Sunday, March 31, 2019

NBA Game Recap: Memphis Grizzlies (96) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (113) - 3/31/2019

NBA Game Recap: Memphis Grizzlies (96) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (113) - Date: 3/31/2019 Apr 01, 2019LOS ANGELES Danilo Gallinari had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers routed the Memphis Grizzlies 113-96 on Sunday night for their league-leading 13th win in 15 games.The Clippers closed March with the NBA's best record at 13-2, tying the highest winning percentage in the month in team history set in 2014.Montrezl Harrell added 20 points, making 10 of 11 free throws, and Lou Williams had 17 points for the Clippers.Already without Mike Conley, the injury-riddled Grizzlies lost Jonas Valanciunas with 6:16 left in the third quarter. Winning Sports Handicappers. The 7-footer appeared to hurt his right leg going for a rebound. He grimaced while being supported by two teammates as he hopped off the court.Valanciunas finished with nine points and seven r ebounds, one night after a career-high 34 points and 20 rebounds in a comeback victory at Phoenix.Delon Wright led Memphis with 20 points and Chandler Parsons added 17.The Grizzlies made up ground in the fourth against most of the Clippers' second unit. Memphis cut its deficit from 19 to 11 points but never got under double digits.The Grizzlies scored the game's first basket for their only lead. Documented Handicappers. The Clippers ran off the next 10 points.Then the rout was on.The Clippers led by 20 points in the second on Ivica Zubac's highlight reel one-handed slam after catching a pass from Landry Shamet.Los Angeles stretched it to 26 points - its largest of the game - in the third. Zubac scored six straight points and Harrell had the Clippers' final six points of the quarter, keeping them ahead 87-68.TIP-INSGrizzlies: Conley (left ankle soreness) didn't play after twe aking his ankle on Saturday night. He is one game from setting a personal record for most games played in a season. He's appeared in 70 so far. ... Basketball Predictions. They fell to 1-6 this season without Conley in the lineup. ... Valanciunas' streak of double-doubles in a career-high six straight games ended. ... They fell to 11-27 on the road and 8-16 against the West away from home.Clippers: Their 17-5 mark since the Feb. 7 trade deadline is the NBA's best. ... They improved to 36-6 when they grab more rebounds than an opponent.UP NEXTGrizzlies: At Portland on Wednesday.Clippers: Host Houston on Wednesday, the first of three playoff-bound teams they'll face in their final four regular-season games.---More NBA: and

NBA Game Recap: Charlotte Hornets (90) vs. Golden State Warriors (137) - 3/31/2019

