Monday, April 30, 2018

MLB Game Recap: San Diego Padres (5) vs. San Francisco Giants (6) - 4/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: San Diego Padres (5) vs. San Francisco Giants (6) - Date: 4/30/2018 Hundley's pinch-hit single in 9th rallies Giants past Padres9m ago. 2 min read SAN FRANCISCO Pinch-hitter Nick Hundley lined a two-run single off San Diego Padres closer Brad Hand with two outs in the ninth inning to give the San Francisco Giants a 6-5 comeback victory Monday night.The Giants scored in only two innings and trailed 5-3 in the ninth before rallying for their third straight win and seventh in nine games.Pinch-hitter Austin Slater was hit by Hand's first pitch in the ninth. After Gorkys Hernandez and Andrew McCutchen struck out, Buster Posey walked. Evan Longoria followed with an RBI single before Hand (1-3) walked Brandon Belt to load the bases.Hundley took a ball, then lined the game-winner into left-center. Posey scored standing up and Longoria crossed home plate sliding as the rest of the Giants rushed out of the dugout t o celebrate.Pierce Johnson (1-1) retired three batters for the win.McCutchen and Longoria each had two hits and an RBI for San Francisco. Posey and Austin Jackson also drove in runs.The Giants improved to 6-2 on their 10-game homestand.San Diego scored three times off reliever Reyes Moronta in the sixth to take the lead but stranded runners in scoring position in the seventh and eighth and left a man on first in the ninth.Franchy Cordero had two hits and walked twice. Eric Hosmer also had two hits and Chase Headley added a pinch-hit RBI single for the struggling Padres.The Giants' rally prevented Padres rookie Eric Lauer from getting his first major league win. Best Sports Handicappers Free Picks. The 22-year-old struck out six in five innings and pitched through traffic most of the night but left after San Diego took a 5-3 lead.TRAINER'S ROOMPadres: Starting catcher Austin Hedges was removed in the bottom of the second with right elbow tendinitis. Hedges struck out in the top half and was replaced by A. J. Ellis.Giants: Hoping for clearance to begin a throwing program, San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner traveled to Arizona to meet with the same doctor who performed surgery on his left pinkie. Dr. Donald Sheridan inserted three pins into Bumgarner's pinkie after the 2014 World Series MVP was hit by a line drive late in spring training. . 2B Joe Panik underwent surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and will miss at least six weeks. . OF Mac Williamson remains in concussion protocol.UP NEXTRHP Tyson Ross (2-2, 3.64 ERA) pitches for the Padres on Tuesday in his fourth road start of the season. LHP Andrew Suarez (0-1, 6.75) is scheduled to start for the Giants.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Los Angeles Dodgers (5) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (8) - 4/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: Los Angeles Dodgers (5) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (8) - Date: 4/30/2018 Pollock hits 3 HRs, Greinke pitches D-backs past Dodgers 8-56m ago. 3 min read PHOENIX A. J. Pollock hit three home runs and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-5 on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series between NL West rivals.Zack Greinke struck out a season-high 10 in six innings as Arizona beat Los Angeles for the 12th time in their last 13 regular-season meetings - six of seven this year. In the playoffs last year, however, the Dodgers cruised to a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks.All three of Pollock's drives were solo shots in the first three-homer game of his career. He connected off Ross Stripling in the second, Brock Stewart in the sixth and Josh Fields in the eighth to become the 12th Arizona player with a three-homer game.Pollock had a two-homer game at Dodger Stadium on April 14.Nick Ahmed dro ve in two runs and fell a triple shy of the cycle for the first-place Diamondbacks, who have won each of their first nine series to start the season - the first National League team to do so since the 1907 Chicago Cubs.The reigning NL champion Dodgers, who found out earlier in the day that star shortstop Corey Seager is headed for season-ending Tommy John surgery, have lost three straight and six of seven to fall to 12-16, eight games behind Arizona. Free Soccer Picks. The Diamondbacks (20-8) have the best record in the National League and second-best in baseball behind Boston (21-7).They opened a seven-game homestand that features the Dodgers and Houston, last year's World Series teams.Greinke (3-2) blanked his old team on one hit through five innings before allowing a pair of runs in the sixth. He gave up two runs on four hits and walked one and is 15-1 in his last 20 starts at Chase Field.Greink e also singled in a run and doubled, his first two hits of the season.Brad Boxberger pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save in nine tries.Rich Hill was supposed to come off the disabled list to make the start for the Dodgers but remained sidelined with an infected finger, so Ross Striping got the spot start. Stripling (0-1) went four innings, allowing four runs and eight hits.Arizona scored three times in the second. Pollock led off with a home run down the left-field line. Daniel Descalso doubled and scored on Ahmed's one-out single. With two down, Greinke's first hit of the season scored Ahmed.Ahmed homered in the fourth and Pollock in the fifth to make it 5-0.Los Angeles came back and Max Muncy homered off Yoshihisa Hirano in the seventh to cut the lead to 5-3.Arizona added two in the seventh but so did the Dodgers, the last on Matt Kemp's pinch-hit RBI single off Archie Bradley, to make it 7-5 heading to the bottom of the eighth.Pollock's final homer of the night, and ninth of the season, boosted the lead to 8-5.BIG HURTSBoth teams had significant new injury problems to deal with on Monday.Seager, the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year, will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. An MRI confirmed the need for the surgery after Seager experienced pain and numbness following a pair of throws over the weekend.Seager has had soreness in the arm since the middle of last season.Meanwhile, Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray was placed on the 10-day DL with a strained oblique, with no timetable for his return. An All-Star and 15-game winner last season, Ray left in the second inning of Sunday's loss at Washington.The Diamondbacks are now without two of their original five starters. Right-hander Taijuan Walker is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.TRAINER'S ROOMDodgers: Manager Dave Roberts said the surgery on Seager would be performed Friday in Los Angeles.Diamondbacks: David Peralta left after being hit in th e hand by a pitch from Tony Cingrani with the bases loaded in the seventh.UP NEXTLHP Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.84 ERA) tries to get the Dodgers back on track while RHP Matt Koch (1-0, 1.93) makes his third start since taking Walker's place in the rotation.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

NHL Game Recap: Vegas Golden Knights (4) vs. San Jose Sharks (3) - 4/30/2018

NHL Game Recap: Vegas Golden Knights (4) vs. San Jose Sharks (3) - Date: 4/30/2018 / SAN JOSE, Calif. William Karlsson scored 8:17 into overtime and the Vegas Golden Knights bounced back from a blown lead late in the third period to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3 on Monday night to take a 2-1 series lead. After Tomas Hertl tied the game with 1:57 left in regulation, the expansion Golden Knights rebounded and won in overtime despite failing to convert on two early power-play chances. Marc-Andre Fleury made 39 saves, including a brilliant one to rob Logan Couture early in the overtime. Couture had another chance in the sequence before the winning goal. But the Knights broke out with the loose puck and Karlsson beat Martin Jones with a wrist shot high to the stick side and was mobbed by his teammates. Jones made 29 saves. Sports Experts. The Sharks rallied to tie the game and force a second straight overtime with two goals in the third period. Evander Kane scored just seconds after the end of a power play midway through the third to set the stage for Hertl. Hertl drove to the net with a strong power move. With the Sharks swarming in front of Fleury, Hertl whacked at a loose puck and knocked it in for the equalizer with 1:57 to go, sending the towel-waving crowd into a frenzy. Colin Miller, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith scored in a span of less than five minutes in the second period to put the Golden Knights in control but they couldn't hold onto the lead. Sports Picks for Today. Timo Meier opened the scoring with a power-play goal for the Sharks, but undisciplined play in the second period helped erase that lead and put San Jose in a hole. Brenden Dillon held David Perron to give Vegas a power play less than a minute after Meier's one-timer off a perfect cross-ice pa ss from Chris Tierney gave the Sharks the lead. San Jose had an 11-1 edge in shots on goal in the period at that point as the Sharks were controlling the play. But that quickly turned as James Neal held the puck below the goal line and fed Miller with a pass that Marc-Edouard Vlasic nearly broke up for a tap-in that tied the game. About three minutes later, Hertl was called for roughing Neal well behind the play, giving the Golden Knights another chance with the man advantage. Winning Sports Handicappers. They converted again when Marchessault one-timed a cross-ice pass from Alex Tuch past Jones to give Vegas the lead. Smith then capped the three goals in 4:46 when Marchessault fed Karlsson, who was left alone at the side of the net. He deftly sent a blind, backhand pass through the crease to Smith, who tapped it in for the 3-1 lead that silenced the crowd until the third-period theatrics. The Sharks came out energ ized by a raucous crowd and the presence of celebrity door opener and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in their first home game of the series. San Jose got 16 shots on goal in the first period, but were unable to get anything past Fleury, who rebounded well from his first loss of the postseason. The Golden Knights didn't manage as much pressure on Jones but did get the lone power play in the first period on a delay of game by Mikkel Boedker. San Jose killed the penalty to keep the game scoreless after one. NOTES: Sharks F Joonas Donskoi (lower body) sat out. Chris Tierney took his place on the top line with Barclay Goodrow slotting in on the third line. ... F Tomas Tatar returned after missing the past four games as a healthy scratch. He took the place of Ryan Carpenter.---More NHL: www.apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

