

FRENCH OPEN

Gauff, Krejcikova face off for SF spot in Paris

PARIS (AP) — American teenager Coco Gauff is bidding for a spot in the French Open semifinals against Barbora Krejcikova (kreh-jih-KOH'-vah) of the Czech Republic.

If she wins, the 17-year-old Gauff will become the youngest woman in the semifinals at any major tournament since 2006. Gauff has not been defeated by a player outside the top 30 on clay this season. Krejcikova is ranked 33rd.

Defending champion Iga Swiatek then faces Maria Sakkari on Court Philippe Chatrier. In the men's quarterfinals, 13-time champion Rafael Nadal faces No. 10 seed Diego Schwartzman before No. 1 Novak Djokovic meets No. 9 Matteo Berrettini at night.

OLYMPICS-TOKYO-REFUGEE TEAM

Refugee team of 29 athletes picked for Tokyo Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The refugee team for the Tokyo Olympics has 29 athletes competing in 12 sports.

The team picked by the International Olympic Committee was drawn from 55 athletes who fled their home countries and got scholarships to train for the games in a new home country.

MEDINA SPIRIT-LAWSUIT

Baffert, Medina Spirit owners sue Kentucky racing officials

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Trainer Bob Baffert and the owners of Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit have filed a lawsuit against Kentucky racing officials.

They are seeking a temporary injunction they say is to prevent violation of due process rights. They also seek custody of "remnant" samples of the colt's urine to prove that traces of the steroid betamethasone found in his system during a positive drug test did not come from an injection.

The suit states that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission told the trainer and connections on June 1 that remnant samples of the samples had been "damaged/contaminated" during transport to the testing lab.

PGA-CABRERA EXTRADITED

Golfer Cabrera extradited to Argentina on assault charges

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Argentine golfer and two-time major champion Ángel Cabrera has been extradited from Brazil to his homeland to face trial on charges he assaulted three former partners.

The 51-year-old Cabrera has been in jail since January when Brazil's federal police arrested him on an Interpol warrant. Cabrera had spent months on the run from an Argentine case involving assault claims by three former partners who accuse him of assault, intimidation and causing injuries.

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