Sunday, April 30, 2017

MLB Game Recap: Chicago Cubs (2) vs. Boston Red Sox (6) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Chicago Cubs (2) vs. Boston Red Sox (6) - Date: 4/30/2017 May 1, 2017  BOSTON Marco Hernandez scored the go-ahead run on Pedro Strop's wild pitch in Boston's four-run eighth inning, helping the Red Sox beat the sloppy Chicago Cubs 6-2 on Sunday night. Sports Free Picks. The Red Sox took two of three in the lively weekend series that featured a strong showing for Cubs fans, chants in support of each side and the World Series trophies that ended long title droughts for the once-frustrated franchises. Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer for Boston, and the Red Sox got two more runs on shortstop Addison Russell's throwing error in the eighth. Kris Bryant hit a solo homer for Chicago, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The Cubs closed a n ine-game road trip at 5-4. Boston has won 19 of its last 22 interleague series in Fenway Park. Hernandez led off the eighth with a grounder to first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who relayed the ball to reliever Koji Uehara (0-2). But a hustling Hernandez was safe at first in a bang-bang play. Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi then singled, loading the bases. Strop came in and bounced a 2-2 pitch to Ramirez, bringing Hernandez home. Mitch Moreland's grounder scored a run before Russell's error allowed two more to score. Matt Barnes (3-0) worked one scoreless inning after completing his four-game suspension for throwing behind the head of Baltimore's Manny Machado. Craig Kimbrel got the final three outs. Chicago trailed 2-1 before Jon Jay scored from second after reliever Joe Kelly bounced a pitch past Christian Vazquez in the seventh. Jay's headfirst slide beat Vazquez's throw to Kelly after the catcher couldn't find the ball for a few seconds. He was originally called out, but the call was challenged. After playing the first two games in summer-like temperatures, the teams took the field to a chilly 47 degrees. Sports Handicapper Records. That didn't seem to affect the distance of Ramirez's homer, estimated at 440 feet after it completely left Fenway Park over the Green Monster seats in the first. On Saturday, he had one estimated at 469, the longest at Fenway this season. Bryant homered to deep center. Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out nine over six innings, allowing one run and five hits. Chicago's Kyle Hendricks gave up two runs and three hits in six innings. WORTH NOTINGCubs pitching coach Chris Bosio is expected to re-join the team Monday after leaving a week ago for a personal matter. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. TRAINER'S ROOMRed Sox: Manager John Farrell said 3B Pablo Sandoval, placed on the disabled list April 24 with a sprained right knee, still hasn't started any baseball activities and is only going through range of motion exercises. CURSE BUSTERSThe 2016 World Series trophy, won by the Cubs to end their 108-year drought, and the 2004 one captured by the Red Sox, their first in 86 years, were together on a table under the stands behind right field. Fans had the chance to take pictures with the trophies for a $20 donation to charity. NFL Handicappers. There was a steady flow of fans dressed in both Red Sox and Cubs jerseys. UP NEXTCubs: LHP Brett Anderson (2-0, 3.54 ERA) is set to face Philadelphia RHP Vince Velasquez (1-2, 6.33) at Wrigley Field on Monday night. Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (1-3, 4.75 ERA) hopes to end a string of losses in three consecutive starts Monday. Dylan Bundy (3-1, 1.65) is slated to start for Baltimore.---More baseball :

NHL Game Recap: Anaheim Ducks (6) vs. Edmonton Oilers (3) - 4/30/2017

NHL Game Recap: Anaheim Ducks (6) vs. Edmonton Oilers (3) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  EDMONTON, Alberta Jakob Silfverberg scored twice to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 6-3 victory over Edmonton on Sunday night, cutting the Oilers' series lead to 2-1,Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist, and Rickard Rakell, Chris Wagner and Ryan Kesler also scored for Anaheim, which lost the first two games at home. John Gibson stopped 24 shots. Connor McDavid scored his first of the series for Edmonton. Patrick Maroon and Anton Slepychev also scored and Kris Russell had two assists. Cam Talbot finished with 22 saves. Wagner scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the second period, firing a shot that deflected off Talbot's arm and in. Silfverberg knocked in a feed from Josh Manson at 4:56 of the third to make it 5-3. Baseball Handicappers. The Oilers challenged the p lay for offside, but the goal stood after a video review. Kesler swept in a rebound with 9 1/2 minutes left to cap the scoring. Game 4 is Wednesday night.

MLB Game Recap: Colorado Rockies (0) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (2) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Colorado Rockies (0) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (2) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  PHOENIX Daniel Descalso hit a two-run homer into the Chase Field swimming pool in the 13th inning, lifting the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday. Descalso's drive off Jordan Lyles (0-1) salvaged the finale of the weekend series for the Diamondbacks and ended the longest scoreless game in Chase Field history. Seven pitchers, led by Patrick Corbin's 6 1/3 innings, combined to shut out the Rockies on five hits. Randall Delgado (1-0) pitched the final two innings to get the victory, finishing a 6-4 homestand for Arizona.

MLB Game Recap: San Diego Padres (5) vs. San Francisco Giants (2) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: San Diego Padres (5) vs. San Francisco Giants (2) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  SAN FRANCISCO Wil Myers hit a three-run homer in the top of the 12th inning to send the San Diego Padres past the San Francisco Giants 5-2 on Sunday. Myers' seventh home run and second in two games came on a 1-0 fastball from reliever George Kontos (0-2). Cory Spangenberg singled against Kontos leading off the inning, and Erick Aybar singled two batters later. Hector Sanchez, who played parts of five seasons with the Giants, had a pinch-hit, two-run homer off San Francisco closer Mark Melancon in the ninth to send the game to extra innings. Sanchez turned on a 1-1 cut fastball over the heart of the plate for his first home run of the season and third career pinch-hit homer. It was Melancon's second blown save in seven chances. Sanchez represented the tying run after shortstop Eduardo Nunez booted Luis Sardinas' l eadoff grounder for an error. Ryan Buchter (2-1) pitched two shutout innings for the Padres. Jose Torres worked a scoreless 12th for his first save. Melancon's flop followed a full meltdown by the Giants' bullpen Saturday, when the Padres tagged San Francisco relievers for 11 runs in three innings of a 12-4 win that included Myers' three-run homer. Giants starter Ty Blach pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, retiring 10 of his last 11 batters in his second start for San Francisco since taking injured ace Madison Bumgarner's spot in the rotation. Bumgarner is expected to miss three months with a separated left (pitching) shoulder he sustained in a dirt-bike crash. Best Sports Handicappers in the World. The Giants, who were hitting a league-worst .217 against lefties going into Sunday, took a 2-0 lead against southpaw Clayton Richard, who pitched 5 1/3 innings of six-hit ball. Joe Panik, who was hit by a pitch leading off the fourth, scored on Blach's sacrifice fly. Michael Morse doubled in Hunter Pence in the fifth. MLB Baseball Handicappers. The Padres have won 12 of 16 games against the Giants dating to last season. San Francisco (9-17) has the National League's worst record and is 39-59 since going into last year's All-Star break 24 games over .500 with the best record in the majors. Point Shaving. TRAINER'S ROOMPadres: RHP Jarred Cosart, on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, tentatively plans to pitch for Class A Lake Elsinore on a rehab assignment Tuesday, manager Andy Green said. Cosart will throw three innings or about 45-50 pitches. Giants: RHP Neil Ramirez was designated for assignment and the Giants called up RHP Bryan Morris from Triple-A Sacramento. . CF Denard Span, on the disabled list with a right should er injury, tentatively plans to take batting practice in Los Angeles on Monday. UP NEXTPadres: After an off day, RHP Trevor Cahill (1-2, 4.50 ERA) will pitch the home series opener against Colorado on Tuesday. Cahill is 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in his career against the Rockies. Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto (3-1, 5.10) starts the series opener against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Monday. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The two-time All-Star gave up three runs in six innings vs. the Dodgers last week and was 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA against them last season.---More baseball:

MLB Game Recap: Philadelphia Phillies (3) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (5) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Philadelphia Phillies (3) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (5) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  LOS ANGELES Andrew Toles hit a three-run homer, Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched 5 1/3 solid innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 on Sunday. Chris Taylor also connected, helping Los Angeles complete the three-game series sweep. Best Sports Picks Service. The Dodgers used three consecutive homers and Adrian Gonzalez's game-ending single to rally for a wild 6-5 win on Saturday night. Ryu (1-4) earned his first victory of the season in his second consecutive strong start. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. The veteran left-hander struck out nine. Cesar Hernandez led off the game with a triple off the glove of Yasiel Puig and scored on Freddy Galvis' single. But R yu allowed only one more hit. Odubel Herrera hit a two-run homer for Philadelphia in the ninth. Kenley Jansen then came in and struck out Cesar Hernandez for his seventh save. Philadelphia right-hander Nick Pivetta (0-1) allowed two runs and nine hits in five innings in his major league debut. Justin Turner singled in Toles in the first, extending his hitting streak to 16 games. Baseball Handicappers. Taylor put the Dodgers ahead to stay with his solo shot in the second. MLB Baseball Handicappers. Toles connected against Jeanmar Gomez in the sixth, making it 5-1. It was his fifth of the season. Free Sports Picks Twitter. Turner and Yasmani Grandal had three hits apiece. Free MLB Baseball Picks. Turner raised his batting average t o .404. TRAINER'S ROOMPhillies: RHP Aaron Nola (strained lower back) is eligible to come off the disabled list Monday, but instead will throw a bullpen session. He also threw one Friday. Dodgers: LHP Rich Hill (blister) is scheduled for a rehab start Thursday for Class A Rancho Cucamonga. UP NEXTPhillies: Right-hander Vince Velasquez (1-2, 6.33 ERA) will try to get his season turned around Monday when the Phillies open a four-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (4-1) is scheduled to make a second consecutive start against the Giants on Monday at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw pitched seven sparkling innings in a 2-1 win at San Francisco on Tuesday.