MLB Game Recap: Toronto Blue Jays (7) vs. Minnesota Twins (5) - 4/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: Toronto Blue Jays (7) vs. Minnesota Twins (5) - Date: 4/30/2018 Smoak, Martin homer as Blue Jays hold on to beat Twins 7-57m ago. 2 min read MINNEOLIS Justin Smoak and Russell Martin homered, Yangervis Solarte had three hits and the Toronto Blue Jays edged the Minnesota Twins for a 7-5 win on Monday night.Smoak hit a towering, two-run shot to cap a three-run fourth inning to stake Toronto to a 5-0 lead. Martin added a solo homer to the second deck in left field an inning later as the Blue Jays won their second game in a row.The Twins have lost 10 of their past 11 games.Even with slugger Josh Donaldson on the disabled list and Jose Bautista gone, Toronto is powering up again. Top Rated Sports Services. The Blue Jays entered the night tied for second in the majors in home runs.Aaron Sanchez (2-2) was the beneficiary of the run support. He pitched six inning s and allowed four runs and six hits and three walks. Roberto Osuna allowed two hits in the ninth, but stranded runners at second and third to earn his seventh save in eight chances.Minnesota's Lance Lynn (0-3) struggled with his command again and couldn't get past the fifth inning for the fourth time in five starts this season. Lynn gave up six runs in five innings. He allowed seven hits and walked five batters. He has an 8.37 ERA for the season.At one point, he threw nine straight balls and he walked Curtis Granderson with the bases loaded in the second.Eduardo Escobar hit his fourth homer of the season for Minnesota, a two-run blast to the berm in straightaway center in the fifth.Max Kepler had three hits, including an RBI double in the seventh, but Logan Morrison popped out with two runners on in the inning against reliever Danny Barnes.TRAINER'S ROOMBlue Jays: OF Randal Grichuk was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right knee sprain, the result of an awkward, diving catch in Sunday's win against Texas. Best Free Sports Picks. The team recalled IF Gift Ngoepe from Triple-A Buffalo.Twins: 3B Miguel Sano missed his third straight game with left hamstring tightness. Manager Paul Molitor said Sano has not made much progress and could be looking at a stint on the disabled list if he doesn't show improvement soon. ... OF Byron Buxton, on the 10-day disabled list after a migraine first sidelined him, stood in while pitchers threw their bullpens on Monday but isn't ready to run because of a hairline fracture in his toe.UP NEXTRight-hander Marco Estrada (2-2, 6.00 ERA) starts Tuesday for Toronto in the second game of the three-game series. Minnesota counters with right-hander Kyle Gibson (1-1, 3.33). Estrada has allowed five runs in back-to-back outings, totaling 10 innings pitched. Gibson pitched six scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts in a no-decision aga inst the New York Yankees in his previous outing.---For more baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: New York Yankees (1) vs. Houston Astros (2) - 4/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: New York Yankees (1) vs. Houston Astros (2) - Date: 4/30/2018 Morton strikes out 10 to help Astros stop Yankees, 2-14m ago. 2 min read HOUSTON Charlie Morton pitched two-hit ball into the eighth inning and struck out 10 as the Houston Astros snapped the New York Yankees' nine-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory Monday night.Carlos Correa had two hits and an RBI for Houston in the first meeting between the teams since Game 7 of last year's AL Championship Series, when Morton allowed two hits over five innings for the win in a 4-0 victory that sent the defending champion Astros to the World Series.Houston has won seven straight at home against the Yankees including the postseason, and the Astros have held them to no more than one run in their last six games here.Morton (4-0) had allowed just one hit when Gleyber Torres chased him with a two-out double in the eighth. Brad Peacock took over and walked pinc h-hitter Aaron Judge, who didn't start for the first time this season, and Torres stole third base.Chris Devenski replaced Peacock and was greeted with an RBI single by Brett Gardner that cut the lead to 2-1. Devenski then fanned AL player of the week Didi Gregorius on three pitches to end the inning.Ken Giles struck out the side in the ninth for his third save.Sonny Gray (1-2) yielded four hits and two runs while walking three in six innings to snap a streak of three straight starts in which he didn't get out of the fifth inning.George Springer hit a leadoff single, advanced to second on a balk and took third on a groundout by Jose Altuve. Houston grabbed a 1-0 lead when Springer scored as Correa grounded out.Altuve singled to start the fourth before Correa drew a walk. A double by Yuli Gurriel sent Altuve home to make it 2-0.Correa was thrown out at home on a fielder's choice on a ball hit by Josh Reddick. Gray walked Alex Bregman after that, but retired the ne xt two Astros to limit the damage.Morton bounced back after lasting a season-low four innings in his previous start. He retired his first seven batters before Torres walked in the third. Austin Romine grounded into a double play to end the inning.The right-hander struck out two in the fourth before walking Gary Sanchez to start the fifth. Sanchez was stranded when Morton whiffed Aaron Hicks, Miguel Andujar and Neil Walker.Romine got New York's first hit with one out in the sixth, but Morton struck out Gardner before Gregorius popped out.TRAINER'S ROOMYankees: 3B Brandon Drury, on the disabled list because of severe migraines, will continue his rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Scranton for the next few days. ''We feel like he's doing well and doing better,'' manager Aaron Boone said. ''He's going to continue to kind of go with his protocols and some of the treatments he's been doing and we'll continue to evaluate him over t he next few days.'' UP NEXTYankees: LHP Jordan Montgomery (2-0, 3.76 ERA) starts Tuesday night at Houston. He didn't factor in the decision in his last start when he allowed four hits and two runs over five innings against Minnesota.Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (4-0, 1.36) has the lowest ERA through the first six starts of a season in his career.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

NBA Game Recap: Philadelphia 76ers (101) vs. Boston Celtics (117) - 4/30/2018

NBA Game Recap: Philadelphia 76ers (101) vs. Boston Celtics (117) - Date: 4/30/2018 Apr 30, 2018 BOSTON Terry Rozier scored 29 points and first-year Celtics forward Jayson Tatum scored 28 to outplay redshirt rookie Ben Simmons and lead the Boston Celtics to a 117-101 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday night.With much of the attention focused on Philadelphia young guns Simmons and Joel Embiid, Boston's youth movement of Tatum and Rozier led the way. Rozier, in his third year, added eight rebounds and six assists, and Al Horford had 26 points and seven rebounds for Boston.Embiid scored 31 points with 13 rebounds for Philadelphia. Simmons, the likely rookie of the year after missing all of last season with an injury, scored 18 with seven boards and six assists.Game 2 is Thursday night in Boston.

MLB Game Recap: Philadelphia Phillies (4) vs. Miami Marlins (8) - 4/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: Philadelphia Phillies (4) vs. Miami Marlins (8) - Date: 4/30/2018 Anderson's 4 RBIs help Marlins beat Arrieta and Phils 8-49m ago. 3 min read MIAMI Brian Anderson homered, drove in four runs and made a diving catch in right field with the bases loaded to preserve a lead, helping the Miami Marlins beat Jake Arrieta and the Philadelphia Phillies 8-4 Monday night.The Marlins have won three games in a row for the first time this season, and five of six. Sports Experts. The Phillies lost their third consecutive game.Arrieta (3-1) lasted only 3 2/3 innings. He allowed six earned runs after giving up three or fewer in each of his past 18 starts.The Marlins reached him for eight hits, including five doubles. Fixed Games. They came into the game with 29 doubles, last in the majors.Anderson hit a two- run double in the third, the first of his three hits, and added a Stanton-esque two-run homer high off the home run sculpture in the seventh. Just as impressive was the rookie's lunging, backhand catch with one out in the seventh, which helped Kyle Barraclough escape a jam as the Marlins retained a 6-4 lead.The homer was the second for Anderson, who leads the Marlins with 16 RBIs. Few saw his big game - the crowd of 5,415 was the smallest in the seven-season history of Marlins Park.Miami starter Dan Straily wasn't sharp in his season debut, allowing four runs in four innings. He had been sidelined since the middle of spring training because of forearm inflammation.Jorge Alfaro and Maikel Franco each hit a two-run homer off Straily.The Phillies' Odubel Herrera singled in the first inning to reach base safely in his 30th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the majors.Miami scored four runs in the third to take a 5-2 lead. Derek Dietrich hit an RBI double , and Anderson followed with a two-run double.Herrera, who made a sensational catch in the bushes at Philadelphia on Saturday, made a leap at the center-field wall but couldn't come up with Dietrich's drive.Merandy Gonzalez (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings.READY FOR PRIME TIME PLAYERSThe Phillies are set to take the hill on ''The Goldbergs.'' In the episode ''Opportunity Of A Lifetime,'' Barry Goldberg wins a SportsRadio WIP contest to throw out the first pitch at a Phillies game at Veterans Stadium.The idea for the episode was sparked last season when the real Barry Goldberg and the actor who portrays him on TV, Troy Gentile, were invited to throw out the first pitch at a Phillies game. ''The Goldbergs'' draws on the childhood and videotaped domestic life of series creator Adam F. Goldberg, a native of the Philadelphia suburbs.The first-pitch experience turned into a natural story line for Barry Goldberg.''H is first reaction when I asked him about it, he said, `My throw is so powerful that it'll go over the plate and into the stands,''' Adam F. Goldberg told the . ''That is a Barry line. Watching him get so nervous, training with friends, sending me videos every day pretending he was a professional pitcher; at the end of the day, he just went out and threw it. Lobbed it in.'' Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt appears at the end of Wednesday's episode.ROSTER MOVETo make room on the roster for Straily, RHP Tyler Cloyd was placed on paternity leave.TRAINER'S ROOMMarlins: 1B Justin Bour (back spasms) was held out of the starting lineup for the third day in a row but pinch-hit and flied out. ... SS JT Riddle (right shoulder tendinitis) played in a rehab game at Triple-A New Orleans. ... RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (right forearm strain) threw a bullpen session.Phillies: RHP Mark Leiter Jr. (right forearm strain) threw his entire rep ertoire in a 20-pitch bullpen session.UP NEXTRHP Zach Eflin is scheduled to make his season debut for the Phillies against LHP Jarlin Garcia (1-0, 1.00 ERA). Eflin has a career record of 4-10, while Garcia has allowed three runs and 10 hits in 27 innings this season.--- Sports Writer Dan Gelston in Philadelphia contributed to this report.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Kansas City Royals (6) vs. Boston Red Sox (10) - 4/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: Kansas City Royals (6) vs. Boston Red Sox (10) - Date: 4/30/2018 What a month: Red Sox complete best April with win over KC7m ago. 2 min read BOSTON Xander Bogaerts hit a grand slam over the Green Monster and the Boston Red Sox finished April with their most wins ever by beating the Kansas City Royals 10-6 on Monday night.Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer and had three hits along with Bogaerts for the Red Sox, who posted their 19th victory in April. Sports Picks for Today. They had reached 18 three times, the last coming in their World Series-winning 2013 season.Whit Merrifield had three hits and two RBIs for the Royals, who were coming off their first consecutive wins this season.Hector Velazquez (4-0), the first of three relievers, worked two scoreless innings of relief for the victory.Trailing 3-0, Boston scored a run in the second on Moreland's ho mer and five off Jason Hammel (0-3) in a third inning highlighted by Bogaerts' slam that completely left Fenway Park. Moreland drew a bases-loaded walk for the other run.It was Boston's sixth slam of the season, tying the 1996 Montreal Expos for most ever in the majors by May 1.Boston fell in the 3-0 hole in the first when starter Eduardo Rodriguez gave up three runs on three walks, two singles and a hit batsman.TRAINER'S ROOMRoyals: SS Alcides Escobar was back in the lineup after leaving Sunday's game with a bruised left hand from being hit by a pitch. . DH Mike Moustakas was hit by a pitch and came out with a bruised left forearm.Red Sox: Manager Alex Cora decided to give OF Mookie Betts a second straight day off because of a tight right hamstring that forced him out Saturday. ''I feel like not starting today is going to benefit him, but if we need it late in the game, we'll use him,'' Cora said.PRESS BOX CONFUSIONThe Royals made a late lineup change, which caused confusion in the press box when everyone thought the club had moved its DH to third base after Moustakas had to leave in the first.It would have forced pitcher Hammel to hit.The problem was: The Royals had given a new lineup to the umpires from the one posted in the press box and on Fenway's scoreboards that had Moustakas at third base and Cheslor Cuthbert as the DH.Cuthbert came in at third base at the bottom of the first.GONE EARLYBoth starting pitchers were out by the fifth inning.Rodriguez gave up five runs, walked three, hit two batters and struck out six in four.Hammel was tagged for eight runs on eight hits in 4 2/3.SPECIAL GUESTSThe Royals' traveling party had 28 extra guests because they were invited to bring their dads or brothers on the trip.''I really, really enjoy it - a chance to come to Fenway. Sports Handicappers Rankings. They went on a tour here, a priva te tour. I think they all enjoyed that,'' manager Ned Yost said. ''It's just a phenomenal trip together being able to share three days like this.'' UP NEXTRoyals: RHP Jakob Junis (3-2, 3.34 ERA) hopes to rebound Tuesday from a miserable previous start when gave up a club-record tying five homers against the White Sox.Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (2-1, 2.31) looks to continue his strong run, having allowed three or fewer runs - one or less four times - in his initial six starts.