NBA Game Recap: Charlotte Hornets (90) vs. Golden State Warriors (137) - Date: 3/31/2019 Apr 01, 2019OAKLAND, Calif. Towel around his neck, Stephen Curry raised both arms and pointed to the crowd with appreciation.Curry and Steve Kerr realize the importance of small steps on the way to deep postseason runs and hanging championship banners.One down. Many important victories still ahead in Golden State's quest to three-peat.Curry scored 25 points with five 3-pointers and the Warriors beat Charlotte 137-90 on Sunday night to clinch their fifth straight Pacific Division title and hand the Hornets their worst loss of the season.''Obviously when you're scoring like we were tonight it's fun for everybody, no matter who's finishing the possessions,'' Curry said.Splash Brother Klay Thompson scored Golden State's initial nine points and finished with 24 and six 3s on a night Kerr could give his regulars a rest and better prepare the backups for the playoffs with more minutes. Curry and Thompson combined to shoot 11 for 17 from deep and 17 of 30 overall.Kevin Durant contributed 11 points and nine assists.Curry has made five or more 3s in a career-best eight straight games. He has 335 so far, his second-most in a season behind the NBA-record 402 he hit in 2015-16.The Warriors took charge from the opening tip and took it to the Hornets as the two-time defending champions returned to the court for the first time since a 131-130 overtime loss Friday at Minnesota in which Golden State took exception to multiple late calls.Starting Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins, who had 24 points and 11 rebounds in a 121-110 win at Charlotte on Feb. 25, was ejected with 6:09 left in the second quarter for a Flagrant 2 foul against Willy Hernangomez. Cousins scored eight points and blocked three shots in 11 minutes.Kerr said Cousins inadvertently hit Hernangomez in the head with a closed fist t rying to box him out, but ''there wasn't any malice intended.'' Hernangomez scored 22 points - 14 on free throws - for the Hornets, who lost 129-115 on Friday at the Lakers.''I didn't see any fight out there tonight,'' Hornets coach James Borrego said. ''We gave into their offense tonight. ... We made mistakes. We left Curry alone a few times, and you can't do that.'' Charlotte leading scorer and All-Star Kemba Walker was held to nine points for his third game of the season not reaching double figures.Quinn Cook added 21 points off the bench with five 3s as the Warriors shot a sizzling 21 of 33 (63.6 percent) from long range.MICHIGAN STATE PRIDEDraymond Green whooped and hollered in the locker room with some serious school pride.''Great day to be a Spartan!'' Green said after Michigan State's 68-67 NCAA Tournament victory over top-seeded Duke to reach the Final Four.Curry walked past his teammate after warmups and offered, ''Congratulations, Spartan.'' ''I'm not surprised, I actually thought that we could do it,'' Green said. ''Duke has a lot of firepower, but it has gaps. An experienced team, and an experienced coach, can exploit those gaps.'' WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENTCurry's mother, Sonya, along with California women's basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb and two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker participated in a pregame future leaders event to introduce middle school girls to careers in sports - part of Golden State's efforts during Women's Empowerment Month. Best Sports Picks Service. The group was introduced at halftime.''At this critical age, seek to be the best version of yourself. You can look around and get inspiration from a lot of incredible women, but you also have to value and love who you are,'' said Gottlieb, whose Ca l women reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Baylor. ''Who you are and what you care about, be true to that. . If you're inspired to think about what's possible for you, that's what today is about. You can have it all. It's out there for you as women.'' Dell Curry - hanging with nearly 9-month-old grandson, Canon, Stephen's third child - also attended the game as the Warriors played his former franchise.TIP-INSHornets: Charlotte scored 61 points off the bench. ... NBA Handicappers. The Hornets shot 8 of 32 from 3-point range. ... Free Predictions. The Hornets' previous worst loss was by 38 on two occasions.Warriors: The Warriors led 71-49 at halftime for their 15th 70-point half of the season, 10th in a first half. ... Thompson's last 3 of the night in the third gave him 1,788 to pass R ashard Lewis (1,787) for 16th place on the NBA's career list. ... With 15 technicals, Green is one away from an automatic suspension - but last season he played with 15 and avoided a 16th. ''He counted,'' Kerr said. ''He just knows. He knows how many he has and he stops.'' UP NEXTHornets: At Utah on Monday to complete a back-to-back and Charlotte's third game of a four-game road trip.Warriors: Host Nuggets on Tuesday night.--More NBA: and

NHL Game Recap: Calgary Flames (5) vs. San Jose Sharks (3) - 3/31/2019

NHL Game Recap: Calgary Flames (5) vs. San Jose Sharks (3) - Date: 3/31/2019 / SAN JOSE, Calif. The Calgary Flames scored three times in less than two minutes late in the first period on their way to clinching the top spots in the Western Conference and the Pacific Division with a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night. Sean Monahan, Mark Jankowski, Dalton Prout, Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik all scored for Calgary, which won for the eighth time in 11 games. Sports Handicappers Rankings. The Flames will have home-field advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs. It's the first time in 13 years that the Flames have won their division. Sports Handicapping Monitor. Timo Meier and Logan Couture each had a goal and an assist and Kevin Labanc also scored for the Sharks, who lost for the eighth time in nine games after winning six straight. Sports Picks Today. The Flames held San Jose to a season-low 15 shots. The Sharks' previous low was 20 against Boston on Feb. 26. San Jose managed just nine shots through the first two periods, and just three in the second. Calgary trailed 1-0 on Meir's 30th goal when Monahan tied it with his 34th at 14:45 of the first period. Janikowski scored his 34th goal just 31 seconds later, and Prout scored his first of the season at with 3:47 left in the period to put the Flames up 3-1. Sharks goalie Aaron Dell had 23 saves. Backlund scored in the second period, and Frolik in the third to cap the scoring for Calgary. NOTES: Couture has eight points (five goals, three assists) in his last six games. ... Flames C Sam Bennett (lower-body injury) missed his fifth straight game. ... Dell had given up 14 goals in his previous four games. ... Sharks F's Melke r Karlsson and Lukas Radil (lower-body injuries) each missed their second straight game. UP NEXTCalgary: At Los Angeles on Monday night. San Jose: At Vancouver on Tuesday night.---More NHL: and