NBA Game Recap: Utah Jazz (104) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (91) - 4/30/2017

NBA Game Recap: Utah Jazz (104) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (91) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017 LOS ANGELES Gordon Hayward scored 26 points and the Utah Jazz easily eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday with a 104-91 victory, winning the first-round playoff series 4-3.George Hill and Derrick Favors added 17 points apiece in Utah's first postseason victory since 2010.The Jazz advanced to face top-seeded Golden State in the Western Conference semifinals. Sports Experts. The Warriors swept Portland 4-0 and have been waiting since Wednesday to find out their next opponent.Game 1 is Tuesday in Oakland.The Clippers' DeAndre Jordan had 24 points and 17 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the series. Jamal Crawford added 20 points off the bench.Chris Paul had 13 points for the Clippers, who were sent packing in the first round for the second straight year. La st season, they lost to Portland after Paul and Blake Griffin went down with injuries. NBA Basketball Handicappers. This time, they didn't have Griffin again after he was lost in Game 3 with a big-toe injury.In the most closely contested series of the first round - and the only to go seven games - the Clippers came up strangely flat with their season on the line. J. J. Redick didn't hit his first 3-pointer until the game's final 3 1/2 minutes, drawing the Clippers within eight.Paul couldn't muster any of his fourth-quarter magic, either. He went scoreless with three assists in the period.By then, the Jazz were well in command, ahead by 17 points and hardly feeling pressured by foul trouble for Rudy Gobert and Favors, who both fouled out. Gobert finished with one point in 14 minutes. Favors had 11 rebounds off the bench.The first six games between the fourth-seeded Clippers and No. 5 Utah were decided by eight points or less. Los Angeles outscored Utah 98.8 points to 98.0 points. Best Sports Handicappers Free Picks. The teams had identical 51-31 records in the regular season.But this one was all Utah in the second half.The Jazz opened the third on a 23-9 run, extending their lead to 69-48 - largest in the series. Boris Diaw had eight points, Hayward added six and Hill four as the Jazz had three three-point plays.The Clippers got bogged down with a shot-clock turnover, a delay of game warning and Redick's airball on a 3-point attempt while the home crowd went silent.This time, the Jazz didn't need the big-shot heroics of Joe Johnson or the presence of Gobert.The Clippers, whose only lead was one point minutes into the game, shot 44 percent, and were outscored 56-46 in the paint and 12-9 on fast-break points.TIP-INSJazz: They improved to 3-2 all-time in Game 7s. ... Hayward made 43 of 45 free throws in the series.Clippers: They fell to 3-4 all-time in Game 7s. ... Free NBA Basketball Picks. They dropped to 3-1 under Paul in first-round Game 7s, having beaten Memphis in 2012, Golden State in 2014 and San Antonio in 2015. ... Beyonce and Jay Z sat courtside behind sunglasses.---For more NBA coverage:

MLB Game Recap: Los Angeles Angels (5) vs. Texas Rangers (2) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Los Angeles Angels (5) vs. Texas Rangers (2) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  ARLINGTON, Texas JC Ramirez got his first win as a starter on his fourth try after 111 career relief appearances, and Jefry Marte homered and hit a tiebreaking, two-run single to help the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 5-2 on Sunday. Ramirez (3-2) matched his career high from two starts earlier with nine strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Sports Betting Handicapping. The right-hander has been filling in for Garrett Richards, who hasn't pitched since leaving his first start with a right biceps strain. Marte's two-out single in the fifth came after the Rangers gave Mike Trout a no-pitch intentional walk to load the bases and Texas starter Martin Perez (1-4) retired Albert Pujols on a popup. Marte had a solo homer in the ninth. MLB Baseball Handicappers. The 28-year-old Ramirez had been a reliever for Philadelphia, Arizona, Seattle and Cincinnati in a span of four seasons when he joined the Angels on a waiver claim last June. Sports Illustrated Picks. Two of his six career wins in relief came this season. Ramirez, who gave up four hits and two runs, struck out six of the last eight batters he faced, leaving after hitting Carlos Gomez with a pitch. Shin-Soo Choo had a solo homer during that stretch. Bud Norris struck out four of the five batters he faced for his fifth save, including Rougned Odor with two on to end the eighth. Kole Calhoun hit a solo homer in the third, had two hits, scored twice and saved Ramirez a run by throwing out the speedy Gomez trying to score from second on a single with Texas leading 1-0 in the first inning. Calhoun's homer, his second, was the first by a left-handed hitter against Pe rez in Arlington since David Ortiz for Boston on May 10, 2014. Perez gave up eight hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings. No. 9 hitter Martin Maldonado reached base all four times for the Angels with a double, a single and two walks. Gomez singled in the first for his fifth straight hit and reached base three times a day after hitting for the cycle. UP NEXTAngels: RHP Matt Shoemaker (1-1, 4.73 ERA) faces Seattle for the second time this season in the opener of a three-game road series Tuesday. He allowed a season-high seven runs over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision April 9 at home. Rangers: Houston-area native Andrew Cashner (0-2, 2.93) pitches the opener of a four-game series at the Astros on Monday. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The right-hander walked six but allowed just two runs in an 8-1 loss to Minnesota in his previous start.---More baseball:

MLB Game Recap: Minnesota Twins (7) vs. Kansas City Royals (5) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Minnesota Twins (7) vs. Kansas City Royals (5) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  KANSAS CITY, Mo. Miguel Sano homered and drove in five runs, helping the Minnesota Twins beat slumping Kansas City 7-5 on Sunday for the Royals' ninth straight loss. Sano posted his fourth consecutive multihit game. He has 11 hits in his last 16 at-bats. He drove in nine runs in the two-game, rain-abbreviated series. Sano connected in the third after Jason Hammel (0-3) walked Byron Buxton and Max Kepler. He added run-producing singles in the fourth and sixth innings. It's the longest slide for Kansas City since a 12-game skid in April 2012. Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes (4-1) got the win despite allowing 10 hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings. Brandon Kintzler yielded Whit Merrifield's two-out homer in the ninth before finishing for his seventh save. Lorenzo Cain went deep for the Royals, belting a solo shot in the fifth for his first homer since Aug. 16. Salvador Perez went 3 for 4 with two doubles, a RBI and two runs scored. Sports Handicapping Services. The Royals' 12 hits were a season high. Kansas City jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second. Perez doubled in Eric Hosmer and scored on Brandon Moss's two-out single. But Sano's seventh homer put Minnesota ahead to stay, and Max Kepler had a run-scoring fielder's choice in the Twins' two-run fourth. Eddie Rosario's fourth-inning single extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. Jorge Polanco drove in Minnesota's last run with an infield hit with two out in the ninth. Hammel failed to get out of the fourth for his second straight start, allowing five runs and six hits with three walks. Hammel's ERA climbed to 6.65. Rain delayed the start of the game 63 minutes. MLB Basebal l Handicappers. TRAINER'S ROOMTwins: SS Ehire Adrianza (right oblique strain) went 1 for 3 with a walk Sunday with Triple-A Rochester. He is hitting .304 in six rehab games. Royals: RHP Seth Maness, who signed a minor league contract in February after he had elbow surgery last August, was activated by Triple-A Omaha. Maness is 17-10 with a 3.19 ERA in 244 career relief appearances with St. Louis. UP NEXTTwins: RHP Ervin Santana will start Tuesday against Oakland after an off day Monday. Royals: LHP Jason Vargas will face the White Sox on Monday after losing to them last week in Chicago.

NHL Game Recap: St. Louis Blues (1) vs. Nashville Predators (3) - 4/30/2017

NHL Game Recap: St. Louis Blues (1) vs. Nashville Predators (3) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  NASHVILLE, Tenn. Cody McLeod scored the game-winner early in the second period, and the Nashville Predators beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 Sunday to grab a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal. Defensemen Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi also scored, and Colton Sissons added two assists. Best Sports Picks Service. The Predators outshot St. Louis 34-23, and they now have won seven straight playoff games on home ice, including all three this postseason. Alexander Steen scored for the Blues, who lost for the first time on the road this postseason. Blues goalie Jake Allen kept St. Louis in this game before being pulled by coach Mike Yeo for the extra attacker with more than 4 minutes remaining and took his timeout with 1:25 left. Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne finished with 22 saves, including a flurry of stops to preserve the win. Game 3 is Tuesday night. With a national TV audience, Nashville had plenty of stars on hand for the matinee ranging from Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott to country star Luke Bryan and Tennessee Titans Pro Bowl running back DeMarco Murray. Country group Little Big Town became the latest to sing the national anthem, and Lee Greenwood sang during the second intermission. Something had to give in this game. St. Louis came in undefeated on the road this postseason after winning three in Minnesota in the first round, while the Predators won both games in Nashville while sweeping Chicago. Profitable NHL Hockey Handicappers. The Blues also had won nine of their last 10 road games overall. Handicapping Sports. The Predators never got the man advantage in losing Game 2 in St. Louis, and they got their first nearly midway through the first period. Just after the power play ended, Ellis gave Nashville a 1-0 lead with his slap shot from near the blue line at 10:34 off assists from Filip Forsberg and P. K. Subban. Ellis now has a point in six straight playoff games, extending his franchise record for a defenseman and also leading the Predators. McLeod gave Nashville a 2-0 lead with his first goal of the postseason just 2:29 into the second period with a backhander past Allen. NHL Hockey Handicappers. That goal came shortly after the Blues killed their third penalty of the game. St. Louis, which took eight of the first 12 shots, went without a shot through nearly 13 minutes of the second period without an attempt on Rinne. Free Guaranteed Sports Picks. Then Steen tipped in a shot by Alex Pietrangelo at 12:59 to pull St. Louis within 2-1. Free NHL Hockey Picks. The Blues had a chance to tie it up late in the second with a 2-on-1, but Rinne stopped the shot from David Perron from the slot. Nashville outshot St. Louis 18-4 in the period. Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo had a shot go off the post within the first five minutes of the third. Josi scored on a slap shot with 5:49 left to prompt yet another standing ovation by the standing-room only crowd. NOTES: McLeod became the 13th different Nashville player to score this postseason. ... Nashville's defensemen now have accounted for 20 points in this postseason with seven goals and 13 assists. ... The local Triple-A baseball team, the Nashville Sounds, put the game on its guitar-shaped scoreboard during a rain delay.---More NHL:

MLB Game Recap: Baltimore Orioles (7) vs. New York Yankees (4) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Baltimore Orioles (7) vs. New York Yankees (4) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  NEW YORK Mark Trumbo hit a go-ahead single in a three-run 11th off Bryan Mitchell, who returned to the mound after an unusual inning at first base, and the Baltimore Orioles rebounded from another blown late lead to beat the New York Yankees 7-4 Sunday. Didi Gregorius hit a two-run single off Donnie Hart with two outs in the ninth that tied the score 4-all. Logan Verrett (1-0), making his Orioles debut, escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the 10th when he got Starlin Castro to hit ground into a forceout, with shortstop J. J. Hardy throwing home, then struck out hot-hitting rookie Aaron Judge. Joey Ricard singled with one out in the 11th against Mitchell (1-1), stole second and, after an intentional walk, scored on Trumbo's two-out single. Welington Castillo singled for a 6-4 lead, and Manny Machado got into a rundown and s cored when third baseman Chase Headley bobbled the ball. Verrett finished the 4-hour 37-minute marathon for the Orioles. New York stranded 16 runners and had its four-game winning streak end. Orioles manager Buck Showalter was ejected in the ninth arguing a balk call that helped set up Gregorius' tying single. New York and Baltimore ended April tied for the AL East lead at 15-8. While the Orioles improved slightly from a 14-9 mark in the first month of last season, the retooled Yankees turned around from an 8-14 start in April last year. Baltimore starter Wade Miley went to seven three-ball counts in the first three innings, when he threw 79 pitches and stranded seven runners. He walked five or more for the third time in five starts, allowing two runs, eight hits and five walks in five innings. Miley allowed Matt Holliday's 432-foot solo homer in the first, then struck out Headley to strand two runners. He escaped a second-and-third, no-outs jam in the second by fa nning Kyle Higashioka, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks, then left the bases loaded in the third when Chris Carter struck out and Higashioka popped out. Adam Jones' single tied the score in the third, when Jordan Montgomery struck out Trumbo to leave the bases loaded. Headley singled for a 2-1 lead in the bottom half before Miley escaped further trouble. Montgomery walked Machado and Trumbo opening the sixth, and Castillo's single loaded the bases. Professional Sports Handicappers. Trey Mancini tied the score when he grounded to third and Headley elected to throw to second for a possible double play rather than throw home. Jonathan Schoop doubled for a 3-2 lead, and Craig Gentry hit a run-scoring grounder. STRANGE MOVEMitchell pitched the ninth and then moved to first base in the 10th inning, where he promptly allowed Castillo's foul popup to fall for an error leading off. Mitchell, who ha d never played in the field other than at pitcher in his professional career, caught Schoop's one-out foul pop, earning a standing ovation. By playing first base, Mitchell stayed in the game and was able to return to the mound in the 11th. LIGHTS OUTThe stadium lights were turned on in the middle of the 10th, prompting the Orioles to complain. Umpires ordered them off, and they were turned back on for the start of the 11th. EYEBALLSA winning record has translated to better television ratings for Yankees' games on the YES Network. New York's telecasts on YES averaged 330,000 viewers in the New York designated market area through Friday, up from 237,000 in April last year (when Comcast did not carry YES) and 251,000 in April 2015. It is the highest viewership since an average of 341,000 in April 2014, Derek Jeter's last season. BYE BYEInfielder Pete Kozma was claimed off waivers by Texas, two days after he was designated for assignment to open a roster spot when Gregorius came off the DL. MLB Baseball Handicappers. TRAINER'S ROOMOrioles: 1B Chris Davis was removed from the starting lineup about an hour before gametime because of a sore right elbow - he was 0 for 7 with five strikeouts since he was hit on the elbow Friday by a pitch from New York's CC Sabathia. Davis played first in the 11th. ... Closer Zach Britton, on the DL since April 16 with a strained left forearm, pitched a scoreless, one-hit inning Sunday in his second rehab appearance for Double-A Bowie, throwing eight of 11 pitches for strikes. Yankees: C Gary Sanchez, who hasn't played since April 8 because of a strained right biceps, could be activated for the series at the Chicago Cubs starting Friday. Sanchez was on hand Sunday to distribute his bobblehead and is to start a rehab assignment Tuesday at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. UP NEXTOrioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (3-1) starts Monday's series opener at Boston and RHP Rick Porcello (1-3). Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (2-1) is on the mound Monday against Toronto and RHP Marco Estrada (0-1).---More baseball:

MLB Game Recap: Cincinnati Reds (5) vs. St Louis Cardinals (4) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Cincinnati Reds (5) vs. St Louis Cardinals (4) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  ST. LOUIS Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and Adam Duvall doubled three times and singled, helping the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 on Sunday. Free Sports Picks Daily. The Reds had lost eight of their previous nine games. Wandy Peralta (1-0) picked up the win by tossing a scoreless seventh inning. Closer Raisel Iglesias threw two innings to record his fourth save in as many chances. Free MLB Baseball Picks. Trevor Rosenthal (0-1) gave up one run on two hits. Duvall, Eugenio Suarez and Scott Schebler drove in runs in the three-run seventh to tie the game. Devin Mesoraco singled sandwiched around walks to Tucker Barnhart and Billy Hamilton to load the bases a gainst Rosenthal in the eighth. Votto followed with a single up the middle. RAIN GO AWAYThe Cardinals have had three games postponed due to the rain so far, their most ever in the month of April. Saturday's contest with Cincinnati was called. No makeup date has been announced. Gambling Profit. TWICE AS NICEDuvall hit successive doubles in the third, sixth and seventh innings, doubling his doubles total for the season to six. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. TRAINER'S ROOMReds: RHP Homer Bailey will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday. He began the season on the disabled list after undergoing surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow in February. Cardinals: INF Jhonny Peralta remains on the 10-day disabled list with an adverse reaction to medication taken for a respiratory infection. UP NEXTReds: LHP Amir Garrett (2-2, 5.09) will fa ce Pittsburgh's RHP Gerrit Cole (1-3, 3.60) on Monday in the first of a four-game series. Garrett did not allow a run in the first two starts covering 12 innings. Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha (2-1, 2.55) will take on Milwaukee RHP Zach Davies (2-2, 6.57) in the first of a four-game set on Monday in St. Louis. Wacha is 4-0 in his career against Milwaukee.

MLB Game Recap: Oakland Athletics (2) vs. Houston Astros (7) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Oakland Athletics (2) vs. Houston Astros (7) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  HOUSTON Dallas Keuchel threw 7 2/3 solid innings, Marwin Gonzalez hit a three-run home run and the Houston Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 7-2 on Sunday. Keuchel (5-0) struck out nine, while allowing one run on three hits and two walks. Expert Sports Picks. The left-hander has thrown at least seven innings in every outing this season. He became the second pitcher in Astros history to get five wins in April, joining Roger Clemens, who went 5-0 in 2004. After Trevor Plouffe doubled with one out in the first, Keuchel retired 10 straight and 13 of the next 14 batters he faced. Ken Giles earned his sixth save after getting Yonder Alonso to fly out with the bases loaded. Jesse Hahn (1-2) gave up four runs on eight hits with six strikeouts in six innings. Gonzalez hit his home run off the right field foul pole in eighth.

MLB Game Recap: New York Mets (5) vs. Washington Nationals (23) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: New York Mets (5) vs. Washington Nationals (23) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  WASHINGTON Anthony Rendon had 10 RBIs, three home runs and six hits as the Washington Nationals took advantage of Noah Syndergaard's injury and mauled the New York Mets 23-5 on Sunday to set a franchise scoring record. Rendon went a career-best 6 for 6 and scored five times while setting a club mark for RBIs. He became the 13th player in major league history to drive in 10 or more in a game, and first since Garret Anderson did it for the Angels in 2007. Matt Wieters added two homers, a single and two walks as the Nationals salvaged the finale of a three-game series. Adam Lind and Bryce Harper also homered, and Harper scored four runs. Washington finished with a season-high 23 hits and scored the most runs in the history of the Expos/Nationals franchise. Expert Sports Picks< /a>. The Nationals' seven homers were their most since the team moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005.

