Here is the latest Mid-America sports news from The Associated Press
UNDATED (AP) — The Kansas City Royals have the best record in baseball — and an identity that should be pretty familiar by now. The Royals are still trying to beat teams on the basepaths. Whit Merrifield already has eight stolen bases, tied for the major league lead. As a team, Kansas City has 22 steals. Only San Diego has more. That's despite the fact that Adalberto Mondesi, last year's major league leader in steals, hasn't played for the Royals in 2021 because of an oblique injury.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kyle Busch celebrated his 36th birthday by winning a two-lap sprint to the finish at Kansas Speedway. He became the 10th different winner through the first 11 races of the NASCAR Cup Series season. Busch had stalked Kyle Larson all day before beating him on a late restart to take the lead. Then, after another caution in the closing laps, Busch followed up his Truck Series win Saturday night with another trip to victory lane. Kevin Harvick overcame a tire mishap on a late pit stop and took advantage of some chaos on the final restart to finish second. Brad Keselowski was third.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Carlos Martínez pitched eight marvelous innings, Harrison Bader hit an early three-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0 for a three-game sweep. St. Louis has won seven straight against the Pirates and is 20-6 versus Pittsburgh since the start of the 2019 season. The sweep was the second in three series for the Cardinals, who have won eight of 10 overall. Bader's home run off rookie Wil Crowe came with one out in the second inning. Martínez allowed five hits and two walks. He struck out three and retired his final eight batters. Alex Reyes retired the side in order in the ninth for his seventh save.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andrelton Simmons and Mitch Garver homered in a seven-run third inning, and rookie Alex Kirilloff went deep for the fourth time in three games as the Minnesota Twins routed the Kansas City Royals 13-4. José Berríos took advantage of Minnesota's recent tear at the plate to win for the first time in four starts. Berríos gave up four runs and struck out nine in six innings. The Twins have won three of four and scored 35 runs during that stretch. Royals starter Brad Keller was undone by the long ball and his own defense. Keller gave up all seven runs in the third, but only two were earned after a pair of errors by third baseman Hunter Dozier.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs made the most of their modest number of draft picks by filling the biggest holes remaining on their roster. With their first two picks, both in the second round, they grabbed Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton and Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey. They added Florida State pass rusher Joshua Kaindoh in the fourth and Duke tight end Noah Gray and Clemson wide receiver Cornell Powell in the fifth. They also used their first-round pick as part of a trade package with Baltimore earlier in the week that landed them two-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown.
Update on the latest sports
Bucks down Nets...Sixers take East lead
UNDATED (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH'-nihs an-teh-to-KOON'-poh) made his return to the Milwaukee Bucks lineup and promptly led an important win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Antetokounmpo poured in 49 points on 21 of 36 shooting as the Bucks knocked off the Nets, 117-114. The two-time reigning MVP scored the Bucks' first 16 points of the third quarter.
Antetokounmpo also had eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks to help Milwaukee overcome Kevin Durant's 42 points and 10 boards.
Kris Middleton had 16 points and 11 boards in the Bucks' third win in four games. Durant lifted the Nets with 13 points in the quarter, including three 3-pointers. However, Durant missed a difficult fadeaway 3-point try at the buzzer.
The Nets' loss also allowed the 76ers to take over the top seed in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of Brooklyn.
Ben Simmons tipped in the game-winner off a miss by Joel Embiid (joh-EHL' ehm-BEED') as time expired in overtime, giving Philadelphia a 113-111 triumph over the Spurs in San Antonio. Embiid had 34 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who blew a 17-point lead before earning their fourth straight win.
Seth Curry scored 22 points and Dwight Howard added 14 as Philadelphia handed the Spurs their third straight loss.
Checking out Sunday's other NBA action:
— The Suns have regained a share of the Western Conference lead, catching up with the Jazz by getting past the Thunder, 123-120. Devin Booker scored 32 points and Phoenix shot 54% in improving to 46-18. Former Thunder guard Chris Paul had 18 points and 11 assists, and Torrey Craig added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns.
— Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam (see-A'-kam) had double-doubles in the Raptors' 121-114 downing of the Lakers. Lowry had 37 points and 11 assists, while Siakam furnished 39 and 13 rebounds. LeBron James had 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists before going back to the locker room with 6:42 to play in his second game since missing 20 because of a sprained right ankle.