NHL Game Recap: Boston Bruins (2) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (4) - 4/30/2018

NHL Game Recap: Boston Bruins (2) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (4) - Date: 4/30/2018 / TAMPA, Fla. Brayden Point had an empty-net goal and three assists and Tampa Bay Lightning found a way to slow Boston's high-scoring line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand to beat the Bruins 4-2 in Game 2 of their second-round playoff series Monday night. Sports Handicapping Software. The victory evened the best-of-seven matchup between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. Game 3 is Wednesday night in Boston. Point assisted on Tampa Bay's first three goals before sealing the win with his empty-netter with 25.2 seconds left. Yanni Gourde, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat also scored for the Lightning, which rebounded from a 6-2 loss in Game 1. Bergeron, Pastrnak and Marchand combined for three goals and 11 points in the opener. Sports Picks Free. They had four more points in Game 2, but were unable to take over the game. Charlie McAvoy scored for the Bruins late in the first period. Handicapper Return on Investment. Torey Krug's late goal trimmed Tampa Bay's lead to 3-2 with just over four minutes remaining. Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 18 shots. Tuukka Rask finished with 27 saves for Boston. The Lightning had nearly twice as many scoring opportunities as the Bruins in the series opener and controlled play early Monday night, getting off the first 10 shots of the game and taking a 1-0 lead on Gourde's power-play goal at 11:47 of the first period. With the exception of failing to taking advantage of a long 5-on-3 power play, the Bruins made the most of limited chances, with the Bergeron line leading the way. McAvoy's goal, with Bergeron and Marchand assisting, made it 1-1. Pastrnak and Marchand set up Krug's goal to keep the Bruins close. The Bergeron line has 12 goals and 41 points in Boston's five playoff wins. The four assists Monday night are the only points the trio has delivered in four losses. NOTES: The Lightning have not fallen behind 2-0 in a playoff series since the 2014 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against Montreal. ... Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara appeared in his 111th playoff game, tying Rick Middleton for fourth place on Boston's career list. It was the 109th playoff game for Bergeron, tied with John Bucyk for the sixth-most in franchise history. ... With his 24th career playoff goal, Johnson pulled even with Vincent Lecavalier for third on Tampa Bay's all-time list.---More hockey: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

MLB Game Recap: Texas Rangers (5) vs. Cleveland Indians (7) - 4/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: Texas Rangers (5) vs. Cleveland Indians (7) - Date: 4/30/2018 Indians rally for 7-5 win over Rangers11m ago. 2 min read CLEVELAND Jose Ramirez's RBI double broke an eighth-inning tie and the Cleveland Indians rallied for a 7-5 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.Texas scored twice in the top of the eighth to go ahead 4-3, but the Indians quickly regained the lead by scoring four times against Chris Martin (0-1).Rajai Davis led off with a single and took second on Bradley Zimmer's one-out single. Davis stole third and scored when Francisco Lindor hit a chopper over Martin's head. Martin recovered after getting a glove on the ball, but his flip to first place was late.Jason Kipnis flied out. Ramirez, who had an RBI single in the seventh, doubled to right. Martin left with an injury and Yonder Alonzo had a two-run single off Jesse Chavez.The Indians are without ace reliever Andrew Miller, who is o n the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and his absence in a tight game was felt again.Texas scored two runs in the eighth off Tyler Olson. Profar's double tied the game and Mazara's double gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead.Cody Allen (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings. Sports Betting Leads. The right-hander put two runners on with one out in the ninth. Jurickson Profar grounded out, but Nomar Mazara's infield hit cut the deficit to 7-5.Allen, the Indians' closer, was pulled after throwing 41 pitches. Jeff Beliveau fell behind Joey Gallo 3-0, but came back to strike him out for his first save of the season and second of his career. Hockey Picks. The left-hander was added to the roster last week when Miller went on the DL.Trevor Bauer struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings, but gave up Robinson Chirinos' home run on his 122nd and final pi tch of the game.Bauer had the 10th double-figure strikeout game of his career, holding Texas to four hits.Kipnis' double off Cole Hamels gave Cleveland the lead in the fifth. Sports Betting Profit. The hit scored Zimmer on a call that stood after a challenge by Texas manager Jeff Banister.Hamels allowed two runs - one earned - in five innings. He was pulled after the first two hitters in the sixth reached base.TRAINER'S ROOMRangers: 2B Rougned Odor (strained left hamstring), who has been on the disabled list since April 10, will be sidelined for at least another week. General manager Jon Daniels said Odor has jogged on the field for the past few days at exteded spring traning and has not suffered a setback.Indians: Miller has been playing catch and will throw off the mound before he's activated from the 10-day disabled list. Miller was injured April 24.UP NEXTRangers RHP Doug Fister (1-2, 3.93 ERA) take s on Indians RHP Mike Clevinger (2-0, 2.56 ERA). Clevinger has only allowed one run in nine innings against Texas.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Milwaukee Brewers (6) vs. Cincinnati Reds (5) - 4/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: Milwaukee Brewers (6) vs. Cincinnati Reds (5) - Date: 4/30/2018 Brewers break out of slump, rally for 6-5 win over Reds4m ago. 2 min read CINCINNATI Homers by Manny Pina and Lorenzo Cain ended the Milwaukee Brewers' historically bad slump, and Domingo Santana doubled home the go-ahead runs in the seventh inning Monday night for a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.The Brewers managed only two runs while getting swept four games at Wrigley Field, matching their lowest total for a four-game series. Good Sports Handicappers. They had 14 hits total, their worst for such a series, and were blanked on two hits in each of the last two games.Pina ended their streak of 23 scoreless innings with a solo homer in the fourth off left-hander Brandon Finnegan, who hasn't won in more than a year. Cain added a two-run shot in the fifth, and the Brewers overcame a 5-3 deficit in the seventh to stop their losing streak at four games.Wandy Peralta (1-2) gave up a hit and a pair of walks to fuel the rally. A throwing error by catcher Tucker Barnhart let in one run, and Santana doubled over Billy Hamilton's head in center field for a 6-5 lead.Brandon Woodruff (1-0) retired the four batters he faced. Josh Hader got the last eight outs - all on strikeouts - for his fourth save in as many chances.Cincinnati fell to 7-22, matching the worst 29-game start in franchise history. Sports Picks. The Reds had the same record in 1931 and 1934.The Reds' collapse overshadowed Eugenio Suarez's best game since he returned from a broken thumb.Suarez doubled home a pair of runs in the fourth off Jhoulys Chacin and singled with the bases loaded in the fifth off Jacob Barnes, reminding the Reds of what they've missed while he was sidelined for 16 games. In five games back, he' s 8 for 22 with three doubles and seven RBIs.Suarez agreed to a $66 million, seven-year contract during spring training, the first significant deal the Reds have given during their rebuild.TRAINER'S ROOMBrewers: RHP Corey Knebel threw 25 pitches to teammates during batting practice. Knebel has been sidelined since April 6 by a strained left hamstring. Manager Craig Counsell said the Brewers will have a better idea on Tuesday about when he might make a rehab appearance.Reds: 2B Scooter Gennett was out of the lineup with a sore right shoulder, which has been bothering him since spring training. He pinch-hit and struck out, ending a six-game hitting streak.UP NEXTBrewers: Chase Anderson (2-2) has quality starts in four of his six appearances. Opponents are batting .207 off him.Reds: Homer Bailey (0-3) has more starts (26) and innings (156 2/3) against the Brewers than any other team. He went 2-1 in four starts against Milwaukee last season with a 4.71 ERA.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Tampa Bay Rays (3) vs. Detroit Tigers (2) - 4/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: Tampa Bay Rays (3) vs. Detroit Tigers (2) - Date: 4/30/2018 Cron, Miller homer in ninth, lift Rays over Tigers 3-24m ago. 2 min read DETROIT C. J. Cron and Brad Miller each homered in the ninth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays held on for a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.With the game scoreless, Detroit closer Shane Greene (1-2) walked Denard Span to start the ninth. Cron followed by hitting a 2-0 fastball into the right-center field seats for his seventh homer of the season. After Matt Duffy popped out, Brad Miller homered into the left-field bullpens to make it 3-0 and end Greene's night.But Detroit loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth on two hit batters and an infield single. Jose Alvarado replaced Chaz Roe and allowed a two-run single to Victor Martinez, then retired James McCann before walking John Hicks to load the bases again. Dixon Machado then grounded into a gam e-ending force at second to give Alvarado his first career save.The Rays have won nine of their last 10 games after a 4-13 start.Rays starter Jake Faria (2-1) had the longest outing of his career, holding the Tigers scoreless for eight innings. He gave up three hits and a walk with six strikeouts in his second win in 11 starts.Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann didn't get a decision after pitching seven scoreless innings. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out five.Jose Iglesias helped Zimmermann with two outstanding plays in the third inning. He made a leaping catch of Jesus Sucre's soft liner, then dived to his right to grab Cron's line drive.Iglesias doubled with one out in the bottom of the inning, but was stranded at third.The Rays got a runner to third with two outs in the seventh, but Zimmerman got Joey Wendle to ground out to Iglesias.TRAINER'S ROOMRays: C Wilson Ramos sat out a second straight game with tightness in both legs. He has homered in his last three games.Tigers: 1B Miguel Cabrera (bicep tightness) and CF Leonys Martin (hamstring) both missed Monday's game and are listed as day-to-day. ... LHP Daniel Norris, who is scheduled to undergo groin surgery, was placed on the 60-day disabled list. Handicappers Watchdog. The Tigers recalled LHP Chad Bell from Triple-A Toledo.UP NEXTThe teams play again Tuesday night in the second of a three-game series. LHP Matthew Boyd (0-2, 2.74) is scheduled to pitch for the Tigers, while RHP Chris Archer (2-1, 6.61) will start for Tampa Bay. Archer will be making his ninth career start against Detroit, having gone 2-2 with a 3.55 ERA.