MLB Game Recap: Atlanta Braves (3) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (4) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Atlanta Braves (3) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (4) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  MILWAUKEE Domingo Santana homered twice and drove in all four Milwaukee runs as the Brewers ended the Atlanta Braves' four-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory Sunday. Santana hit a solo shot in the fifth, then added a three-run drive in the sixth inning. Handicapping Sports. The big right fielder has fifth homers this season, including three in the three-game series against Atlanta. Freddie Freeman hit his ninth home run for the Braves, a solo shot in the sixth for a 2-1 lead. Matt Garza (1-0) pitched 6 2/3 solid innings in his second start of the year. Neftali Feliz worked the ninth for his sixth save in seven chances. Mike Foltynewicz (0-3) gave up both of Santana's homers. Atlanta shortstop Dansby Swanson booted a routine grounder for an error with two outs i n the sixth, allowing Santana to come to the plate with two runners on and the Braves leading 2-1. Santana homered on the first pitch. MLB Baseball Handicappers. The Braves came within 4-3 in the seventh when pinch hitter Brandon Phillips singled to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, with Jace Peterson scoring from second. Reliever Corey Knebel then got Ender Inciarte to foul out to end the inning. Foltynewicz allowed four runs, one earned, on four hits while striking out six in six innings. He remains winless after five starts despite a 2.81 ERA. BRAUN EXITS EARLYBrewers slugger Ryan Braun left after six innings with tightness in his right trapezius, a large muscle that extends from the shoulder into the upper back. He was 0 for 3 in the game, reaching on an error in the fourth inning and again on a fielder's choice in the sixth. He was out briefly with lower back tightness earlier this season. Basketball Picks. TRAINER'S ROOMBraves: RHP Mauricio Cabrera (elbow tightness) only allowed one hit and two walks in two scoreless innings Saturday night in a Class A rehab start. He struck out two, throwing 18 strikes in 34 pitches. He is scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday. Brewers: 3B Travis Shaw was out of the starting lineup Sunday, a day after suffering a bruised right hand when being hit by a pitch. X-rays showed no break in the hand, manager Craig Counsell said. ''His hand is just a little sore, feels better than it did (Saturday),'' Counsell said. ''Nothing to be worried about, we'll just take another day (off).'' ... RHP Junior Guerra, who suffered a strained right calf on opening day, will work on agility drills this week, Counsell said. He also is pitching bullpen sessions every third day. UP NEXTBraves: Atlanta begins a seven-game homestan d with four contests against the New York Mets. RHP Julia Teheran (2-1, 3.38) is pitching Monday. Brewers: Milwaukee begins a seven-game road trip with four contests against St. Louis. RHP Zach Davies (2-2, 6.57) is pitching Monday.

MLB Game Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (3) vs. Miami Marlins (10) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (3) vs. Miami Marlins (10) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  MIAMI Justin Bour drove in six runs with four hits, both career highs, and the Miami Marlins rallied from a three-run deficit to end a four-game losing streak by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-3 Sunday. Bour improved his batting average from .184 to .222. He had an RBI double in the second, an RBI single in the fourth, a two-run single in the fifth and a two-run homer in Miami's six-run seventh. Bour helped the Marlins avert a series sweep and shake an offensive slump after being outscored 26-8 during the previous four games. Basketball Picks. They totaled a season-high 15 hits, including three each by Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. Josh Bell hit a two-run homer for the Pirates, but they were shut out over the final 8 2/3 innings. Pittsburgh starter Chad Kuhl left in the fifth inning after he was hit in the right leg by Gordon's sharp one-hopper. Kuhl collapsed in pain as Gordon reached on a single. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The right-hander eventually got up and threw several warmup pitches before walking to the dugout. Bour hit a two-out, two-run single off Trevor Williams (1-1) later in the inning to put the Marlins ahead to stay, 4-3. Kuhl was charged with three runs, two earned, in four-plus innings. Bour became the first Marlins player with at least six RBIs and four hits in a game since 2010. He now has four homers and 15 RBIs this year. Miami's first baseman finished 4 for 5 when he flied out in the eighth needing a triple for the first cycle in Marlins history. He has one career triple. Sports Handicapping Monitor. Tom Koehler allowed three of the first four batters to score an d exited trailing 3-0 after four innings. His ERA rose to 5.40. Five Marlins relievers combined for five scoreless innings. Dustin McGowan (1-0) pitched the fifth. ROSTER MOVEBefore the game, the Pirates selected the contract of C John Bormann from Class A Bradenton, and OF Danny Ortiz was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. UP NEXTPirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (1-3, 3.60 ERA) is scheduled to make his 100th career start Monday when Pittsburgh begins a four-game series in Cincinnati. Cole is 0-6 in eight career starts against the Reds. Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (2-1, 4.71) gets the ball Monday when the Marlins open a four-game home-and-home series against the Tampa Bay Rays.---More baseball:

MLB Game Recap: Chicago White Sox (3) vs. Detroit Tigers (7) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Chicago White Sox (3) vs. Detroit Tigers (7) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  DETROIT Jose Iglesias doubled and drove in three runs, and the Detroit Tigers ended a four-game losing streak with a 7-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. Jordan Zimmermann (3-1) picked up a sloppy victory, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks in five-plus innings. He struck out five and gave up one homer. Miguel Gonzalez (3-1) allowed seven runs on a career-high 14 hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out one as the White Sox lost their six-game winning streak. Free Predictions. The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first when Melky Cabrera singled with two outs and Jose Abreu followed with a triple off the out-of-town scoreboard in deep right-center. Justin Upton's fifth homer tied the game in the second. He then led off the fourth wit h a single, moved to second on Alex Avila's hit and scored on Jim Adduci's double to left-center field. John Hicks made it four straight hits with an RBI single off Gonzalez to make it 3-1, and Adduci scored when Iglesias grounded out. Nick Castellanos finished the inning with an RBI single to make it a four-run game. Cabrera answered with an RBI single in the fifth, pulling the White Sox within 5-2, but Iglesias' two-run double in the bottom of the inning put the Tigers up by five. Free MLB Baseball Picks. Todd Frazier led off the sixth with a long homer, bringing Blaine Hardy in from the Detroit bullpen. Detroit's bullpen has struggled all season, but the White Sox couldn't get any closer against Hardy and three other relievers. Handicapper Return on Investment. TRAINER'S ROOMWhite Sox: RF Avisail Garcia left the game in the fifth inning with tightness in his left groin. He's day-to-day. ... RHP James Shields, on the disabled list for the first time in his career, threw on Saturday and reported no problems with his strained right lat. After playing light catch for about 40 throws, he said that the way his arm reacts will determine if he will need a rehab start before joining the White Sox. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. Tigers: CF JaCoby Jones went 1 for 7 in a rehab doubleheader for Triple-A Toledo on Saturday. Jones, who went on the disabled list on April 23 after being hit in the mouth by a pitch, was making his first rehab appearances. UP NEXTWhite Sox: RHP Dylan Covey (0-1, 6.91) faces Kansas City LHP Jason Vargas (3-1, 1.40) in the first of a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium. Hockey Handicappers. The White Sox swept the Royals earlier this week in Chicago. MLB Baseball Handicappers. Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris (1-2, 4.71) takes on Indians RHP Trevor Bauer as Cleveland comes to Comerica Park for four games.

MLB Game Recap: Seattle Mariners (4) vs. Cleveland Indians (12) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Seattle Mariners (4) vs. Cleveland Indians (12) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  CLEVELAND Michael Brantley homered and Francisco Lindor had a two-run double as the Cleveland Indians scored eight times in the third inning of a 12-4 win over the weary Seattle Mariners on Sunday. Brantley led off the big inning with a single and capped it with a two-run homer. Lindor, who had three RBIs, hit a solo homer in the third and preceded Brantley's homer with his double. Sports Tipsters. The inning included three singles, a double, a triple that was lost in the sun, a sacrifice fly and two walks. Seattle, playing the final game of an 11-day road trip, was only charged with one error, but had several misplays in the field. Josh Tomlin (2-3) allowed four runs in five-plus innings for the win. MLB Baseball Han dicappers. The Mariners began the sixth with six straight hits and scored three times, but Nick Goody worked out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam.

MLB Game Recap: Tampa Bay Rays (1) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (3) - 4/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Tampa Bay Rays (1) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (3) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017  TORONTO Russell Martin hit a go-ahead single during a three-run rally in the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays posted back-to-back wins for the first time this season, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Sunday. Best Bets of the Day. The Blue Jays started the day with a 7-17 record, the worst in the majors. A loss would've left them with the poorest winning percentage in March/April in team history. Free MLB Baseball Picks. Toronto then lost starter Aaron Sanchez, the AL ERA leader last year, after just one inning because of a split fingernail. He was activated off the 10-day disabled list before the game when a blister on his middle finger healed. While on the DL, Sanchez underwent a procedure to remove part of the troublesome fingernail. Six Toronto relievers combined to limit the Rays to one run in eight innings. Ryan Tepera pitched a career-high 3 1/3 innings, Aaron Loup worked two innings, Dominic Leone and Smith each got two outs and J. P. Howell (1-1) got one out. Roberto Osuna finished for his third save. Best Sports Picks Service. The Blue Jays chased Chris Archer in the eighth and won it against Alex Colome (0-2). Jose Bautista glared at the mound after Archer threw behind him in the first. Plate umpire Jim Wolf warned both dugouts. Rays outfielder Steven Souza left Saturday's game in the seventh inning after being hit on the left hand by a pitch from reliever Joe Biagini. Souza did not play Sunday. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. Tampa Bay broke a scoreless tie in the eighth when Logan Morrison scored on Daniel Robe rtson's bunt. Darwin Barney drew a walk from Archer in the bottom half and moved up on a groundout. Alex Colome relieved and Bautista tied it with an RBI double off the left field wall. Kendrys Morales was intentionally walked and Justin Smoak struck out before Martin hit a tiebreaking single just inside the right field foul line. Ezequiel Carrera followed with an infield single, making it 3-1. Best Sports Handicappers. TRAINER'S ROOMBlue Jays: SS Troy Tulowitzki has yet to test his sore right hamstring by running and does not expect to return from the 10-day DL before May 8. UP NEXTRays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (1-1, 4.15) has recovered from a strained left hamstring and is expected to be activated off the 10-day DL to start at Miami on Monday. He's 2-1 with a 4.29 ERA in four career games against the Marlins, but hasn't allowed a run in either of the past two. LHP Wei-Yin Chen (2-1, 4.71) starts for M iami. Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (0-1, 2.70) starts the opener of a three-game series against the New York Yankees. Estrada was 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in four starts against the Yankees last season. RHP Luis Severino (2-1, 3.00) starts for New York.