— The Knicks made it 11 wins in their last 12 games as Julius Randle scored 31 points in just three quarters of a 122-97 pounding of the Rockets in Houston. Randle had 15 points in the third period and finished with seven rebounds and six assists against the league's worst team. Derrick Rose provided 24 points off the bench, while RJ Barrett chipped in 21 with seven rebounds and five assists.
— The Heat have sole possession of sixth place in the East after Bam Adebayo (ad-eh-BY'-oh) contributed 20 points and 10 rebounds in a 120-110 decision over the Hornets. Jimmy Butler added 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as Miami took a step toward avoiding the play-in round. Kendrick Nunn added 19 points and Goran Dragic had 18 for the Heat, who've won four of their last five.
— CJ McCollum scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Trail Blazers to a 129-119 win at Boston and a 4-0 start to their six-game road trip. Damian Lillard had 26 points and 13 assists for Portland, which dropped the Celtics down to seventh in the East. Carmelo Anthony finished with 13 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:08 remaining after Boston pulled within a basket.
— The Kings completed a season sweep of Dallas as Buddy Hield (heeld) scored 27 points and Marvin Bagley III had 23 with nine rebounds in Sacramento's 111-99 victory. Bagley returned to the starting lineup in his second game back after missing 23 with a broken left hand. Luka Doncic (DAHN'-chihch) scored 30 points before getting ejected in the final minute after his second technical foul.
NHL SCHEDULE-LIGHTNING/RED WINGS
Bolts beat Wings
DETROIT (AP) — The NHL's most competitive division race just got a little tighter.
The Lightning have crept closer to the Central Division-leading Hurricanes by nipping the Red Wings, 2-1.
Blake Coleman scored 16 seconds into the game on the Bolts' first shot as Tampa Bay improved to 5-0-1 in its last six to pull into a second-place tie with Florida, two points behind Carolina. Mikhail Sergachev (mih-KYL' SUR-gah-chehv) added another goal early in the second period, which proved to be the game-winner.
Backup Christopher Gibson stopped 22 shots and blanked the Red Wings until Filip Zadina (zah-DEE'-nah) scored late in the second period.
Reds win wild one as Dodgers crush Brewers
UNDATED (AP) — A pair of slumping teams played the wildest game of the day.
The Cincinnati Reds blew leads of 6-4, 9-6 and 12-8 before Nick Castellanos (kas-tee-AH'-nohs) hit a game-ending, RBI single in the 10th inning to complete their 13-12 win over the Cubs.
Castellanos finished with five hits and four RBIs against his former team, including two of the Reds' five homers. Mike Moustakas (moos-TAH'-kahs), Eugenio (ay-oo-HAY'-nee-oh) Suárez and Tucker Barnhart also connected as Cincinnati won for only the fourth time in 13 games.
Chicago also went deep five times, but lost for the seventh time in nine games. Kris Bryant homered twice and Ian Happ forced extra innings with a three-run blast in the eighth.
Dodgers outfielders AJ Pollock and Matt Beaty were the day's hitting stars as they combined for one grand slam apiece and 15 RBIs in a 16-4 dismantling of the Brewers. Pollock homered twice and doubled while collecting eight RBIs. Beaty went 4-for-6, drove in seven and and scored three times, giving the Dodgers two players with at least seven ribbies in the same game for the first time in franchise history.
Chris Taylor scored five runs, going 3 for 3 for Los Angeles.
In other major league action:
— Mike Tauchman slammed a three-run homer and had four RBIs as the Giants dumped the Padres, 7-1 to avoid a three-game sweep. Kevin Gausman scattered six hits over as many innings and scored twice.
— Stephen Vogt (voht) laced a tiebreaking, two-run triple in the eighth inning before Josh Rojas and Daulton Varsho added RBI doubles in the Diamondbacks' 8-4 verdict over the Rockies. Arizona got a good start from Merrill Kelly, who gave up two runs over 5 2/3 innings of the DBacks' 10th win in 13 games since a 5-10 start.
— The Cardinals completed a three-game sweep as Carlos Martinez tossed five-hit ball over eight innings of their 3-0 shutout of the Pirates. Harrison Bader supplied the runs with a second-inning homer that allowed St. Louis to improve to 20-6 versus Pittsburgh since the 2019 season.