MLB Game Recap: Colorado Rockies (2) vs. Chicago Cubs (3) - 4/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: Colorado Rockies (2) vs. Chicago Cubs (3) - Date: 4/30/2018 Lester helps Cubs beat Rockies 3-2 for 5th straight win7m ago. 2 min read CHICAGO Jon Lester pitched effectively into the sixth inning, continuing an impressive stretch for Chicago's rotation and helping the Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Monday night for their season-high fifth straight victory.Lester allowed two runs and five hits, struck out five and walked three. Luke Farrell (1-0) worked 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief for his first career win, and Steve Cishek got two outs for his first save.The Rockies put runners on first and second with two outs in the ninth before Cishek struck out Nolan Arenado.Lester extended the streak for Chicago's starting pitchers to 33 2/3 innings without giving up an earned run. Handicappers Free Picks. The Cubs have permitted just four runs and 21 hits during their last five games.Colorado wasted a solid start by Kyle Freeland (1-4) in its third straight loss. Sports Handicapping Monitor. The left-hander pitched seven innings of three-run ball, allowing six hits with five strikeouts and one walk.The Rockies jumped in front with two in the fifth, taking advantage of an error by Cubs second baseman Javier Baez. With one out and a runner on first, Baez dropped catcher Willson Contreras' throw to first on Freeland's sacrifice.After Ian Desmond flied out, Charlie Blackmon blooped an RBI single into center and Arenado hit a tiebreaking double. But the Rockies missed out on a chance for more when Chris Iannetta struck out looking with the bases loaded.The Cubs responded with Albert Almora Jr.'s RBI single in the bottom half, then went ahead to stay in the sixth.Kris Bryant led off with a triple high off the wall in left for his first hit since he wa s beaned by Colorado on April 22. Bryant then scampered home when Anthony Rizzo followed with a grounder to second.Lester was pulled with two outs and runners on first and second, but Farrell got Desmond to bounce into a fielder's choice. Farrell also worked the seventh in the 13th major league game for the son of former Red Sox manager John Farrell.Addison Russell had an RBI single in the second for Chicago, which has won nine of 11 overall. Sports Handicapping Services. The Cubs moved a season-high six games over .500 and picked up their 16th win before May 1 for only the fourth time in franchise history.TRAINER'S ROOMRockies: INF DJ LeMahieu was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain and OF Carlos Gonzalez was activated from the DL. LeMahieu got hurt when he doubled in the third inning of Friday night's 1-0 victory at Miami. ''It is getting better, it's just not go od enough to be a productive player,'' LeMahieu said. Gonzalez pinch-hit in the ninth.UP NEXTRockies right-hander Jon Gray and Cubs righty Kyle Hendricks square off Tuesday night. Gray (2-4, 5.79 ERA) stopped a personal three-game slide when he struck out 11 while pitching six scoreless innings in a 5-2 victory against San Diego on Wednesday. Hendricks (2-1, 3.10) is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last two starts, including a win at Colorado on April 20.---Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (2) vs. Washington Nationals (3) - 4/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (2) vs. Washington Nationals (3) - Date: 4/30/2018 Roark goes 7 innings, gets rare RBI as Nats beat Pirates 3-26m ago. 3 min read WASHINGTON Tanner Roark pitched seven efficient innings and drove in his first run since 2016, and the Washington Nationals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 on Monday night.Roark (2-2) allowed two runs on six hits, struck out four and induced two double-play grounders for his first win since April 2 as the Nationals ended a disappointing April with their second straight victory.Starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (2-3) drove in the first run for the Pirates with a two-out double to deep left-center in the fifth. He worked six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, as NL Central-leading Pittsburgh lost for the first time since his previous start. Sports Handicapper Tracker. The Pirates had won five straight .Bryce Harper drew two intentional walks and struck out twice in four plate appearances. Sports Handicappers. The former MVP now has 38 walks and eight intentional passes this season, both tops in the majors, as the injury-depleted Nationals have struggled to protect him in the lineup.Harper's first intentional walk came in the third after he had worked the count to 2-1 with Trea Turner on second base. Free Pick. Taillon then struck out Howie Kendrick - who went 0-for-4 while batting cleanup for the third time this season - and Matt Adams to end the threat.Batting in the fourth with runners on first and second, Roark bunted the first pitch foul. Then he pulled the bat back as Taillon threw a wild pitch, allowing the runners to advance. Roark hit the next pitch up the middle to score Matt Wieters and put the Nationals ahead 2-1, his second hit this seaso n and his fifth career RBI. Turner followed with a run-scoring single, one of his three hits on the night.Corey Dickerson homered to deep left leading off the seventh to pull the Pirates within one. Roark then retired the next three batters, fanning the final two.Ryan Madson retired the side in the eighth and Brandon Kintzler worked the ninth for his first save in place of regular closer Sean Doolittle, who had pitched in the previous three games.Wilmer Difo had two hits and drove in Washington's first run with a second-inning single.TRAINER'S ROOMNationals: 2B Daniel Murphy (offseason knee surgery) was back with the team after spending two weeks at extended spring training in West Palm Beach, Florida, and was scheduled to be re-evaluated by team doctors. He has been hitting, running and taking ground balls, Martinez said. There is still no timetable for his return. ... 3B Anthony Rendon (left toe contusion) became eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list on Sun day, and no decision has been made on whether he will have a minor league rehab assignment.Pirates: CF Starling Marte was out of the starting lineup for the first time this season but popped out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. ... LHP Enny Romero said he had been trying to pitch through pain in his throwing shoulder before he told team trainers about the injury on Sunday. Pittsburgh had planned to designate him for assignment but instead placed him on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Thursday. ''It's a new organization. He didn't want to come in and say he wasn't ready to pitch or that he couldn't pitch,'' Hurdle said. ''After we had that conversation, I guess there's a process you go through where you contact MLB and get the verification that everything's OK, and it's OK now that he's on DL.'' SHORT MANThe Nationals shook up their bullpen again, recalling right-hander Wander Suero from Triple-A Syracuse and sendi ng right-hander Austin Voth back to Syracuse one day after he was promoted to the big leagues. Voth has been a starter for nearly his entire minor league career, while Suero is a reliever with 30 career minor league saves.Suero had a chance to make the team out of spring training before he suffered an oblique injury on March 9. He was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in four appearances for Syracuse but did not allow a run in his last three outings.''I like his ability to get both lefty hitters and righty hitters out. He's got a really good cutter and he throws strikes,'' Martinez said.UP NEXTLast year's NL Cy Young Award winner, Max Scherzer (5-1, 1.62 ERA), who threw his first of two career no-hitters against the Pirates on June 20, 2015, starts for Washington. Pittsburgh right-hander Chad Kuhl (3-1, 4.55) allowed six runs on 10 hits in four innings in his previous start against the Nationals last May.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Preview: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins - 4/30/2018 - 8:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins - Date: 4/30/2018 Twins eye turnaround in series opener vs. Blue Jays 11m ago. 3 min read MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins own one win in their last 10 games, including two losses to the lowly Cincinnati Reds.Despite the rough stretch, outfielder Max Kepler does not believe it is time for the Twins to panic.The Twins hope to make Kepler's belief stand up Monday night when they host the Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of a three-game series at Target Field."I believe in everyone in here, if it's a pitcher, a coach, a hitter," Kepler said after an 8-2 loss to the Reds on Sunday. "We're all capable of winning. It's baseball. You have to stick with your mentality and effort and just power through it."We've got each other's backs. We just have to keep going. Free Winning Sports Picks< /a>. Tomorrow's a new day." Minnesota was outscored 24-14 over their weekend series with the Reds as its starting rotation struggled to work deep into games. Winning Sports Gambling. They've failed to make it through five innings in six of the last eight games and 11 times overall this season, putting extra pressure on a bullpen that's already starting to feel the effects."I'm not sure about the psychological effect," Twins manager Paul Molitor said after his team's ERA rose to 5.26 "I know that it takes a physical toll, just the amount of innings. We've had to make some moves along the way just to have enough pitching." It will be up to right-hander Lance Lynn to buck that trend as he takes the mound for the fifth time this season and still in search of his first victory.He's allowed at least five runs in three outings this season and couldn't get out o f the fourth his last time out, giving up six runs on seven hits and three walks with a pair of home runs in a 7-4 loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday.Lynn worked 3 2/3 innings and sustained a slight ankle injury."Very mild rollover that kind of gave him a stinger," Molitor said.Lynn is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in two career starts against the Blue Jays, who come to Minnesota looking for momentum after snapping a four-game losing streak with a 7-2 win over the Texas Rangers Sunday.Like Molitor, Toronto manager John Gibbons has had to turn to his bullpen early and often this season, leading the team to recall right-hander Carlos Ramirez from Triple-Buffalo while sending slumping second baseman Devon Travis down.Travis was the leadoff hitter on Opening Day but batted .148 with three RBIs while striking out 18 times through 61 at-bats."We're strapped in the pen right now." Gibbons said. "Those guys are pitching a lot and really the thinking behind it is, he's strictly a second baseman and (rookie infielder Lourdes) Gurriel you can put him anywhere so that gives us a little more versatility. We don't think it will be long-term by any means. And it's not going to hurt him to go down there and get his bat going too, but it basically came down to we got to protect the bullpen a little bit." Gibbons did not have to dip into his bullpen extensively Sunday as J. A. Happ allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings and was backed by homers from Yangervis Solarte, Teoscar Hernandez and Kevin Pillar as the Blue Jays won for the third time in 10 games.The Blue Jays are hoping for a similar formula with Aaron Sanchez on the mound.Sanchez, who is throwing a changeup a career-high 29 percent of the time, recorded a quality start in four of his five turns this season. He last pitched Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox during a 4-3 loss when he allowed two runs and three hits while getting a season-high eight s trikeouts in a no-decision.Sanchez is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three career starts against Minnesota.