NBA Game Recap: Washington Wizards (111) vs. Boston Celtics (123) - 4/30/2017

NBA Game Recap: Washington Wizards (111) vs. Boston Celtics (123) - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 30, 2017 BOSTON Isaiah Thomas had 33 points and nine assists, and the Boston Celtics made 19 3-pointers to beat the Washington Wizards 123-111 Sunday and take a 1-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup.Thomas played just a day after attending the funeral for his sister, who died in a car accident last month outside of Tacoma, Washington.Al Horford added 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Jae Crowder finished with 24 points.The Wizards were more energetic at the outset, jumping out to a 16-0 advantage and leading by as many as 17 points. But the Celtics rallied in the second quarter with Thomas briefly sidelined after getting one of his two front teeth knocked out.Bradley Beal led Washington with 27 points. John Wall added 20 points and 16 assists.Washington starter Markieff Morris played just 11 minutes before leaving wit h a sprained left ankle in the second quarter.A rivalry has been simmering between the teams since last year, when Boston swept the season series.They split their four regular-season matchups this season, but each included intense moments.Sunday's matchup was played at just as high a level, with a frenzied pace at times and physical play underneath the basket.After the Wizards' early scoring flurry, Thomas lost his tooth in a collision, and initially played through it. He found his tooth during a timeout, but started the second quarter on the bench while getting it repositioned in the locker room.His teammates went on a 13-2 run without him to cut into Washington's lead.Boston led by 15 at the end of the third before a 9-0 spurt by the Wizards to start the final period closed the gap.Thomas arrived back in Boston early Sunday. It was the second cross-country trip for him since Chyna Thomas died in a car accident last month, the day before the Celtics opened their first-round series against Chicago.The Celtics star flew with Boston president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and assistant coach Jerome Allen.During player introductions, Thomas pointed to the TD Garden rafters when his name was called.TIP-INSWizards: Shot 10 of 23 from 3-point line. ... Morris turned his left ankle after landing on Horford's foot after a made jumper. He stayed in the game to complete his three-point play, then checked out. ... Washington shot 62 percent (16 for 26) in the first quarter. ... Grabbed the first 12 rebounds of the game.Celtics: Didn't score their first field goal until 6:42 remained in the first quarter, on a layup by Avery Bradley. ... Didn't register their first rebound of the game until the 5:57 mark. ... Kelly Olynyk has scored in double figures in three of his last four games, after doing so just twice in his first 11 career playoff games.---More NBA basketball:

MLB Game Preview: Chicago Cubs vs. Boston Red Sox - 4/30/2017 - 8:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Chicago Cubs vs. Boston Red Sox - Date: 4/30/2017 Time: 8:08 PM EDT Venue: Fenway Park, Boston, Mass., 02215 BOSTON -- It's safe to say that this weekend's Chicago Cubs-Boston Red Sox series is living up to the hype. After tight-roping out a dramatic 5-4 win in Friday's series opener, Boston dropped the middle game of the set to Chicago on Saturday after the Cubs rallied for a 7-4 victory. Now the Cubs and Red Sox are ready to settle the score in front of a national audience on Sunday night at Fenway Park." It's two really good teams playing the game properly and hard, and now it's 1-1," Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. "It's (a) go for the rubber match (Sunday)." Chicago (13-10) hopes to get some better pitching after Jake Arrieta allowed four first-inning runs and five total on Friday and ex-Red Sox John Lackey gave up four on Saturday. Maddon turns to righ t-hander Kyle Hendricks (2-1, 4.50 ERA) on Sunday. Hendricks has never faced the Red Sox or pitched at Fenway, but is 2-3 with a 3.94 ERA in nine interleague starts." I love those old ballparks," Hendricks, who pitched at Dartmouth College in nearby Hanover, N. H., told the Chicago Tribune. "It's going to be very cool to pitch there." Hendricks is coming off a solid outing last Tuesday in Pittsburgh, holding the Pirates scoreless with six strikeouts over six innings en route to a 1-0 Cubs victory. It was the first quality start of the year for Hendricks. Only two current Red Sox batters have ever faced Hendricks, with Hanley Ramirez going 1-for-3 with an RBI and Josh Rutledge going hitless in four at-bats. Boston (12-11) counters with left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1, 3.12 ERA), who like Hendricks has never faced Sunday's opponent. Rodriguez is 1-2 with a 5.82 ERA in four interleague outings. Rodriguez turned in his best start of the season la st Sunday in Baltimore, allowing just one hit over six innings with seven strikeouts in an eventual 6-2 Boston victory." I think with each outing he's gained a little momentum," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "And when I say that, there's been times where he's shown flashes of dominance, and that's getting longer with each outing he's had. However, the young hurler permitted a career worst-tying five walks against the Baltimore Orioles. Rodriguez has walked a team-worst 12 batters through four games this season." The walk totals are more than we would have thought," Farrell said. "They've been probably a little bit too frequent for a guy who's typically been a good strike thrower." Ben Zobrist is the only Cubs batter who has seen Rodriguez in regular-season game action before Sunday, going 0-for-3. Fans with tickets to Sunday's game will also be treated to a special photo-op. Both "curse-brea king" World Series trophies will be on display -- Boston's from 2004 and Chicago's from last year -- in the Gate K/B concourse after the gates open at 6:35 p.m. ET. Fans will be allowed to take pictures with both trophies. Sports Handicapping Service Winning Streaks. The teams are asking for a $20 suggested donation to benefit the Red Sox Foundation and Cubs Charities.


NHL Game Preview: Anaheim Ducks vs. Edmonton Oilers - 4/30/2017 - 7:08 PM EST

NHL Game Preview: Anaheim Ducks vs. Edmonton Oilers - Date: 4/30/2017 Time: 7:00 PM EDT Venue: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Canada EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Anaheim Ducks ticked off a lot of boxes in the first two games of their Western Conference second-round series. Money Cappers. They outshot the Edmonton Oilers 76-55 and held captain Connor McDavid (NHL-best 100 points) to just one assist. Profitable NHL Hockey Handicappers. The Ducks, however, dropped both contests and are now in desperation mode as the scene shifts to Rogers Place for Game 3 on Sunday. Despite the series deficit, Anaheim generated more chances, won more faceoffs and had more puck possession. Winning Sports Handicappers. There really isn't much they need to change out side of three key areas:--They need to get more traffic to the net." We didn't have enough net presence on the goaltender, (Cam) Talbot got to see too many pucks," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.--They need to stay out of the penalty box. NHL Hockey Handicappers. The Oilers have scored three power-play goals over the first two games of the series, and the Ducks' penalty killing percentage through the postseason is a league-low 64 percent.--Goalie John Gibson needs to match the stellar play of Oilers netminder Talbot. Fox Sports Picks. Talbot has been outstanding since getting the hook in a 7-0 loss to San Jose in Game 4 of the first round. Since then, he's got four wins. And when one netminder is playing out of his head, the one at the other end can't afford to give up bad goals. Free NHL Hockey Picks. The goal that Gibson surrendered to Andrej Sekera early in Game 2 was one that an NHL goalie has to stop. After Friday's 2-1 loss, the Ducks were talking about taking a lot of the good things they did into Sunday's game." I'd be really disappointed if we didn't play well," said captain Ryan Getzlaf, who has seven points in six playoff games. "We played pretty good hockey tonight. We have to make a few adjustments." "We just have to keep doing what we're doing," Anaheim right winger Jakob Silfverberg said. "We're doing a lot of good things out there today. The last piece is missing and it's correctable." As for the Oilers, they were talking like they'd lost Game 2 -- they know they need to be a lot better. They know they can't try to win the series simply by riding on their red-hot goalie." If we're going to play like that, it's goi ng to be tough to ask for more from Talb's side," Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom said. "He was really good last night, so we've got to be on our toes to get the next win." "There's going to be a lot of areas that we have to be better in," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "Just the overall intensity has to go up; battles for pucks, 10-foot races, 10-foot competitive situations. So, the good news is we had a great goaltender's performance, we were able to win the game -- now we've got some things to work on." McLellan said that left winger Drake Caggiula, who left Game 2 with an undisclosed ailment and did not return, is "OK." Ducks forward Nick Ritchie missed Game 2 with an illness and is questionable to play on Sunday. With two days off between Games 3 and 4, the Ducks will jet off to Kelowna, B. C. for a mini-retreat rather than stay in hockey-mad Edmonton, where they'd likely get no peace. The ques tion is, will the retreat feel more like a wake should the Ducks trail three games to none -- or will Sunday give them a glimmer of hope?