NBA Game Recap: Washington Wizards (95) vs. Denver Nuggets (90) - 3/31/2019

NBA Game Recap: Washington Wizards (95) vs. Denver Nuggets (90) - Date: 3/31/2019 Apr 01, 2019DENVER Nikola Jokic was bloodied early, upset late, and ultimately boiled over at a critical time for the Denver Nuggets.It wasn't what the cold-shooting Nuggets needed in the heat of a playoff race.Jokic shook off a bloody nose in the first quarter but his temper at a non-call got him ejected late in the fourth. It was the final blow for Denver in a 95-90 loss to the Washington Wizards on Sunday night.Jokic finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds but was in the locker room for the final 3:36, when the Wizards pulled away, leaving the Nuggets struggling down the stretch.''Can't get tossed,'' Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. ''I don't care what they do to him, how bad the refereeing is, foul call, no foul call, it doesn't matter. He's too valuable to this team.'' Tony Brown Jr. scored 24 points, Thomas Bryant and Jabari Parker each had 20 for the Wizards. Washington held Denver to just 28 points in the second half to finish 2-2 on its road trip.''It's great to see Troy have a great game,'' Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. ''Troy has been a good pro, he's had some good guys around him that have helped along the way. It's nice to see him step up against a team that's playing for playoff positioning.'' Denver lost for the third time in five games and saw its lead in the Northwest Division over Portland cut to three games. Sports Handicapper Leaderboard. The Nuggets lead Houston by 2 1/2 games in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.The loss came at price for Denver. Starting point guard Jamal Murray left the game in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle and didn't return. Murray, who missed six games from Jan. 26-Feb. 4 wi th a left ankle sprain, walked out of the Pepsi Center on his own without addressing the media.Without Murray and Jokic in the final minutes, the Wizards closed the game on a 7-2 run.Jokic made 11 of 15 shots and his last make was on a layup with 3:36 left to tie it at 88. He said he was fouled by Bryant and immediately argued with official James Capers. Capers hit him with two quick technical. Bradley Beal made the two free throws and Bryant scored on a layup to put the Wizards up four.''I was fouled. Sports Handicappers. They're going to see it in the (Last Two-Minute Report), they're going to see that it was a foul,'' Jokic said. ''I said, `James he slapped me two hands in the head. I don't know, I swear or something, but he gave me a technical. Hockey Picks. Then I said something back. He said, `Do you want another one,' I said, `I don't care' and he gave me another one.'' It was a rough night all around for Jokic. He scored the first 10 points of the game for Denver and was 7-of-8 shooting when Bobby Portis hit him in the nose with his left hand while going up for a layup. Jokic left the game with a bloody nose and didn't return until midway through the second quarter.Later, Portis wrapped him up on a post-up and rode Jokic's back as the center tried to push him off.''I think our physicality got under his skin a little bit,'' Portis said. ''I think the ref did a great job of us letting us play and being physical with each other.'' Jokic said he didn't have a problem with Portis wrapping him up, calling it just a hard foul, but he said other fouls could have been called.''Sometimes it's really hard,'' he said. ''The ball is in my hands a lot, there's a lot of contact there. I'm n ot going to get every call but the obvious ones at least.'' The Nuggets led by as many as 12 points and were up 72-62 after a 3-pointer by Will Barton with 5:52 left in the third. But Washington scored 13 straight points to take a 75-72 lead. Denver scored just 10 points in the third and missed its last seven shots of the period.Two 3-pointers gave Denver a lead, but a steal and layup by Tomas Satoransky and a 3-pointer by Brown put the Wizards ahead 86-82 with 6:08 remaining.TIP-INSWizards: F Trevor Ariza missed his third straight game with a left groin strain suffered at the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. ... The Wizards play three of their last four games at home.Nuggets: G Isaiah Thomas didn't get off the bench for the seventh straight game and 10th time in the last 11 games. Thomas made his season debut just before the All-Star break but a deep backcourt has kept him out of the rotation. ... Jokic now has 53 double-doubles this season to go with 12 triple-do ubles.COLD BLOODEDDenver shot 53.2 percent in the first half, but was just 10 of 47 from the field in the second half. The Nuggets had 10 points in the third quarter, a season-low for a period, and the 28 points in the second half were also a low for the season.''It was just a bad half in general. A lot going on,'' guard Malik Beasley said. ''We couldn't get anything to fall and had a few bad calls here and there. It happens, we just have to fight through it.'' UP NEXTWizards: Hosts Chicago on Wednesday night.Nuggets: Play at Golden State on Tuesday in a matchup of the top teams in the Western Conference.---More NBA: and