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MLB Game Preview: Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago Cubs - 4/30/2018 - 7:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago Cubs - Date: 4/30/2018 Rockies-Cubs Preview 13m ago. 2 min read CHICAGO -- The way the Chicago Cubs' starting pitching has been rolling, any shortage of offense has not caused negative results.That may be bad news for the Colorado Rockies, who Monday at Wrigley Field struggling to score runs.The Cubs got another stellar outing from its starting rotation Sunday when they completed a four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers. Free Sports Betting Picks. Tyler Chatwood allowed just two hits in a 2-0 victory.During the four-game series, Cubs pitching allowed just two runs, which represents the lowest the team has allowed in a four-game series since surrendering three in 1973 against the New York Mets.The Cubs have now registered six straight quality starts.Left-hander Jon Lester will look to extend the Cubs' winning streak when he takes the mound on Monday. Lester (2-1, 3.29 ERA) is coming off his first loss of the season when he gave up three runs and four hits as the Cubs failed to produce much offense in a 4-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians on April 25.Lester, however, allowed three solo home runs."It's like I struggled," Lester told reporters after the loss, according to the Chicago Tribune. "Whoever said solo home runs can't beat you is full of (expletive)." Despite allowing the three solo shots, Lester -- who is 1-3 in four career starts against the Rockies -- believes he is on the right track."I feel good where I'm at right now," Lester said. "There's not a lot to work on. Sports Monitor. There was early on. I feel like I was pretty inconsistent with my mechanics. But I feel pretty good now." The Rockies enter the series having lost two straight, and have only managed two runs in their past three games. Colorado was beaten 3-0 on Sunday by the Miami Marlins, who got a gem from starter Caleb Smith.Colorado will attempt to get its offense rolling against Chicago, which was also limited in offense during the weekend against Milwaukee.Kyle Freeland (1-3, 4.33) will start for the Rockies and look to put together his second straight strong outing.He threw seven shutout innings on April 24 against the San Diego Padres and allowed just three hits while striking out eight.Freeland took a line drive off his left heel during the start, which left some uncertainty about his ability to make his next start. But Freeland -- who is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in his lone career start against the Cubs -- told reporters on Sunday that he won't be impacted.But the lack of run support the Rockies are providing their starters remains a concern, although their lack of offense has the Rockies confused."It's tough to say right now (what's wrong)," sho rtstop Trevor Story told reporters Sunday, according to the team's official website. "We're definitely a better team than we've been playing lately. It's tough to say what the problem is." Manager Bud Black said reversing the Rockies' recent trend comes down to fundamentals."It just comes down to having good at-bats, good approaches and realizing the importance of situational hitting, putting the ball in play, advancing runners, those sorts of things," Black told reporters.

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MLB Game Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks - 4/30/2018 - 9:40 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks - Date: 4/30/2018 Dodgers have hands full vs. hot Diamondbacks 4h ago. 4 min read PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks lead the NL West by five games after becoming the first National League team in 111 seasons to win their first nine series.Not that it has swayed the competition.Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts prefers an historical perspective."When it's all said and done, the Dodgers will be at the top of the division," Roberts told reporters before the Dodgers' game in San Francisco on Sunday.If the present does not back Roberts, the recent past does.The Dodgers have won the last five NL West titles, and they made it all the way to Game 7 of the World Series last year before falling to Houston.They have an opportunity to make some immediate inroads Monday in the first game of a four-game series at Arizona.Former Dodgers right-hander Zack Gr einke (2-2 with a 4.80 ERA) will start for Arizona, while the Dodgers are expected to start right-hander Brock Stewart. Rich Hill was expected to be activated from the disabled list to make the start, but his return was stalled because of an infection in the middle finger of his pitching hand. Stewart was recalled from the minors Sunday.The Diamondbacks (19-8) tied the franchise record for best start by winning three-game series in Philadelphia and Washington on a road trip that ended Sunday with a 3-1 win. Handicappers Watchdog. The last NL team to start that quickly was the 1907 Chicago Cubs, who won their first 11 series. Sports Free Picks. The 2001 Seattle Mariners also won their first nine, the only other team since the 1907 Cubs to do that.Included are two series wins over the Dodgers, who were swept in a three-game series at Chase Field from April 2- 4 and salvaged the final game of a three-game set at Dodger Stadium from April 13-15. Arizona has won 11 of the last 12 regular-season meetings between the two.Arizona received some bad news Sunday, however, when left-hander Robbie Ray was diagnosed with a strained right oblique muscle and is to be given an MRI on Monday. Ray was removed after feeling discomfort on his first pitch to Matt Wieters with one out in the second inning. Greinke went 39 days between starts after suffering a strained oblique in July 2016.Ray, 2-0, was an All-Star in a breakout 2017 when he won 15 games, and his loss, even for a short period, will require the Diamondbacks to find a second "next man up" after losing No. 4 starter right-hander Taijuan Walker for the season after Tommy John surgery. Matt Koch has made two starts in that spot, and Arizona remains the only NL team with an ERA under 3.00."I felt great up until that one pitch," Ray said. "I was letting go of the bal l and just felt my side grab and I wasn't able to finish the pitch and left it up and away. I just wasn't able to get anything on it." Greinke, who finished second in the NL Cy Young voting while with the Dodgers in 2015, beat Los Angeles in his only start against them this season when he gave up five hits and four runs with seven strikeouts after being staked to an 8-2 lead. He was 1-2 with a 3.65 ERA in four starts against them last season and is 5-4 with a 3.91 ERA in 12 career starts against them.Greinke is 1-0 in and has allowed two runs in two home starts this season after leading the NL with a 13-1 home record a year ago.As well the season has started for Arizona, the Dodgers have had their trials.Los Angeles (12-15) has lost five of its last six after dropping three of four in San Francisco over the weekend. Yasiel Puig was placed on the disabled list Sunday after suffering a bruised foot when he ran into the right field fence to catch a foul fly in the Dodgers' 15-6 victory in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon, and Cody Bellinger was removed in the sixth inning Sunday after getting two hits in a 4-2 loss. Handicapper Return on Investment. Top prospect Alex Verdugo was recalled to take Puig's place.While Dodgers scored 24 runs in San Francisco, the bullpen gave up 12 runs in 10 1/3 innings in the series.The Dodgers have won two series, sweeping San Diego and taking two of three from Washington during a mid-April stretch when they won even of eight."It's a tough month for us," Roberts told reporters. "The solace is that no one's making excuses and we're playing hard. Guys are trying to make pitches. It's just not happening right now. That's encouraging. It really is." Stewart has made two of his nine career starts against the Diamondbacks and had his only two career victories against them, both in Se ptember of 2016. He went five innings in each game, giving up a total of 10 hits and three runs. He has not pitched in the majors this season and was 1-0 with 2.41 ERA in four starts at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

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NBA Game Preview: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics - 4/30/2018 - 8:08 PM EST