MLB Game Preview: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers - 4/30/2017 - 4:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers - Date: 4/30/2017 Time: 4:10 PM EDT Venue: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, 90012 LOS ANGELES -- A childhood dream will become a reality Sunday for Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta. Pivetta will make his major-league debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. Pivetta will oppose Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-4, 4.64) in the series finale at Dodger Stadium. Pivetta, who was acquired by the Phillies from the Washington Nationals in 2015 for former closer Jonathan Papelbon, was called up last week to replace injured starter Aaron Nola, who is on the disabled list with a strained lower back. Pivetta was initially scheduled to make his debut last Wednesday against the Miami Marlins, but the game was postponed because of rain and his start was pushed back. But that didn't dampen his enthusiasm." It's so surreal being here ," Pivetta told on Saturday, referring to the major leagues. "It's met my expectations and more." Pivetta was 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA in three starts with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Good Sports Handicappers. The 24-year-old struck out 24 and walked two in 19 innings." I'm happy that I'm throwing a day game tomorrow because I'll be able to wake up and I'll be on the mound," Pivetta said, according to "There's not a lot of sitting around and waiting. Right now, it's nice. I'm calm and easy. But I'm sure when I get out there it will be a lot different. MLB Baseball Handicappers. There's going to be a lot more emotions." Pivetta becomes the fourth Phillies player to make his debut this season. He joins Mark Leiter Jr., who pitched in relief Friday, first ba seman Brock Stassi and catcher Andrew Knapp, who both homered in Saturday's crushing 6-5 loss to the Dodgers. Pivetta's start could help the Phillies temporarily forget an unforgettable loss to the Dodgers. Yasiel Puig, rookie Cody Bellinger and pinch hitter Justin Turner hit consecutive home runs to lead off the ninth inning off closer Hector Neris. Adrian Gonzalez hit a walk-off single to clinch it for the Dodgers." I don't know where this is going to take us, but sometimes in a season you look back at certain nights and games in a season that you can point to that the team kind of sustains some traction or gains some traction or kind of turned things around and really picked it up," manager Dave Roberts said. "This might be that day. It was nice to see these guys rewarded." Roberts would enjoy watching Ryu earn his first win. Ryu pitched well in his last start on April 24 in a 2-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants. He gave up a run on fiv e hits in six innings with three strikeouts and a walk. Ryu hasn't faced the Phillies since April 22, 2014. He allowed two runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and two walks in six innings of a 3-2 loss by Los Angeles. In two career starts against Philadelphia, Ryu has a 2.77 ERA and failed to figure into a decision in either outing. In 28 career starts at Dodger Stadium, Ryu has posted a 11-9 record with a 3.26 ERA.


MLB Game Preview: Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks - 4/30/2017 - 4:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks - Date: 4/30/2017 Time: 4:10 PM EDT Venue: Chase Field, Phoenix, Ariz., 85004 PHOENIX -- Ian Desmond is expected to make his Colorado debut when the Rockies visit the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday in the finale of their three-game series. Colorado manager Bud Black all but said Desmond will be activated for the game Sunday, when the first-place Rockies (16-9) will face a left-hander in Patrick Corbin. Desmond has been out since suffering a fractured wrist in spring training, but has shown no ill effects while hitting in extended spring training games Friday and Saturday." He looked great," Black said with a twinkle in his eye. "His timing is great. He's getting closer. Closer than you think." First baseman Mark Reynolds has had a strong start in lieu of Desmond, and the Rockies have now said Desmond will also play some outfield this season a fter signing him to a five-year, $70 million free agent deal this winter with the intent of playing him at first base. Reynolds was 2-for-5 with his eighth homer and a game-tying two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning of the Rockies' 7-6 victory on Saturday. Reynolds has a slash line of .311/.370/.633 with 23 RBIs." He's been a rock in the middle of our order," Black said. He's driven in runs. He's driven in big runs." Colorado is 8-0 in one-run games and has six comeback victories. Meanwhile, Arizona has lost two-run leads twice in its last four games. Corbin is 5-2 with a 4.99 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) in his career against the Rockies. He beat them three times in 2013 and twice in 2015, missing the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Colorado ended that five-game winning streak last season, when they had one victory and had 12 runs in 13 1/3 innings against him. Corbin brings a streak of four straight quali ty starts into Sunday's game, although a lack of support has limited him to a 2-2 record despite a 2.52 ERA in that span. He gave up two runs in a season-long seven innings in a 9-3 victory over San Diego in his most recent start Tuesday. Hockey Handicappers. The Rockies' German Marquez makes his second start of the season Sunday after giving up nine hits and eight earned runs in four innings of a 15-12 loss to Washington at Coors Field on Tuesday." Pitching fundamentals got him a little bit," Black said. "He's got to get the fastball in good spots, because he's a fastball pitcher." Marquez made the Opening Day roster but was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque when left-hander Chris Rusin was activated from the disabled list April 9. Marquez made one career appearance against Arizona, pitching two scoreless innings of relief at Chase Field.


MLB Game Preview: San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants - 4/30/2017 - 4:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants - Date: 4/30/2017 Time: 4:05 PM EDT Venue: AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA, 94107 SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Diego Padres looks to win their second road series of the season while the San Francisco Giants seek their second anywhere when the clubs duel in the rubber match of a three-game series Sunday. Free Guaranteed Sports Picks. The Padres, who are the losingest road team in the majors at 5-12, rebounded from a 4-3 defeat Friday and a 3-1 deficit Saturday to even the series at a win apiece on the strength of an eight-run sixth inning. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The win was the Padres' second in 10 road games since they capped a 2-1 series win at Colorado on April 12. Left-hander Clayton Richard (2-3) authored one of the Padres' five road wins in impressive fashion in the season-opening series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He shut out the Dodgers on five hits over eight innings in a 4-0 victory. He has since allowed 10 runs in 9 2/3 innings in two road starts, but pitched a 6-4 win over the Giants in San Francisco last September despite giving up 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. Richard is 6-6 with a 4.01 ERA in 18 career meetings (15 starts) against the Giants. Hoping to continue a trend of alternating wins and losses on its homestand, San Francisco counters with left-hander Ty Blach. Money Cappers. The second-year Giant pitched well in his first start of the season Tuesday against the Dodgers, but had the unfortunate task of having been matched up with Clayton Kershaw. Blach took the loss in a 2-1 defeat despite allowing only two runs and four hits in five innings. Profitable MLB Base ball Handicappers. The Giants went on to split their four-game series against the Dodgers, their fourth consecutive non-winning series since beating Arizona two of three at home April 10-12. Blach will have to deal with Padres first baseman Wil Myers, who is coming off a three-hit game in which he crushed a three-run homer to highlight a 12-4 victory. Professional Handicappers. The season-high 12 runs were the most the Padres scored at AT&T Park. MLB Baseball Handicappers. The bayside ballpark also rarely sees a home run hit as far as Myers' traveled Saturday night." That's my best bullet," he proudly boasted of the blast, his sixth homer of the season. "When you belt one like that, you want to see where it ends up. I'm happy to say I got all of it." The home run came off rarely used Giants long reli ever Chris Stratton, who was making his second appearance in Blach's old role as long reliever. The Padres also teed off on Giants right-hander Neil Ramirez, who like Stratton was called upon in a close game because San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy wanted to give some of his key relievers, including closer Mark Melancon, a break after a series of tense games." We were trying to give some guys the day off," Bochy explained. "It's tough when your two guys you look at to give you length, they both struggled."


NBA Game Preview: Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers - 4/30/2017 - 3:38 PM EST

NBA Game Preview: Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers - Date: 4/30/2017 Apr 29, 2017 LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul was adamant the sun would not set on Paul Pierce's NBA run in Salt Lake City on Friday night."I looked over at 'Truth' during one of (those) timeouts and I said 'You're not ending your career in Utah,' " said Paul, referring to Pierce's popular nickname. "We told him that. We just said we want to keep this thing going for him. Paul was big tonight. Like the 3 he hit over there on the wing, and stuff like that. Just his energy and his voice in those different timeouts I think was huge for us." With a crucial 98-93 victory over the Utah Jazz in Game 6, the Clippers will attempt to extend the career of the 39-year-old Pierce, who is retiring at season's end, and capture the series Sunday in Game 7 at Staples Center.The winner advances to the secon d round to meet the Golden State Warriors in a best-of-seven affair beginning Tuesday at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.Paul, whose two late free throws sealed the win against the Jazz, led the charge by scoring 29 points, dishing eight assists and allowing the Clippers to avoid elimination in the opening round for the second straight season. Sports Handicapper Records. The Portland Trail Blazers bounced them last season in six games, aided by injuries to Paul and Blake Griffin.And as Paul loathes to hear, the point guard has never guided a team past the second round."This is what we talked about before (Game 6)," said Paul, who has become the Clippers' main force offensively with Griffin out of the playoffs again, this time with an injury to his big toe. "Doc (Rivers) said to go out there and give yourself a chance. We knew we couldn't win both games (Friday), and we wanted to give ourselves a chance." Utah will have another opportunity to end Pierce's career on Sunday despite missing a chance on its home court. After the Jazz won Game 5 on Tuesday at Staples, All-Star forward Gordon Hayward made it clear he didn't want to return for a Game 7.Hayward, though, is humming a different tune now."We've come a long way from where we were three years ago," Hayward told the Salt Lake Tribune. "If you had told me at the beginning of the year you'd be in a Game 7 against the Clippers in L. A., I'd have been like, 'Bring it on.' "The Jazz will be forced to bring their best with center Rudy Gobert hobbling again. Gobert, who sustained a hyperextended left knee in Game 1 that kept him out of the lineup for two games, sprained his ankle in the second half of Game 6 and was forced to the bench because of it during critical stretches.Gobert said the ankle wouldn't hinder him Sunday."I sprained it on somebody's f oot," said Gobert, who finished with 15 points, nine boards and three blocks, according to the Tribune. "I tried to run through it, but that didn't work out. I've had a lot of sprained ankles before. I will be good."