MLB Game Recap: Atlanta Braves (1) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (5) - 3/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Atlanta Braves (1) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (5) - Date: 3/31/2019 Harper homers again to lead Phillies sweep of BravesPHILADELPHIA Bryce Harper homered for the second straight game to cap a fantastic debut weekend and the Philadelphia Phillies completed a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves with a 5-1 win on Sunday night.Harper connected on a solo shot to right off Shane Carle in the seventh inning that had the crowd resuming its ''MVP!'' chants from a day earlier and the Phillie Phanatic dancing atop the dugout. Carle then drilled cleanup hitter Rhys Hoskins on the left shoulder and was ejected from the game, and Phillies fans taunted him with a mock tomahawk chop.The sweep was complete - and it's time for an early reunion.Harper, the hit of the city, is back on familiar turf this week when the Phillies head to Washington for a two-game set with the Nationals.Harper was the No. 1 overall pick by the Nationals in the 2010 amateur draft and was NL Rookie of the Year in 2012 at age 19. He was the 2015 NL MVP when he batted .330 and hit 42 homers. Sports Picking Services. The six-time All-Star outfielder left as a free agent for the Phillies and a 13-year, $330-million contract.''It's just about tonight and trying to get that sweep, then I'll turn that page,'' Harper said.Jake Arrieta (1-0) walked six, struck out six and allowed a run in six innings.Harper was an instant fan favorite in his first series in Philly, and his No. 3 jersey became a baseball best-seller. Harper wore Phanatic cleats, bowed to the crowd - and wowed them Saturday with a 465-foot homer for his first hit.Harper still had Phillies fans in a frenzy, though a windy, chilly night thinned the packed ballpark from the first two games by several thousand for the first night game of the series . Harper walked in the first inning and was left stranded on third when Odubel Herrera struck out with the bases loaded.Harper lined an opposite-field double off the left field wall in the third and had to hustle with a head-first slide into second after watching the ball for a bit.He could have stared all night at his homer.''They are such good fans,'' Harper said Sunday. ''They understand the game. Best Sports Picks Today. They understand sports and their city and things like that. You see Eagles games. You see all these fans. You see Sixers games and things like that, and how supportive they are of all those teams.'' Phillies fans again made signs at the game seemingly as much a necessary accessory as a hot dog and soda. Good Return on Investment. There was a pack of Phillies fans that brought individual letters and held them up to spell ''Harper.'' Another referenced his uniform number with, ''3 Times as Nice with Bryce.'' ''He's connected with people in the ballpark,'' manager Gabe Kapler said. ''He's connected with his teammates. He's connected with the coaching staff. He's connected with the city. He's connected with the fans.'' He walked against lefty Max Fried in the fifth to load the bases for Hoskins. Harper was intentionally walked in the season opener to load the bases and Hoskins hit a grand slam. There was no slam this time, just a walk that was enough to score a run for a 2-1 lead. J. T. Realmuto followed with a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 lead in a hitless inning.Arrieta opened last season as Philadelphia's expected ace but faded late as the Phillies collapsed under the pressure of a pennant race. Arrieta had a 6.82 ERA over his last seven starts and needed offseason surgery on his left knee. Arrieta says he's healthy, focused and ready to regain the form that made him of the NL's best pitchers with the Chicago Cubs.Josh Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, singled for his first hit with the Braves in the third and scored on a passed ball.Andrew McCutchen led off opening day with a homer and he connected again in the third off Braves starter Kyle Wright (0-1) to tie it at 1.TRAINER'S ROOMBraves: Reliever Darren O'Day (forearm) is still only playing catch and there is no timetable on a return.Phillies: SS Jean Segura got drilled on the left arm and had a trainer tend to him in the fifth. He stayed in the game but Wright did not, chased after 4 1/3 innings in his first major league start.CHEERING FOULArrieta had the crowd roaring after he fouled several two-strike pitches off Wright in the fifth. He lined out on the 11th pitch of the at bat and earned a standing ovation.UP NEXTBraves: LHP Sean Newcomb takes the mound for the home opener on Monday in the firs t of a three-game series against the Cubs.Phillies: Harper heads back to where it all started when the Phillies open a two-game set at Washington. RHP Zach Eflin gets the start Tuesday against RHP Max Scherzer.---More baseball: and