— Max Scherzer pitched a five-hitter and Ryan Zimmerman hit a three-run homer in the Nationals' fourth consecutive victory, 3-1 over the Marlins. Scherzer carried a shutout into the ninth inning before Isan Diaz led off with a home run, but he helped Washington move back to .500.
— Pete Alonso capped a six-run eighth inning with a three-run double, and the Mets used a defensive meltdown by Philadelphia and a replay reversal to beat the Phillies 8-7 on Sunday night. Michael Conforto snapped a tie with a bases-loaded walk against José Alvarado.
— Corey Kluber (KLOO'-bur) tossed two-hit ball while fanning 10 over eight innings of his best start in about three years, leading the Yankees' 2-0 shutout of the Tigers. Kyle Higashioka opened the scoring with an RBI double during a two-run second before New York completed a three-game sweep that puts them at .500 for the first time this a 5-5 start.
— The Indians beat the Chicago White Sox, 5-0 as Zach Plesac (PLEE'-sak) combined with three relievers on a four-hitter. José Ramirez and Cesar Hernandez homered, Amed Rosario had three hits and Plesac allowed three hits over 5 2/3 innings of Cleveland's fifth win in seven games.
— Andrelton (AN'-drul-tuhn) Simmons and Mitch Garver homered in a seven-run third that highlighted the Twins' 13-4 mauling of the Royals. Alex Kirillof went deep for the fourth time in three games to support José Berríos (beh-REE'-ohs), who struck out nine while allowing four runs over six innings of his first victory in four starts.
— David Dahl and Brock Holt hit RBI singles in a three-run eighth that propelled the Rangers past the Red Sox, 5-3. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (KY'-nur fah-LEH'-fah) homered to help Texas take three of four games against the AL East leaders and win consecutive games for the first time since April 18-19.
— Justus Sheffield shook off early control problems to allow just two hits over six innings of the Mariners' 2-0 shutout of the Angels. Sheffield and four relievers combined on a five-hitter to help Seattle take the rubber match of the series.
— Ramón Laureano robbed the Orioles of the likely go-ahead run in the eighth inning and then hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the bottom half to push the Athletics to a 7-5 victory. Matt Olson returned after a three-game absence with an injury to his eye area and hit a two-run homer in the fourth, helping Oakland win for the third time in eight games since a 13-game winning streak.
— Marcus Semien belted a two-run homer and drove in four as the Blue Jays whipped the Braves, 7-2 for a three-game sweep. Toronto finished the game without designated hitter George Springer who was in the lineup for just the fourth time this season before leaving due to leg fatigue.
— Austin Meadows smacked a three-run homer and later scored the go-ahead run on Manuel Margot's (mahn-WEHL' mahr-GOHZ') pinch-hit single in the seventh inning, allowing the Rays to beat the Astros, 5-4 and salvage the finale of their three-game series. Kevin Kiermaier had three of Tampa Bay's seven hits.
Alvarado appealing suspension
UNDATED (AP) — Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado is appealing the three-game suspension he received on Sunday for inciting a benches-clearing incident in Friday's win over the Mets.
Alvarado also was fined an undisclosed amount, as were Mets outfielder Dominic Smith and pitcher Miguel Castro for their roles in two heated exchanges. Alvarado began to gesticulate and chirp at Smith after fanning him to thwart a New York rally in the eighth inning.
Alvarado will remain eligible to pitch until the process is completed.
In other MLB news:
— The Braves have put catchers Travis d'Arnaud (dahr-NOH') and Alex Jackson on the injured list. D'Arnaud was placed on the 60-day IL Sunday with a left thumb sprain that will require surgery after getting hurt on a tag play at the plate in Saturday's game against Toronto. Jackson replaced d'Arnaud in the game and went on the 10-day IL with a strained left hamstring forcing Atlanta to promote backstops Jeff Mathis and William Contreras
— Dodgers right-hander Dustin May has landed on the 10-day injured list with an arm ailment after throwing just 27 pitches Saturday in Milwaukee. Manager Dave Roberts said May felt "a shooting sensation" through his arm on a curveball he threw. The 23-year-old May is 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA in five starts this season.