NBA Game Preview: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics - Date: 4/30/2018 Apr 29, 2018 BOSTON -- The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics turn back the clock when they face each other in the Eastern Conference semifinals that begin in Boston Monday night.Bill Russell. Wilt Chamberlain. Larry Bird. Julius Erving. Kevin McHale. Hal Greer. Bob Cousy. Billy Cunningham.This is the NBA's top rivalry in terms of series played. Sports Handicapper Scams. The teams meet for the 20th time in what has always been the Celtics but also been the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia Warriors/Sixers."They're playing great. Got a great team, great coach," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after his team eliminated the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night. I think everybody talks about (Joel) Embiid and (Ben) Simmons and rightfully so, but I think it's ... the skill th at they've added to their team and their other young guys getting better; and, obviously (JJ) Redick's presence have just opened everything up."And they're a bear to play against; you can tell from the last series. I think (coach) Brett (Brown)'s terrific. On down the line. Free Guaranteed Sports Picks. They're terrific." The Sixers, who have waited through years of tanking to get back to respectability, took care of the Miami Heat in five games of the first round and get the latest shot at their long-time rivals.Their fans chanted "We want Boston," during their Game 5 and they have them.Asked Sunday for keys to defeating the Celtics, Sixers coach Brett Brown said, "Just how you're gonna score. ... Sports Handicapper King. They're an excellent defensive team. We respect them with what they do defensivel y and I think they're clever offensively."They've got the ability to bother you because the team really can shoot 3s." The teams, which first met in the playoffs when the Sixers were the Syracuse Nationals (think Larry Costello), haven't met in the postseason since 2012 and have played twice since 1985. They have tangled just twice in 1985 and the Celtics have won the last three series. Philly's last win came in 1982.The Celtics needed seven games to dispose of Doug Collins' Sixers in 2012.If you want to consider thorns in each other's sides, for Philly it was Boston's Sam Jones while Bird always considered Andrew Toney poison for the Celtics.The Celtics, the No. 2 seed in the East, went 3-1 against the Sixers during the regular season, including Boston erasing a 22-point deficit to win the game in London. Philly's 89-80 victory in the Jan. 18 series finale featured Embiid going off for 26 points, 18 rebounds and six assists.Markelle Fultz, who was "traded" from the Celtics to the Sixers, who accepted Boston's first pick in the draft, did not play against the Celtics in the four games but has since returned.Jaylen Brown, who had two breakout scoring games in the first round, tweaked a hamstring in the first half of Saturday's game. He was pronounced fit to go but Stevens held him out as a precaution. After the game, Brown said, "I'm ready," adding, when asked if he'll go in the opener, "That's my goal." He was slated for an MRI Sunday and Stevens called him doubtful.Boston's Marcus Morris, a Philadelphia native, openly rooted for the Sixers in their first-round series and said Sunday, "If we weren't playing them I'd be rooting for Philly. But I hope we sweep them." The Sixers are the third seed in the conference and are coming off their first series win since 2012.

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MLB Game Preview: San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants - 4/30/2018 - 10:15 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants - Date: 4/30/2018 Giants, Padres heading in opposite direction 4h ago. 3 min read SAN FRANCISCO -- Two teams headed in opposite directions since they last met open a three-game series Monday night when the San Diego Padres take on the San Francisco Giants.The clubs dueled in San Diego earlier this month, with the Padres taking three of four, including a 10-1 victory in the finale behind hotshot rookie Joey Lucchesi, who is not scheduled to pitch in this series.The Padres have not won a series since, going 3-9 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and New York Mets.They were thumped by the visiting Mets 12-2 and 14-2 during the weekend after having opened that series with a win.Left-hander Eric Lauer made his major-league debut in the aforementioned series against Colorado, and it did not go well.The 22-year-old allowed seven runs in the f irst two innings at Coors Field, capped by a grand slam from Trevor Story in the second.Lauer wound up going three innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) and six hits.He has never faced the Giants and takes an 0-1 record with an 18.00 ERA into the game.Lauer will match up with Jeff Samardzija, who has had more success in his career against the Padres than any other team. He's 8-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 16 games against San Diego, 14 of which he has started.After having to delay his season debut because of a pectoral strain suffered late in spring training, Samardzija has started just twice for the Giants this month. Number #1 Sports Handicapping Service. The first, an 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels, went well; the second, a 15-2 loss to the Washington Nationals, did not.Things have gone well for the Giants since Samardzija was promoted from the disabled list on April 20. Sports Handicapping Software. They've won consecutive series against the Angels, Nationals and Dodgers, their first sequence of three straight series wins since last May.Two-out hitting was the key to Sunday's 4-2 victory over the Dodgers.The Giants scored in just two innings, and on both occasions Buster Posey came to the plate with two outs and nobody aboard.Posey got on base both times, once with a walk and once with a double, and the Giants went on to score all four of their runs, three on Evan Longoria's first-inning home run.The Giants had entered the game with the fewest runs scored in the National League with two outs (22).Afterward, Giants manager Bruce Bochy gushed about the middle of his order, which now features four players with nine or more RBIs -- Longoria (15), Brandon Belt (14), Andrew McCutchen (11) and Posey (nine)."It's always up to the heart of the order," he said. "That's what they get paid for. If they have their normal years, you're probably going to have a pretty good year." Giants pitchers will have to deal with slugger Christian Villanueva in the heart of the Padres' order. He has homered twice in San Diego's last four games, raising his RBI total to 18.Villanueva missed three games last week with a balky hamstring. On Saturday, he blasted his eighth homer of the season, and his seventh against lefties."Villa is annihilating left-handed pitching, over and over and over again," Padres manager Andy Green told the San Diego Union-Tribune after Saturday's 12-2 win. "And he's having better and better at-bats, for my taste, every time I see him play." The third baseman had five hits, including two homers and five RBIs in the final three games of the earlier Giants-Padres series, with San Diego winning all three."I'm always looking to hit my pitch and that means basically where I do damage in the zone," Villan ueva said. "I'm also looking to hit the pitch the pitcher makes a mistake on. I think it's always a fight just going back and forth in trying to work and fight to get that pitch." Saturday's homer extended Villanueva's hitting streak to 11, but he went 0-for-4 on Sunday.

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NHL Game Preview: Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks - 4/30/2018 - 10:08 PM EST

NHL Game Preview: Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks - Date: 4/30/2018 Time: 10:00 PM EDT Venue: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, CA, 95113 / The unprecedented success enjoyed by the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season carried over into the second round of their first playoff run. Now that the San Jose Sharks have home-ice advantage after a dramatic win, the question is how will Vegas bounce back from its first taste of postseason adversity?The best-of-seven series between the Golden Knights and the Sharks shifts to Silicon Valley, starting with Game 3 on Monday night. Vegas blanked the Los Angeles Kings twice and limited them to three goals in a first-round sweep. Free Sports Picks. The winning ways continued as three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury posted his third shutout during this postseason, 7-0 over the Sharks in Game 1 on Thursda y. San Jose evened the series with a 4-3 victory in double overtime on Saturday. Fleury posted 43 saves, but Logan Couture notched the game-winner -- his second goal of the night -- eight seconds after Vegas defenseman Jon Merrill was sent off for hooking. Less than 24 hours later, Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland refuses to dwell on the defeat." It's a new day today," he said Sunday. "We lost. You didn't expect to go through playoffs not losing a game. We've just got to take what we can from last game and get back at it tomorrow night." While San Jose rallied from a two-goal deficit with three straight goals in the second period and overcame a tying goal from Nate Schmidt late in regulation, Sharks defenseman Brent Burns reminded everyone that there's still a lot of hockey to be played." It's just one game," Burns said. "Obviously we had to win it, but it's one game." Vegas coach Gerard Gallant d idn't rip his team for the effort but said they need to be better prepared." We didn't show up for 45 minutes tonight," he said Saturday. "We didn't play a good game tonight. We played a great game the other night, and competed and battled, and tonight we didn't show up to play our game tonight, and it cost us big time." Vegas went 1-0-1 at the Shark Tank during the regular season. On Feb. 8, the Golden Knights exploded with three straight goals in the final 10:24 en route to 5-3 win. On March 22, Tomas Tatar scored early, but the Sharks answered with a goal from Burns before Couture scored 39 seconds into overtime to lift San Jose to a 2-1 win. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer noted that Saturday's win was a result of keeping true to the same message that has been communicated throughout the season." I think we've always taken the approach all year that we play our game and at the end of the day, good things happen," he s aid. A key to San Jose knotting the series was Martin Jones having a short memory. After yielding five goals on 13 shots in Game 1, he didn't face more than eight shots in any period in Game 2 and finished with 26 saves." My confidence isn't going to get shaken from one bad game. It's not the first time I've had a bad game. You put that behind you. It's why you have a routine," said Jones, who stopped 75 of 77 shots at home in Games 3 and 4 of the Sharks' first-round sweep of the Anaheim Ducks. One player who has been hard to stop in the postseason is Vegas center William Karlsson. He scored twice in Game 2, giving him seven points (three goals, four assists) in a four-game points streak. Karlsson enjoyed a breakout season with career highs of 43 goals and 35 assists. San Jose is expected to have winger Evander Kane back in the lineup after he served a one-game suspension for cross-checking Golden Knights center Pierre-Edouard Bellemar e in Game 1. Acquired at the Feb. 26 trade deadline from the Buffalo Sabres, Kane had eight of his 14 points with the Sharks at SAP Center. Winning Sports Picks Who You Should Follow. That's also where Game 4 is scheduled Wednesday night.

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MLB Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros - 4/30/2018 - 8:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros - Date: 4/30/2018 Astros, Yankees kick off ALCS rematch 1h ago. 2 min read HOUSTON -- Despite all of the offseason hype celebrating the power potential of the New York Yankees following their acquisition of National League Most Valuable Player Giancarlo Stanton, what makes the Bronx Bombers truly formidable is their exceptional pitching depth.The Yankees (18-9) on Sunday night extended their winning streak to nine games with a 2-1 road victory over the Los Angeles Angels. It's their longest streak since winning 10 in a row from June 8-18, 2012.The Yankees have surrendered just 18 runs during that stretch and allowed more than three runs only once: a 7-4 win over the Twins on Wednesday.Catcher Gary Sanchez provided the offense with a two-run home run and, while their collection of sluggers is intimidating, the Yankees will open a four-game series with the defending champion Houston Astros on Monday at Minute Maid Park with the pitching to swing this rematch of the 2017 American League Championship Series in their favor."We're rolling," Stanton said. "A different guy every night. We're putting good at-bats back-to-back and just making it tough on opposing pitchers. We're pitching well, too, so I think we're clicking on all cylinders." Right-hander Sonny Gray (1-1, 7.71 ERA) will start the series opener for the Yankees. Gray has endured a rough start to his season, allowing at least three runs and failing to pitch five innings in each of his last three appearances.During that stretch, Gray has 11 walks to seven strikeouts.Gray is 4-3 with a 3.09 ERA over nine career starts against the Astros including one start with the Oakland Athletics during the regular season last year and another in the postseason with the Yankees.In Game 4 of the ALCS, Gray allowed two runs (one earned) on one hit and two walks with four strikeouts in five innings in a 6-4 win at Yankee Stadium that evened the series.Right-hander Charlie Morton (3-0, 1.86 ERA) gets the nod for the Astros. Morton lasted just four innings in his previous start on April 24 against the Angels, the first time in five starts this season that he didn't log at least six innings.Morton issued a season-high five walks, recorded a season-low two strikeouts, and allowed four earned runs, twice his cumulative season total.Morton is 1-1 with a 5.68 ERA over two career starts against the Yankees. He was the pitcher of record in Game 7 of the ALCS, twirling five shutout innings while allowing two hits and one walk with five strikeouts in a 4-0 win that catapulted the Astros to their second World Series.The Astros (19-10) reclaimed their offensive rhythm over the final two games of their weekend series with the Athletics, following an 11-0 victory on Saturday with an 8-4 win in the rubber match on Sunday. Football Handicappers. They amassed 20 hits in those wins, including nine for extra bases.The Astros have had their struggles at home this season, so their revival is well-timed."We're kind of getting rolling and this is a good team coming in," Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick said. "We've got to keep this momentum going, keep the pitching going, and keep these bats alive."