NHL Game Recap: Boston Bruins (3) vs. Detroit Red Wings (6) - 3/31/2019

NHL Game Recap: Boston Bruins (3) vs. Detroit Red Wings (6) - Date: 3/31/2019 / DETROIT The Detroit Red Wings are playing their best hockey of the season while perhaps hurting their chances of winning the NHL draft lottery. Anthony Mantha scored three goals for his first NHL hat trick, lifting Detroit to a 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday night. Jimmy Howard had 31 saves for the Red Wings, who have won five straight for the first time this season. Best Sports Picks Service. The run has decreased their odds of getting the No. 1 pick in the draft to possibly select American star Jack Hughes - much to the chagrin of some of their fans.''The fact that our young players are the ones that are driving this winning streak should temper some of those concerns,'' coach Jeff Blashill said. ''These are the guys that are going to make the impac t than anybody we draft.''Taro Hirose scored his first NHL goal early in the third period, just 8 seconds after Mantha completed his hat trick. Top Rated Sports Handicappers. The 24-year-old Mantha scored twice in the opening period to give Detroit a 2-0 lead and scored again 1:17 into the third period to tie the game at 3. Hirose, who signed March 12 as a 22-year-old free agent from Michigan State, put the Red Wings up 4-3 while their fans were still roaring after the tying goal. Filip Hronek, a 21-year-old defenseman, gave Detroit a two-goal cushion with 7:57 remaining in regulation, and 22-year-old captain Dylan Larkin added an empty-net goal in the final minute.''We're just trying to enjoy the last couple of days, last week,'' Mantha said. ''It shows on the ice.''The Bruins, meanwhile, lost three of four games for the second time in March to g ive Toronto a chance to catch them for second place in the Atlantic Division.''We want to get to the point where we could have the luxury of resting people,'' coach Bruce Cassidy said. ''We'd also like to play for what's in front of us, which is second place. We're allowing some of that opportunity to get away.''The Bruins took a one-goal lead into the third period after David Backes redirected a shot into the net with a minute left in the second. Boston's Jake DeBrusk scored early in the second and Brad Marchand tied the game midway through the period with a franchise-record 26th short-handed goal.''It's nice, but it doesn't mean as much when you don't win,'' Marchand said. Jaroslav Halak stopped 22 shots for the Bruins. Even though Detroit will miss the playoffs for a third straight year, Blashill is expected to get a two-year contract extension this week. Soccer Picks. The rebuilding franchise is developing young players such as Mantha and Larkin under Blashill and the team is competing for him even though it has been out of contention for much of the season.''They're competing hard,'' Marchand said. ''They're kind of loose right now. They're feeling it, playing really well.''NOTES: Marchand's short-handed goal broke Boston's record set by Rick Middleton between the late 1970s and late 1980s. ... Detroit D Danny DeKeyser left the game with a lower-body injury. UP NEXTBruins: Play at Columbus on Tuesday. Red Wings: Play Pittsburgh at home Tuesday.---More NHL: and