— White Sox center fielder Luis Robert exited Sunday's game against the Indians with a strained right hip flexor. Robert fell to the ground after beating out an infield single to third base in the first inning.
— The Brewers have boosted their depleted catching situation by reacquiring Jacob Nottingham from the Mariners. Seattle had claimed Nottingham off waivers from Milwaukee last week but then designated him for assignment.
— Athletics left-hander Jesús Luzardo will be off the mound for a while. Luzardo is out indefinitely after breaking the pinkie finger on his pitching hand while playing a video game.
Birthday Boy Busch takes Kansas double
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kyle Busch celebrated his 36th birthday by winning a two-lap sprint to the finish at Kansas Speedway.
Busch had stalked Kyle Larson all day before beating him on a late restart to take the lead. Then, after another caution in the closing laps, Busch followed up his Truck Series win Saturday night with another trip to victory lane.
Busch is the 10th different winner through the first 11 races of the NASCAR Cup Series season.
Kevin Harvick overcame a tire mishap on a late pit stop and took advantage of some chaos on the final restart to finish second. Brad Keselowski dominated the early laps before following his win at Talladega last weekend by finishing third, and Matt DiBenedetto and Chase Elliott rounded out the top five.
O'Ward gets first Indy-Car win
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Pato O'Ward passed Josef Newgarden with 23 laps to go and stayed in front for his first IndyCar victory at what he considers his home track, Texas Motor Speedway.
The Mexican-born O'Ward celebrated four days before his 22nd birthday while driving for Arrow McLaren SP.
Newgarden finished 1.2443 seconds behind O'Ward, giving Chevrolet a 1-2 finish and its first victory this season.
Graham Rahal (RAY'-hawl) finished third, in front of Scott Dixon and Colton Herta.
Burns gets first PGA win
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — Sam Burns finally won for the first time on the PGA Tour after twice failing to convert 54-hole leads.
Burns had two big birdies on the back nine that led to a 3-under 68 and a three-shot victory over Keegan Bradley. Burns got some help from Bradley hitting into the water on the 13th hole.
Bradley and Burns were tied through 36 holes and 54 holes, and they stayed that way through 12 holes on Sunday.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
Weir wins near Houston
THE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP) — Former Masters champion Mike Weir earned his first PGA Tour Champions victory when he held steady with pars down the stretch for a 4-under 68 in the Insperity Invitational.
Weir and John Daly were tied going down the stretch at The Woodlands, which was reduced to 36 holes because of heavy rain earlier in the week.
Daly was posing over his 9-iron over the water to the 18th green when it came up a fraction short and splashed next to the bulkhead. He made double bogey for a 69 and had to settle for runner-up.
CAITLYN JENNER-TRANSGENDER ATHLETES
Jenner says transgender girls in women's sports is 'unfair'
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympic champion and reality TV personality now running for California governor, said she opposes transgender girls competing in girls' sports at school.
The 1976 decathlon Olympic gold medalist who came out as a transgender woman in 2015 told a TMZ reporter on Saturday that it's "a question of fairness." During the brief interview, Jenner said "we have to protect girls' sports in our schools."
Five states have passed laws or implemented executive orders this year limiting the ability of transgender youths to play sports or receive certain medical treatment.
Man United's game off after fans storm stadium in protest
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Anti-ownership protests by Manchester United fans forced the postponement of Sunday's Premier League game against Liverpool as supporters stormed the stadium and reached the pitch Thousands of others gathered outside Old Trafford to demand the Glazer family sell the club.
Long-running anger against the American owners has boiled over after they were part of the failed attempt to take United into a European Super League.
United and Liverpool players were unable to travel to the stadium where there were clashes briefly between fans and the police under a shower of glass bottles as flares were sent off.
Hamilton wins Portuguese GP, extends lead over Verstappen
PORTIMAO, Portugal (AP) — Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton made two typically clinical overtakes to bounce back and win the Portuguese Grand Prix for a 97th career win, extending his championship lead over Max Verstappen to eight points in his bid for a record eighth F1 title.
At one point Hamilton slipped to third, but the Mercedes driver slickly moved ahead on Lap 20 of 66 to finish ahead of Red Bull's Verstappen and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who started from the pole position.