NHL Game Preview: St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators - 4/30/2017 - 3:08 PM EST

NHL Game Preview: St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators - Date: 4/30/2017 Time: 3:00 PM EDT Venue: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN, 37203 In a best-of-seven series, every road team talks about the need to earn a split in the first two games in order to steal home-ice advantage. NHL Handicappers. The Nashville Predators did just that in their Western Conference semifinal series with the St. Louis Blues, but they had reason to feel a little empty as they left Scottrade Center on Friday night. Leading 2-1 after Ryan Ellis' early third-period marker, Nashville couldn't hold back St. Louis' late push and allowed pair of goals to drop a 3-2 decision. It was the first loss in six playoff games for the Predators, who try to regain the lead in the series on Sunday in Game 3 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn." You play some of the best teams in the league and it's tough to win every night," Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne said. "We battled back like we've done so many times and showed a lot of character, but it's a disappointing feeling when they score two goals in the third." Vladimir Tarasenko spearheaded the Blues' attack in Game 2, scoring their first goal during a five-minute power play late in the first period and then wiring a wrister past Rinne at 16:09 of the third to snap a 2-2 deadlock. It was a nice comeback for Tarasenko, who didn't make the scoresheet in Game 1 on Wednesday night when Nashville won 4-3. Considering he has accounted for 22 goals in 40 postseason matches, it shouldn't have been all that surprising." He's really got his stick going now," St. Louis goalie Jake Allen said of Tarasenko. "I think he was a little frustrated with himself in the first series. He's a premier goal scorer and to not be able to score in the first few ga mes was tough on him and I think he took it to heart." Tarasenko managed just a goal and two assists in the Blues' 4-1 first-round elimination of Minnesota, although his performance in that series looked better than the statistics suggest. He set up Joel Edmundson's overtime goal in Game 1 and got the first tally of Game 5. Rinne and the Predators weren't fooled by Tarasenko's low numbers from the Minnesota series." He has a great shot for a reason," Rinne said. "He scores a lot of goals. I've got to be aware of when he's on the ice." Despite its first taste of postseason defeat, Nashville has reason to feel it still has its best hockey ahead. Although they played the majority of each game in St. Louis with just 11 forwards after Kevin Fiala fractured his femur in Game 1 and Vernon Fiddler was ejected in Game 2, the Predators outshot the Blues in both contests and have outhit them as well. With the next two games at home , Nashville figures to come out of the gate flying, much like St. Louis did in the first two contests. However, the Blues have been a better road team in the last two postseasons, going 6-4 last spring and 3-0 this year." We knew it was going to be a long series," Allen said. "I don't think either team thought it would be a sweep for one side or the other. NHL Hockey Handicappers. That's going to be rare in these ages."


MLB Game Preview: Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers - 4/30/2017 - 3:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers - Date: 4/30/2017 Time: 3:05 PM EDT Venue: Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Tex., 76011 ARLINGTON, Texas -- Los Angeles Angels right-hander JC Ramirez (2-2, 4.43 ERA) appears to have found his groove after three turns in the rotation for the Angels. Sports Predictions. Texas left-hander Martin Perez (1-3, 3.81 ERA) is still looking to find his. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The two square off Sunday when the Angels and Rangers play the rubber game of their three-game series at Globe Life Park. Ramirez started the season in the bullpen before getting his first start April 14. He allowed five earned runs in that start, but followed it up by allowing three in his next start. In his last outing against Oakland, Ramirez allowed just two hits in seven innings in a 2-1 win over Oakland. Ramirez struck out seven in that start and will have a hard time topping that start Sunday. Best Sports Picks Today. That doesn't mean Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia doesn't think it can't happen." He keeps progressing," Scioscia said. "The start before he got on board and finished strong. So I think what we're seeing from JC is hopefully the evolution of a guy that is getting comfortable with that role, getting comfortable in getting into the 90- to 100-pitch count. He really was impressive in that last game." If his history against Texas is any indication, Ramirez could be in for another good start Sunday. In seven relief appearances against the Rangers Ramirez is 1-1 with a 1.13 ERA. Perez has decent career numbers against the Angels, going 2-3 with a 3.23 ERA in nine appearances. But Perez hasn't been able to put together a really strong start yet this year for Texas. He allowed just three runs in six innings in his last start, but after four great innings to start the game he allowed three in the fifth as the Rangers lost to Minnesota 3-2. Perez believes he is trying to do too much with every pitch. It's not a recipe for success for him." Sometimes as a pitcher you can throw every pitch 100 percent," Perez said. "Sometimes you have to back up and throw like a BP fastball. Let's see how good I am and I know that I'm good so that's what I need. Sometimes you go 110 pitches 100 percent and you can throw seven innings or eight. If you try less and you throw that pitch 100 percent when you need it it's going to be a difference." Putting maximum effort into each pitch is one of the reasons Perez thinks he has only totaled 26 innings pitched in his five starts. If he dials things back a little, he thinks he'll be able to pitch deeper into games. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. Texas manager Jeff Banister likes that line of thinking." Every time he pitches we talk about that," Banister said. "It's managing your effort in the pitch. It's not gas pedal. Gas pedal down is effort on every single pitch. Professional Handicappers. Throw everything with maximum effort. MLB Baseball Handicappers. That's what he's talking about. Maximum effort makes everything flatten out. There's not enough separation and you don't have as much control."


MLB Game Preview: Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals - 4/30/2017 - 2:15 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals - Date: 4/30/2017 Time: 2:15 PM EDT Venue: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo., 64129 KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals did not get a chance to snap their eight-game losing streak on Saturday night. Handicapper Return on Investment. Their game against the Minnesota Twins was rained out at Kauffman Stadium. It started raining during the night and continued all day, with the forecast calling for several more hours of non-stop rain. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. The game will be rescheduled as a split doubleheader on July 1. Sports Handicappers. The first game is scheduled for a 1:15 p.m. CDT start. MLB Baseball Handicap pers. The makeup will begin at 7:35 p.m. Point Shaving. The stadium will be cleared after the first game. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The gates will reopen at 6 p.m. for the second game. The Saturday probables -- Phil Hughes for the Twins and Jason Hammel for the Royals -- will be moved back a day and start Sunday. That means the Royals will miss Twins ace Ervin Santana, who has been shifted from a Sunday start to Tuesday with an day off Monday. Santana is 4-0 with a microscopic 0.77 ERA. He will be working on six days of rest when he starts against the Oakland Athletics at Target Field. The Royals' offense will be happy not to see Santana. The Royals have made even ordinary pitchers look like Cy Young candidates this season. Kansas City has only three innings this year when they have scored more than two runs. Royals manager Ned Yost hopes the offensive "outburst" Friday -- four runs and eight hits -- will continue into Sunday. It was only the second time in the last 11 games the Royals have scored more than three runs." I thought we swung the bats much, much better (Friday)," Yost said. "Salvy (Perez) just misses a second home run. We hit probably four or five balls right on the nose right to their defenders, so that's encouraging." Hoz (Eric Hosmer) and (Brandon) Moss, too, had some really good at-bats, so things are looking up for us offensively." They could not look down. The Royals are already at the bottom, hitting .205 with 58 runs in 22 games, 14 of them losses. The Twins trailed 4-2 entering the eighth when they scored four runs. It was the first time in 11 games this season the Twins won when trailing after seven innings." I think in today's game, generally it's tough to come back," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Teams that do well protect leads late. It's challenging. You've just got to hang in there. We got a misplay and took advantage." The misplay was Royals right fielder Jorge Bonifacio dropping Max Kepler's line drive in the four-run eighth. Miguel Sano has been salsa hot for the Twins with seven hits in his last 11 at-bats, including a home run and two-run double to tie it in the eighth." He hung the pitch -- a cookie," Sano said of Joakim Soria's hanging curveball in the eighth. It was Sano's third career game with at least four RBIs." Miggy was pretty locked in throughout the night," Molitor said. Few Twins have seen much of Hammel, who pitched most of the last three years with the Chicago Cubs. Joe Mauer has faced Hammel 15 times with five hits, including a home run and double. He has an .898 OPS against Hammel. Juan Castro is 2-for-9 and Brian Dozier 2-for-8 with a home run off Hammel. Sano is 1-for-2 with a walk. Hammel, a 34-year-old right-hander, is 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA in his career against the Twins. Hammel got a no-decision in an April 6 start at Minnesota, allowing three runs, six hits and four walks in five innings. He threw 95 pitches, 55 for strikes. Hughes is 7-5 with a 4.91 ERA in 13 starts and one relief appearance against the Royals. Alex Gordon has a .303 average (10-for-33) with four RBIs against Hughes. Brandon Moss is batting .263 with a home run and four RBIs against Hughes.


MLB Game Preview: Cincinnati Reds vs. St Louis Cardinals - 4/30/2017 - 2:15 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Cincinnati Reds vs. St Louis Cardinals - Date: 4/30/2017 Time: 2:15 PM EDT Venue: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Mo., 63102 ST. LOUIS -- Eugenio Suarez and the Cincinnati Reds found out the hard way Friday night that you never take anything for granted on the bases against St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. After Devin Mesoraco drew a sixth-inning walk that filled the bases, Suarez trotted to third and then stopped about a step past third, believing time was about to be called and the Cardinals were about to make a pitching change. Instead, Molina whipped a quick throw to third and Jedd Gyorko slapped a tag on Suarez for a stunning third out that erased a burgeoning two-out rally, helping St. Louis to a 7-5 win that put it above .500 for the first time since Opening Night." You've got to pay attention in the game," a chagrined Suarez said afterward. "I wasn't paying attention. My mistake." Suarez should get a chance to avenge that gaffe Sunday when Cincinnati tries to salvage a split of what's now a two-game weekend series against the Cardinals (12-11). Saturday's game was postponed around 10:30 a.m. CT, moments after hail pelted Busch Stadium. As it turned out, the rain left shortly after that and left a dry window long enough for a game to have been played, although thunderstorms rolled through town all night. No makeup date was announced. Sports Monitor. The teams play one more series in St. Louis on Sept. 12-14 and have a mutual off-day on Sept. 11, one that isn't in violation of the rule that prohibits teams from playing more than 20 straight days. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny knew the season's third postponement was a possibility from the moment he heard an ominous weekend forecast calling for up to five inches of rain in St. Louis, but is hoping the weather will offer a break so that a second straight rainout doesn't occur." I imagine we'll sit here until the sun comes up the next day," Matheny said to "We have to play." The pitching matchup remains the same as Saturday, with the Reds (10-13) matching Bronson Arroyo (2-2, 6.86 ERA) against Mike Leake (3-1, 1.32). Arroyo has won his last two starts, downing the Chicago Cubs 7-5 on April 23 in his best outing of the year, allowing just three hits and two runs in six walk-free innings while fanning seven. Arroyo has been pounded most of his career against the Cardinals, though, going 8-18 with a 4.84 ERA in 40 outings. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. That includes a 10-4 loss on April 8 in which he ceded six hits and six runs in four innings, issuing three walks and whiffing three. Aledmys Diaz was hardest on Arroyo, belting a solo homer in the first inning and a th ree-run shot in the fourth. Leake owns three straight wins, including a 6-4 decision on April 23 in Milwaukee that saw him allow three hits and two runs in six innings with three walks and five strikeouts. His only loss was a 2-0 verdict on April 7 to his former Cincinnati teammates, against whom he's 0-3 with a 5.64 ERA in five starts.