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MLB Game Preview: Kansas City Royals vs. Boston Red Sox - 4/30/2018 - 7:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Kansas City Royals vs. Boston Red Sox - Date: 4/30/2018 Red Sox could set record for April wins vs. Royals 5h ago. 2 min read BOSTON -- Eduardo Rodriguez looks to continue his early season roll when he opens the Boston Red Sox's three-game series against the Kansas City Royals on Monday night at Fenway Park.Rodriguez, whose season debut was delayed after offseason knee surgery, has followed a 3 2/3-inning debut on April 8 with a career record-tying three-game run of quality starts, all resulting in wins.He has worked 18 2/3 innings, yielded six earned runs and struck out 16 during that span and will face veteran right-hander Jason Hammel in the series opener.On Sunday, the Red Sox got "help" from suspended reliever Joe Kelly, who left his comfortable seats and went out to the bleachers behind the bullpen with his team down 3-0. Hot Sports Handicapp ers. They rallied to tie and then won when Sandy Leon poked a single past third base in the eighth inning."I got suite tickets from (club president) Sam (Kennedy)," Kelly said. "Sam lets me come up there. We had no runs so gotta get out of the suite and be able to switch it up." He didn't stay long, but it worked.Despite four losses in their last seven games, the Red Sox are 20-7, matching the second-best start in franchise history. Sports Handicapping Software. The 1946 team opened 23-4 (and went to the World Series). Free Pick. They were 20-7 in both 1994 and 2002.Boston faces a Kansas City team that has won two in a row for the first time this season but still comes in at 7-20.The Red Sox's 18 April wins have tied a franchise record as they head into Monday night's April finale.Boston is also only the fifth team s ince 1913 with at least 20 victories by May 1. The 2014 Milwaukee Brewers were the last team to do it (remember, the schedule used to start later in April).The Royals made their seventh attempt at a two-game winning streak at home against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday -- and this time it happened with a run in the eighth inning.Whit Merrifield, who had been 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position, drove in the winner and Cheslor Cuthbert hit his first two homers of the season.With closer Kelvin Herrera not available, former Red Sox right-hander Blaine Boyer posted his first save since 2016.Rodriguez is 1-1 with a 4.98 ERA in four career starts against the Royals, whose current roster is hitting a combined .311 (14-for-45) against him. Merrifield is 3-for-3 and Alex Gordon 3-for-6, but Alcides Escobar is 1-for-6 (.167) and Salvatore Perez 1-for-7 (.143) off the left-hander.Escobar left Sunday's game with a bruised left hand after getting hit by a pitch (and then scori ng the winning run before leaving for the ninth inning) and is considered day to day. However, Yost said, "Jason Vargas called him, 'The Shark.' He's got no bones, just cartilage. He heals really, really quick." Hammel is 3-3 with a 4.25 ERA against Boston in 15 games and eight starts -- 2-1 with a 4.45 ERA in ERA in nine games and four starts, at Fenway Park. Hanley Ramirez has worn him out to the tune of 9-for-19 (.472) with a home run. Mitch Moreland is 3-for-7 (.429) and Xander Bogaerts 2-for 6 (.333).Mookie Betts, who didn't play Sunday because of hamstring tightness and is listed as day to day, is 0-for-7 lifetime against Hammel, Andrew Benintendi is 1-for-7 (.143) and Christian Vazquez 1-for-6.Cuthbert hit his first homer since Aug. 20, a span of 109 at-bats.

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MLB Game Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit Tigers - 4/30/2018 - 7:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit Tigers - Date: 4/30/2018 Rays visit Tigers after long win streak ends 4h ago. 3 min read DETROIT -- The Tampa Bay Rays will try to begin a new winning streak on Monday night when they visit the Detroit Tigers for the opener of a three-game series.The Rays' eight-game winning streak ended Sunday with a 4-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox despite Denard Span's great catch and two-run homer.The Tigers concluded a six-game road trip by losing two of three in Pittsburgh and the same in Baltimore. Fox Sports Picks. The Orioles defeated the Tigers 5-3 on Sunday.Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera left after four innings with left biceps spasms. He was seen grabbing and rubbing the arm after his third-inning at-bat.Left-hander Daniel Norris, who started for Detroit, had to be removed after 2 2/3 innings with left groin tightness.& quot;Left biceps spams, left groin tightness," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said of the injuries. "We'll let you know in a couple days where they're at and where it goes. Best Sports Handicapping Services. That's all I have." Norris worked several relief innings on April 25 and has bounced between the bullpen and the rotation as the Tigers try to figure out where he fits best. He has an option remaining, but the Tigers believe he belongs in the majors."He wasn't following through on his pitches," Gardenhire said. "I told him, 'You're not following through. You're not finishing your pitches, I'm not going to let you hurt your arm.' That's my job." Right-hander Jake Faria (2-1, 3.78 ERA) will face Detroit for the second time in his career on Monday. Faria beat the Tigers last season, allowing one run and six hits in seven innings. He walked o ne and struck out nine in that 2017 game.Detroit starts right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (0-4, 9.87 ERA), who is still looking for his first win of 2018 in four decisions. He hasn't pitched against the Rays this year and only pitched against them once last season (no decision).Zimmermann is 1-1 with a 4.55 ERA in five career starts against the Rays.Gardenhire has suggested Zimmermann needs to get some separation on his pitches in terms of velocity, because they might be all blending together.The Rays optioned right-hander Ryan Yarbrough to Triple-A Durham after the eighth game in Tampa Bay's streak on Saturday. He pitched four strong relief innings, but management thought a taxed bullpen could use some help and recalled right-hander Chih-Wei Hu, who was scratched from a start for Durham on Saturday."Challenging, simply because Yarbrough comes in, gets his first win," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said Sunday. "He's done some good things for us. (Satu rday) was a lot of good things. Top Rated Sports Services. To keep the lead, he provided some length. That's the way it works. We've got to get him down there to keep him stretched out."We've got a bunch of off days coming up and we need pitching. It kind of made the most sense to option him out, get Chih-Wei back up. He was scheduled to start yesterday and now he can provide a lot of length." With Durham, Hu made three starts, going 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA, striking out 16 in 13 innings."I tried to give him the message that this (demotion) wasn't performance related," Cash said. "But it's part of the game, it's the way it works, and we've got to make decisions to make sure that we're doing everything we can to win the next day and keep guys healthy."The last thing we ever want to do is get anybody hurt because we're overworking them too much. That's w hat went into the decision." Cash also said Sunday that he does not expect to have to put catcher Wilson Ramos on the disabled list. Ramos has a tight groin muscle."In an emergency, he could play (Sunday). We think we caught it just in time," Cash said. "Wilson's been battling a little bit, he got beat up yesterday, but hopefully he doesn't have too much of a groin issue. He doesn't run that fast. So we should be able to protect it." Gardenhire said of the Tigers: "We had a losing road trip (2-4), go home, play three games and go back on the road. It's not going to get easier."We don't have any days off so we've got to battle through these things. The bullpen's depleted, to say the least. We've got to find a way, that's all we can do."

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MLB Game Preview: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds - 4/30/2018 - 7:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds - Date: 4/30/2018 Brewers look to get back on winning track vs. Reds 4h ago. 3 min read The Milwaukee Brewers quickly went from being one of the majors' hottest teams to one of its coldest. Best Sports Picks of the Day. The Cincinnati Reds went from being the majors' worst team to being -- well, still the worst team, but not quite as bad.The Reds, winners of only seven of 28 games, will be coming off their first multi-game series win of the season when they return to Great American Ball Park to play the suddenly slumping Brewers on Monday night.Cincinnati took two of three weekend games at Minnesota, scoring 23 runs in the two wins, after splitting a four-game series with Atlanta last week. For a team that won only three of its first 21 games, taking four of seven is a major improvement."Every win means a lot," interim manager Jim Riggleman said after an 8-2 victory Sunday. "We're just trying to put together any and all wins we can. We've been having a hard time." So are the Brewers, who scored only two runs all weekend while being swept by the Chicago Cubs in a four-game series at Wrigley Field -- ending the momentum they generated by winning their previous eight games."We didn't get much going," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "I think a change of venue, going someplace new is the most positive thing (right now). It's a different venue. ... We're going to score some runs." The Monday pitching matchup will be between Brewers right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (2-1) and Reds left-hander Brandon Finnegan (0-2), who were both pulled quickly during their previous outings.Chacin, who is with his sixth team in five seasons, was removed from Milwaukee's 6-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday despite pitching effe ctively for 5 2/3 innings. He gave up two runs and four hits while striking out three and walking none.Counsell liked what he saw -- even if Chacin would have liked to have seen a few more hitters."He got 17 outs," Counsell said. "I thought if you got 17 outs, that's great. Basketball Handicappers. That's what we are looking for." Finnegan, still coming back from a biceps injury that delayed his start to the season, similarly was looking to face a few more hitters himself Wednesday but was pulled after five innings and 77 pitches from what became a 5-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Finnegan, who has pitched only 12 1/3 innings in three starts, left with a one-run lead."I definitely wanted to go out (for the sixth inning)," Finnegan said. "I'm not a five-and-dive guy. (But) Riggleman said it would be smart. I'm not going to argue with him." Riggleman, since replaci ng former manager Bryan Price a couple of weeks ago, is showing he's not afraid to make changes in a hurry. He's employing the bullpen even earlier in games than Price did, and he sat down slumping outfielder Billy Hamilton -- who's hitting only .138 in his last 10 games -- and started Scott Schebler in center field Sunday against the Twins."It's not that I'm less concerned with their (players') feelings," Riggleman said. "It is important, but it's secondary to what you feel is the right thing to do. Believe me, you never come to the ballpark saying, 'I hope I get to pinch-hit for somebody today.'"Chacin is 2-3 with a 3.64 ERA in eight games against the Reds, including six starts. Joey Votto is 6-for-18 (.333) against him with two homers and four RBIs, but Eugenio Suarez is 0-for-5 and Scooter Gennett is 1-for-9 (.111). Hamilton is 1-for-3 with a triple.Finnegan hasn't started against the Brewers since shutting them out for five innings in a 4-2 victory on Sept. 25, 2016. He pitched only one inning against them a season ago, allowing two runs. In his career, he is 2-1 in six games and five starts, but most of the current Brewers have only a handful of at-bats against him.The Brewers took two of three from the Reds at Miller Park on April 16-18, winning the final two games by identical 2-0 scores.