NBA Game Recap: Sacramento Kings (113) vs. San Antonio Spurs (106) - 3/31/2019

NBA Game Recap: Sacramento Kings (113) vs. San Antonio Spurs (106) - Date: 3/31/2019 Mar 31, 2019SAN ANTONIO The Sacramento Kings will miss the playoffs for the 13th straight season, yet they are seeing definitive signs of progress.Completing the franchise's first sweep of San Antonio a day after being eliminated from the postseason is a big step forward for the young Kings.Buddy Hield scored 26 points and the Kings snapped an 11-game skid in San Antonio, holding on in the fourth quarter and beating the Spurs 113-106 Sunday night.Not even Sacramento's teams that made eight straight playoff appearances beginning in 1999 can claim they went undefeated against the five-time NBA champions. Completing the sweep in resilient fashion is a boost psychologically for a roster that includes 11 players with three years of experience or less.''When you do something that has never been done before, those kinds of things stick with guys,'' Sacramento coach Dave Joerger said.Willie Cauley-Stein added 17 points and all of the Kings' starters scored in double figures. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 15 points off the bench.LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 18 rebounds as San Antonio lost for the fourth time in six games. DeMar DeRozan finished with 16 points and Rudy Gay had 18. Gambling Profit. The Spurs remained seventh in the Western Conference.The Kings had lost two straight and were playing less than 24 hours after being eliminated from the postseason in a loss to Houston on Saturday afternoon. Good Sports Handicappers. That loss clinched the Spurs' 22nd straight postseason appearance.San Antonio came out listless following the playoff clincher and didn't rally until the second half.Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was ejected with 9:04 remaining in the third quarter af ter charging onto the court to berate official Tyler Ford for an out-of-bounds call on Derrick White. On the previous possession, Ford called White for an offensive foul after a Kings player leapt onto him attempting to block a 3-pointer by Bryn Forbes. Ford then called the ball out of bounds against the Spurs when White stripped Harrison Barnes under the basket and the ball appeared to roll off Barnes' leg. Popovich immediately charged the court, drawing the first technical, and then kept yelling at Ford, earning his second.The technical temporarily invigorated the listless Spurs, who went on a 10-7 run after Hield made two free throws following the ejection.Sacramento did not let the elimination affect its performance or spirits against San Antonio.''They're still playing with a sense of urgency, trying to get the most out of it,'' DeRozan said. ''It's just not for this season but going into the summer and next year.'' Kings vete ran Corey Brewer made a pair of free throws to give Sacramento its largest lead at 101-89 with 7:19 remaining. San Antonio rallied, capturing a 106-105 lead on DeRozan's floating jumper with 2:53 remaining.''We didn't die on the vine or feel sorry for ourselves,'' Popovich said.DeRozan's bucket was San Antonio's final points as Sacramento forced five missed shots.''This team's got a lot of resilience,'' said Barnes, who had 15 points. ''We keep attacking.'' TIP-INSKings: Rookie Marvin Bagley missed the game with a stomach illness. Bagley sat after matching a season-high 10 field goals while scoring 20 points. He also made 10 field goals while scoring a season-high 32 points against Phoenix on Feb. 10. . Sacramento's last win in San Antonio came Jan. 20, 2012, as Tyreke Evans had 23 points and 11 rebounds in an 88-86 victory. Basketball Predi ctions. The Kings have won two straight at home over the Spurs. . Sacramento had 20 assists, ending its streak of five straight games with 25-plus assists.Spurs: Aldridge's 18 points in the first quarter were second only to the 19 he scored against Boston on March 24 for the most points in the opening period for the Spurs this season. ... . Aldridge has 22 games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, the most he has had with the Spurs.STILL PLAYINGSacramento has finished below .500 every season since going 44-38 in 2006 ,when it finished eighth in the Western Conference.The Kings can finish .500 by winning three of their final five games. Hield believes Sacramento can accomplish that feat.''For sure, without a doubt,'' Hield said. ''We've just got to come out and be ready to play. We can't overlook and say the season's over. We have a goal, let's get that.''I think that will leave a good mark on the organization and a good mark heading into next season.'' UP NEXTKings: Host Houston on Tuesday night.Spurs: Host Atlanta on Tuesday night.---More NBA: and

NHL Game Recap: Columbus Blue Jackets (4) vs. Buffalo Sabres (0) - 3/31/2019

NHL Game Recap: Columbus Blue Jackets (4) vs. Buffalo Sabres (0) - Date: 3/31/2019 / BUFFALO, N. Y. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 38 shots and the Columbus Blue Jackets won their fifth straight by beating the free-falling Buffalo Sabres 4-0 on Sunday night. Las Vegas Handicappers. The Blue Jackets continued to close in on their third straight playoff berth while entering the final week of the season. With 94 points, they jumped into seventh-place in the Eastern Conference standings, a point ahead of Carolina and two up on idle Montreal. Bobrovsky took over the NHL lead with his ninth shutout - one more than Vegas' Marc-Andre Fleury - and third in five games. Nick Foligno capped a three-goal first period and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored his 25th and added two assists. Oliver Bjorkstrand and Josh Anderson had a goal each for a Columbus team that has scored four or more in each of its past five, a stretch in which the Blue Jackets have outscored their opponents by a combined 24-4. Football Picks. The Sabres appeared lifeless in adding yet another dud to what has been a lengthy second-half collapse, and raised further questions as to whether the players have quit on second-year coach Phil Housley. A large group of fans in the upper level - within earshot of where Sabres general manager Jason Botterill sits - began chanting ''Fire Housley'' during a break four minutes into the third period. Buffalo was shut out for the seventh time this season and fifth time in 12 outings. Linus Ullmark made 32 saves in dropping to 0-6-1 in his past seven - a stretch during which he has allowed 25 goals. Buffalo was coming off a 5-1 loss at the New York Islanders on Saturday, and dropped to 0-6-1 in its past seven and 1-12-1 over its past 14. Profitable Sports Handicappers. The slump actually began in late November after the Sabres briefly took over first place in the overall standings following a 10-game win streak. Buffalo has since gone 14-32-8 in a slide that has tumbled them into 27th overall. Columbus, playing a night after a 5-2 win at Nashville, was being outshot 7-1 through the first 6:20, before closing the period by scoring three times on its next 12 shots. Dubois opened the scoring 7:14 in, when Seth Jones' shot from the right circle banked in off him and into the open left side. Bjorkstrand scored 6 1/2 minutes later by one-timing in Dubois' pass into the high slot. Foligno capped the run by drawing Ullmark away from the right post before circling behind the net and wrapping the puck in off the stick of Buffalo defenseman Brandon Montour with 2:13 left. The Sabres were booed off the ice after each of the first two periods. And one of the louder cheers came when t he public address announcer noted there was one minute left in the second period. Bobrovsky wasn't really tested until the third period, with his best stops coming eight minutes in. First, he got his blocker up to turn aside Montour's shot from the right point, and Bobrovsky recovered in time to kick out his right pad in stopping Jeff Skinner attempting to convert the rebound in front. NOTES: Blue Jackets improved their road record to 23-14-2 and matched the single-season franchise mark for road wins set in 2014-15, when they went 23-15-3. ... Sabres D Jake McCabe returned after missing 13 games with a shoulder injury. ... Blue Jackets have 246 goals, one short of matching franchise single-season record set in 2016-17. UP NEXTBlue Jackets: Seek to extend season-best five-game home winning streak in regular-season home finale against Boston on Tuesday. Sabres: Host Nashville Predators on Tuesday.---More NHL: and