MLB Game Preview: Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros - 4/30/2017 - 2:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros - Date: 4/30/2017 Time: 2:10 PM EDT Venue: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX, 77002 HOUSTON -- One night after his fifth multi-hit performance in his last seven starts, Yuli Gurriel found himself elevated in the lineup. Houston Astros manager A. J. Hinch made a point to note that Gurriel wasn't batting sixth Saturday night because of his torrid hitting. He made the change in the middle game of a three-game set with the Oakland Athletics that concludes Sunday because Gurriel's bat fit that slot in this lineup. Saturday night marked the sixth time this season that Gurriel batted sixth, his highest spot in the order in 2017. He has mostly hit sixth, seventh or eighth, batting ninth just once. Last season, his first with the Astros (15-9) after his defection from Cuba, Gurriel had 50 plate appearances in the two-hole, 12 batting cleanup, and 44 hitting fifth." Wher e I place him in the order is not indicative of my confidence, it's more of how he fits in our lineup with the rest of our guys," Hinch said. "It doesn't matter where he hits. He's comfortable hitting at the bottom, he's comfortable hitting in the six- or seven-hole." For a while I didn't want to move him; I didn't want to mess him up. But as I've moved him up, he's continued to hit so he can hit anywhere." Gurriel went 1-for-4 in the Astros' 2-1 loss to the A's (11-13). Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-0, 0.84 ERA) will start the series finale for Houston on Sunday looking to win the series and post his 11th consecutive quality start against Oakland. Keuchel limited Oakland to one run, four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings in a 7-2 win on April 14 at Oakland Coliseum. Baseball Picks. The Athletics will counter wit h right-hander Jesse Hahn (1-1, 2.09 ERA), who is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three career starts against the Astros. Oakland manager Bob Melvin continues to tweak his injury-ravaged lineup, inserting Ryan LaMarre in center field and Chad Pinder at shortstop to get both some plate appearances. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The Athletics have seven players on the disabled list, including center fielder Rajai Davis and shortstop Marcus Semien among three position players. Davis is close to returning from a hamstring injury." Jaff Decker has done a nice job for us, but Raj was a guy that we targeted to get the brunt of the time in center field," Melvin said. "Certainly the speed dynamic with he and Marcus out hurt us too. Money Cappers. They're basically our only guys that give us some stolen base and speed threats so we're a little bit one-dimensional with those guys out of the lineup." With Davis and right-hander Sonny Gray set to return soon, the Athletics have reinforcements coming. But until Oakland is made whole again, Melvin will make the best of what he has available." The trap is you don't want to look forward to that and need that," Melvin said. "You still have to play every single day, so it's more look for someone to get an opportunity and do well." We'll get these guys back and it will be a little bit of a shot in the arm when we do, but we can't look too far forward in trying to get these guys back."


MLB Game Preview: Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers - 4/30/2017 - 2:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers - Date: 4/30/2017 Time: 2:10 PM EDT Venue: Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wis., 53214 MILWAUKEE -- A week ago, Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker insisted that his team was close to snapping out of an early-season offensive funk. Point Shaving. The Braves have made him look clairvoyant. Averaging four runs a game through their first 20 contests this season, the Braves have put 21 on the board in their last two games at Milwaukee, where they will go for a series sweep Sunday afternoon against the Brewers at Miller Park." We knew that's what we were capable off," Snitker said Saturday after an 11-3 romp over the Brewers, powered by three home runs from Matt Kemp. "It's just one of those things where you have to grind away because you know it's in there. We get stretched out, play some cons istent games. Free MLB Baseball Picks. These guys get everyday at-bats and they start doing what they're capable of doing." Snitker was especially pleased to see rookie shortstop Dansby Swanson snap out of his shell Saturday with a two-hit night that included his second home run of the season. Swanson had been off to a rough start this season, but has been showing signs of progress." It feels great, just where I'm at right now," Swanson said. "It is just kind of one of those things where you've been working toward something and finally you start to feel like it is paying off, it is a cool feeling." I'm just happy I can be surrounded by guys that keep you level-headed whether things are going great or they are not going well at all. Sports Monitor. That's what I am surrounded with here. I thank th em as much as I can because they are so awesome and so much fun to be around." Mike Foltynewicz takes the mound behind that Braves offensive group, looking for his first victory of the season. He has made three career appearances against the Brewers, going 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA. He faced them once last season and did not take a decision after allowing a run on four hits while striking out seven. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. The Braves will not have Brandon Phillips in the starting lineup Sunday. He returned to action Saturday after missing two games with a sore groin and felt fine, but Snitker said he wanted to avoid the quick turnaround and would limit Phillips to pinch-hitting duties in the series finale." That was kind of the plan," Snitker said. "I just don't like doing those guys coming back from those things on short days, when they don't get a full day. He' ll be able to pinch-hit. But the plan was to play him after they loosened him all up (Saturday). Hopefully we can stay away from him (Sunday), then a night game on Monday, it'll be alike a day and a half almost off." Milwaukee right-hander Matt Garza will be tasked with slowing down the Braves' suddenly resurgent offense. He is coming off his first start of the 2017 season, when he received no decision after allowing four runs -- one earned -- on four hits over four innings Monday against the Reds. Garza's start to the year was delayed by a groin strain suffered in his final Cactus League start. He has made seven career starts against the Braves, going 1-4 with a 4.65 ERA. Jimmy Nelson, the Brewers' starter on Saturday, had trouble controlling the Braves' attack." They put some good swings on some good pitches," Nelson said. "There were probably a couple of pitches where I could have had a different pitch selection. We might have had a different result."


MLB Game Preview: New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals - 4/30/2017 - 1:35 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals - Date: 4/30/2017 Time: 1:35 PM EDT Venue: Nationals Park, Washington, D. C., 20003 WASHINGTON -- The weekend showdown in the National League East between the New York Mets and host Washington Nationals, who have combined for the past three division titles, has become one of attrition. Mets slugging outfielder Yoneis Cespedes went on the 10-day disabled list on Friday with a hamstring injury after he was hurt running out a hit on Thursday in Atlanta against the Braves. On Friday night, Nationals center fielder Adam Eaton suffered a torn ACL while beating out an infield single in the ninth in a 7-5 loss to the Mets and will miss the rest of the season. Eaton was placed on the 10-day disabled list Saturday with what the team termed a left knee strain as they awaited results of his MRI exam. Free Soccer Picks . The severity became known later Saturday night. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The 28-year-old Eaton was hurt after beating out an infield single, when he stepped awkwardly on the bag and collapsed to the ground, grabbing at his left leg. Eaton was unable to put any weight on his leg and had to be carried off the field by team trainers. Gambling Profit. The series finale on Sunday will match two pitchers who have had their own health scares in the past year. Right-hander Noah Syndergaard (1-1, 1.73 ERA) of New York will face Joe Ross (1-0, 6.17) of the Nationals. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. The Mets will go for the three-game sweep after they won 5-3 on Saturday, as leadoff man Michael Conforto belted two homers and had three hits." I think this is huge fo r us," New York manager Terry Collins said after Saturday's win. "Tomorrow is going to turn into a big day for us." Syndergaard was scratched from his start on Thursday in Atlanta with a "tired arm," according to Collins. But he was put through a series of tests on Friday at Nationals Park and was deemed ready to start on Sunday." I'm pretty in tune with my body," Syndergaard told, adding that he refused to undergo an MRI exam on his arm. "I knew there was nothing happening in there." Ross, on the disabled list for 66 games last season with right shoulder inflammation, is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in three career games (all starts) against the Mets. Syndergaard is 2-3 with a 2.77 ERA in eight career starts against Washington. He has fanned 57 batters and walked 14 in 48 2/3 innings. His last win against the Nationals came on May 17, 2016, when he pitched seven shutout innings in a 2-0 victory. Handicappers Watchdog. The Nationals called up rookie outfielder Rafael Bautista from Triple-A Syracuse to take the roster spot of Eaton. Michael A. MLB Baseball Handicappers. Taylor started in center field on Saturday for the Nationals and had three hits. Bautista was 2-for-5 for Syracuse on Friday at Norfolk and was hitting .291 with the Chiefs. He was not needed Saturday." In spring training I know he can hit that fastball. He's an outstanding outfielder," Washington manager Dusty Baker said of Bautista. "Runs exceptionally well. Has a good throwing arm and he pays attention, that's what I like most about him, that he pays attention."