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MLB Game Preview: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Miami Marlins - 4/30/2018 - 7:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Miami Marlins - Date: 4/30/2018 Ascending Phillies open series with Marlins 5h ago. 3 min read MIAMI -- The Philadelphia Phillies haven't made the playoffs since 2011. Sports Handicapping. Their yearly attendance has fallen from 3.7 million to 1.9 million. And they hadn't won more than 73 games in any of the past five years.Into this environment stepped rookie manager Gabe Kapler, a 42-year-old who is used to overcoming adversity. As a player, he built a 12-year major-league career despite being drafted in the 57th round.So it should come as little surprise that Kapler has overcome a 1-4 start during which his managerial decisions drew tremendous heat and criticism.On Monday night, when the Phillies visit the Miami Marlins to start a three-game series, Kapler is suddenly at the helm of one of the hottest teams in the majo rs. Football Picks. The Phillies are 16-11, which means they are 15-7 since that wobbly start.The Phillies' charge -- slowed a bit by Sunday's 10-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves -- has been led by center fielder Odubel Herrera and left fielder Rhys Hoskins.Herrera is batting 348 with a .392 on-base percentage and a .920 OPS. Hoskins is batting .346 with a .495 on-base percentage and a 1.098 OPS.Herrera, 26, has seen his OPS rise by 142 points."Odubel has been locked in at the plate all year," Kapler told the Philadelphia Daily News. "I don't think there's been a single pitch where we've looked at him and said, 'I don't think he's into this right now.' No, he's been laser-sharp focused all year." Monday's pitching matchup will feature veteran right-handers Jake Arrieta for the Phillies and Dan Straily for the Marlins.After winning the Cy Young aw ard in 2015 and the World Series in 2016 -- both with the Chicago Cubs -- Arrieta (3-0, 1.82 ERA) signed a three-year, $75 million free-agent contract with the Phillies on March 11.His Phillies debut April 8 -- coincidentally was against the Marlins -- and it did not go well. Arrieta lasted just four innings. He allowed three hits, two walks and three runs (two earned).Since then, Arrieta has been brilliant, lasting at least 6 2/3 innings in his three subsequent starts. He has allowed a combined three earned runs in those starts.Straily, meanwhile, will be making his 2018 debut after missing time with a strained forearm. He went 14-8 with a 3.76 ERA for the Cincinnati Reds in 2016 and 10-9 with a 4.26 ERA last year with the Marlins.He made 64 starts the past two years, showing durability before being sidelined by the forearm issue."You always feel good with Dan," Marlins manager Don Mattingly told the media. "We've taken our time with him to make sure he&# 39;s fully ready." Straily, however, returns to a team that is vastly different from the one he pitched for last year when Miami's offense was led by 2017 National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 homers.The Marlins also traded away left fielder Marcell Ozuna, who hit 37 homers and drove in 124 runs last year; center fielder Christian Yelich, who won a Gold Glove in 2014 and a Silver Slugger award in 2016; and second baseman Dee Gordon, who has won three stolen-base titles as well as a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award and a batting title.Given those departures, it's no shock the Marlins have a 9-18 record and are in last place in the NL East.However, after beating the Colorado Rockies 3-0 on Sunday, the Marlins have won two straight series. Before this week, Miami hadn't won any series this season.In addition, Marlins starting pitchers have a streak of seven straight games in which they have allowed two runs or less.

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NHL Game Preview: Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - 4/30/2018 - 7:08 PM EST

NHL Game Preview: Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - Date: 4/30/2018 Time: 7:00 PM EDT Venue: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL, 33602 / TAMPA, Fla. -- In order to avoid falling in to a hole, the Tampa Bay Lightning know they need to shake off any rust that may have set in after a week of inaction. What is Sports Handicapping. The Lightning put forth a strong effort in Game 1, but it has to be stronger and better against the Boston Bruins in Monday's Game 2, particularly against Boston's top line, which accounted for 11 points in the series-opening game. Handicappers Free Picks. Tampa Bay went about that with an intense practice on Sunday as the coaching staff looks to deliver the message that the opening-game effort was good but not nearly at the level needed to compete in the second round of the playo ffs." The purpose of our practice was to put us in the best position to be ready to play (Monday) night, and we got to play the game faster, we got to play the game harder," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said." Oftentimes a lot of things in your game you develop in practice. We had a week off. We did some good things, but our game was not at a playoff level like the other team that had just played in a Game 7 and that's what we have to bring (Monday) night or it's going to be a (short) series for us." If Tampa Bay can't slow down the trio of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, it won't matter much even if the Lightning do improve in other areas of the ice. Best Sports Picks of the Day. The Boston top line has now accounted for 41 points in the postseason, all of those coming in the five playoff wins the Bruins have registered. That line has been kept off the scor eboard in the three Boston losses. How do the Lightning slow them down?"You have to be hard on them," Cooper said. "You have to respect them as a group, but you can't fear them. You got to see it as a really good challenge. Play hard on them. You make life miserable." At the end of the game, you want their players to say, 'Oh, man. We got to play them again' and we didn't make them feel like that. It was more, 'Man, can't wait to play those guys again,' and that's got to change." The Bruins, which opened the first series against Toronto by winning the first two games before going on to win in seven, knows the second victory against the top-seeded Lightning will be no easy task and much harder than the first one. Boston enters Monday's game with a clean mindset." We've got to let it go, let this one go here," Marchand said. "We've got to come back hard on the next one. We know they& #039;re going to come back faster and harder than they did and they played a really good game. They came out fast, they came hard and it was tough to weather that storm early on. So we can expect more of that." Getting more solid play from goaltender Tuukka Rask, who stopped 34 shots in the opener, will be a big boost as well." I thought that during the second period they gave us a really strong push and we handled it well," defenseman Zdeno Chara said. "We made some strong defensive plays and obviously Tuukka made some really big saves for us in a crucial time of the game."

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MLB Game Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals - 4/30/2018 - 7:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals - Date: 4/30/2018 Surging Pirates begin series with Nationals 4h ago. 2 min read WASHINGTON -- The visiting Pittsburgh Pirates will be looking for their sixth straight win when they open a four-game series against the Washington Nationals on Monday.Pittsburgh (17-11) completed a sweep of St. Louis on Sunday as Nick Kingham, in his major league debut, retired the first 20 batters he faced and struck out nine Cardinals in a 5-0 victory at PNC Park.The 26-year-old Kingham was perfect until Paul DeJong's two-out single in the seventh."I was nervous, yeah, no doubt. But it's good to be nervous. Football Picks Today. That means I care," Kingham told MLB.com. "That just made my intentions a little bit more heightened -- not more serious, but just handled everything a little more caref ully." The Central Division leaders got a two-run single from catcher Elias Diaz to break a 0-0 tie in a four-run sixth. Diaz is hitting .444 with a 1.167 OPS in 11 games.The Washington Nationals (12-16) have been far from perfect of late, but did salvage the finale of their series with NL West-leading Arizona on Sunday.One start after expressing frustration about an early hook, Gio Gonzalez (3-2) struck out eight over seven innings in a 3-1 win. Gonzalez threw a season-high 114 pitches after being removed one batter into the sixth inning last Monday at San Francisco.Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray was forced to leave with a strained right oblique muscle in the second inning, and Matt Wieters and Michael A. Sports Handicapping Service Units Gained. Taylor homered off reliever T. J. McFarland."I think we've played so many of those (close games), but it's nice to be able to see the win at the end as opposed to being on the other end," Wieters said.The homer snapped an 0-for-12 slump by the Washington catcher, who began the day hitting an even .200 in a lineup that sorely needs another effective bat."I like my swing right now," Wieters said. "I do. I feel like I've hit some balls hard that I haven't really gotten anything for, but more than anything I'm staying focused on what we're working on, keeping it simple, keeping it easy, but also trying to take some good swings at some good pitches." Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (bruised toe) took ground balls, ran and swung the bat Sunday. It is uncertain whether he will require a minor league rehabilitation assignment before rejoining the active roster.Pittsburgh's Jameson Taillon (2-2, 4.91) opposes Tanner Roark (1-2, 3.77) in Monday's opener.Taillon had an 0.89 ERA through his first three starts but has given up 12 runs on 14 hits in only 5 1/3 innings his last two times out.In his last start, Taillon surrendered seven runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings of 13-10 loss to the Tigers.Taillon threw 57 strikes in 75 pitches, but the Tigers weren't missing."A lot of strikes. Stuff felt really good," he told MLB.com. "It seemed like the mistakes I made just got punished. At this level, you can't make mistakes." Taillon is 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts versus the Nationals.Roark gave up four runs on six hits over six innings in a loss to the Giants last time out. Sports Handicapper Reviews. Though he hasn't won since April 2, opposing batters are hitting just .182 off Roark.Roark is 2-1 with a 5.32 ERA in six games -- three starts -- versus the Pirates.Starling Marte is 1-for-9 against Roark and Jordy Mercer is 2-for-6.Ryan Zimmerman is 3-for-4 versus Taillon.

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