NBA Game Recap: Los Angeles Lakers (130) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (102) - 3/31/2019

NBA Game Recap: Los Angeles Lakers (130) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (102) - Date: 3/31/2019 Mar 31, 2019NEW ORLEANS Alex Caruso scored a career-high 23 points in just his 20th NBA game of the season, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 130-102 on Sunday night.JaVale McGee had 23 points and 16 rebounds, and former Pelican Rajon Rondo added 24 points and 12 assists for Los Angeles in a game missing both teams' biggest stars: the Lakers' LeBron James and the Pelicans' Anthony Davis.Former Laker Julius Randle scored 17 points for New Orleans in 23 minutes before leaving the game to have an X-ray on his left index finger, which the team said came back negative.Caruso is a two-way player who has spent much of this season in the G League with the South Bay Lakers. Against New Orleans, he had teammates rising off the bench and doing brief celebratory dances as he pulled up decisively and accurately from ou tside, hitting all four of his 3-point shots. He also had a steal that set up his breakaway tomahawk dunk.Caruso scored 12 of his points in the third quarter, when the Lakers outscored the Pelicans 44-22 to open up a 105-84 lead.Christian Wood, acquired recently by New Orleans after Milwaukee placed him on waivers, had 15 points and 11 rebounds, marking the third time in just four games with his new club that he has scored in double digits. He had scored 25 and 23 points in his previous two games.Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 19 and Reggie Bullock 18 for the Lakers, who won't be going to the playoffs but have won four of five as they try to build toward next season.TIP-INSLakers: F Kyle Kuzma was ruled out shortly before tip-off. He was added to the club's injury report with left foot tendinitis. Kuzma has played in 70 of 77 games this season. Coach Luke Walton suggested Kuzma would return to the lineup before the end of this season, if cleared. ''One of hi s best attributes is how much he loves to play basketball and compete, so if he can, he'll get out there,'' Walton said. ... While James has yet to comment publicly about the Lakers' decision to sit him for the final six regular season games to rest his sore left groin, Walton said James would have continued playing if the decision was left up to the player. ''He wants to play,'' Walton said ''The medical staff has finally said, `Look, it's just not worth it anymore. Let's make sure we have a healthy summer.'... His health is the top priority with the fact that we're out of the playoffs.'' ... C Mike Muscala had 10 points off the bench.Pelicans: G Frank Jackson missed his second straight game since being diagnosed with a concussion. ... F Darius Miller missed his first game since being diagnosed Friday with a left adductor strain. With his recovery time expected to range between one or two weeks, it's uncle ar if he'll play again this season. ... G E'Twaun Moore missed his 11th straight game with a bruised left quadriceps.UP NEXTLakers: Visit Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.Pelicans: Host Charlotte on Wednesday night.---More NBA: and

MLB Game Recap: Boston Red Sox (8) vs. Seattle Mariners (10) - 3/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Boston Red Sox (8) vs. Seattle Mariners (10) - Date: 3/31/2019 Narvaez, Bruce homer as Mariners beat Red Sox 10-8SEATTLE Omar Narvaez hit a three-run homer off Rick Porcello in Seattle's seven-run third inning, and the Mariners beat the Boston Red Sox 10-8 on Sunday.Dee Gordon had two hits and three RBIs as Seattle put together another impressive performance at the plate. Sports Handicapper King. The Mariners scored 34 times while taking three of four from the defending World Series champions in their first series at home.Jay Bruce also connected for Seattle, and Mitch Haniger had two hits and two RBIs. Professional Sports Handicappers. The Mariners have 15 homers so far, hitting at least one in each of their six games.Porcello (0-1) allowed nine runs, four earned, and six hi ts in 2 2/3 innings. Best Free Sports Picks. The 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner struck out three and walked four.Starters Porcello, Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi and Eduardo Rodriguez combined to give up 22 earned runs on 27 hits in the four games against Seattle.Cory Gearrin came on to pitch the ninth for Seattle and walked the bases loaded with one out. Gearrin was then replaced by Chasen Bradford, who walked pinch hitter Blake Swihart to force in a run before retiring Christian Vazquez and Jackie Bradley Jr. to end the game.Bradford is the third pitcher to record a save for the Mariners this season.Narvaez's drive to right put Seattle ahead to stay. Haniger capped the big inning with a two-run double.Mariners starter Wade LeBlanc (1-0) allowed six runs, four earned, and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.J. D. Martinez hit an RBI single in Boston's three-run first, and then belted a three-run drive in the fourth fo r his second homer this season.TRAINER'S ROOMRed Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee) played in an extended spring training game. Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Pedroia would play in another on Tuesday before beginning a rehab assignment at Single-A Greenville. ... OF Andrew Benintendi was out of the starting lineup after fouling a ball off his right knee on Saturday. He walked as a pinch hitter in the ninth.Mariners: Closer Hunter Strickland, who was placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday with a right lat strain, will likely be out a couple of months, manager Scott Servais said.UP NEXTRed Sox: LHP David Price will make his first start of the season as Boston opens a four-game series at Oakland on Monday.Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez opens his season in the first of a two-game series at home against the Angels on Monday. This is the first season since 2008 that Hernandez did not start on opening day for Seattle.

NHL Game Recap: Carolina Hurricanes (1) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (3) - 3/31/2019

NHL Game Recap: Carolina Hurricanes (1) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (3) - Date: 3/31/2019 / PITTSBURGH Matt Cullen is well-versed in the electricity that creeps into a locker room when the games dwindle down to a precious few and the playoffs loom. It's one of the main reasons the veteran Pittsburgh Penguins center - at 42 the NHL's oldest player - keeps coming back for more. When Cullen arrived at work Sunday for Pittsburgh's pivotal showdown with Carolina, the vibe was unmistakable and familiar. So was the result. Cullen scored a goal and added an assist and the Penguins took a major step toward locking up a postseason spot for a 13th consecutive year with a 3-1 victory over the Hurricanes.''We had a real playoff feel in here which is good and the energy in the building was great,'' Cullen said. ''It was a big game for our team. Obviously it's a huge two points.''Pittsbur gh sits at 97 points with three games left in the regular season. World's Best Handicapper. The Penguins need two points - be it a victory in any fashion, a pair of overtime losses or any single loss by Montreal - to extend the NHL's longest active postseason streak.''I think we still have some really good opportunities in front of us,'' Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. ''Until that regular season is over, we've got to continue to grab points. We've got to make the playoffs first and foremost. Basketball Picks. Then we can look at the opportunities beyond. Handicapper Return on Investment. This was a big opportunity tonight.''Carolina's bid to reach the postseason for the first time in a decade took a hit. The loss combi ned with Columbus' win in Buffalo dropped the Hurricanes to the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Carolina has 93 points, just one ahead of the Canadiens with a week to go. Jaccob Slavin's power-play goal with just under eight minutes to go spoiled Murray's bid for a shutout but by then the Penguins were firmly in control. Curtis McElhinney finished with 25 saves while losing for the third time in four starts. A day removed from a lopsided win in Philadelphia, the Hurricanes spent the first two periods running in place against Pittsburgh.''Just didn't have any jump, I guess,'' Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk said. ''We were pretty flat. We didn't make smart decisions. It cost us, I think.''Playing without injured stars Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, the Penguins relied on their depth and the kind of defensive grit they've lacked at times their at times wildly uneven season. Carolina came in leading the NHL in shots per game (34.5) and while it did manage to eventually get 38 on Murray, Pittsburgh blocked 23 others and clogged the ice in front of its goaltender.''We didn't really get to our game until about halfway through and then it's pretty much you're just chasing it and it's tough,'' Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. Cullen and fourth-line mates Garrett Wilson and Adam Johnson provided the Penguins an early jolt. Wilson put the Penguins in front just past the midway point of the first period, crashing the net following a feed by Cullen from the corner and then jabbing at the puck until it emerged from the pile of bodies surrounding McElhinney and slid across the goal line. Cullen, playing in his 1,513th career game - one shy of tying Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman for 19th on the NHL's all-time list - doubled Pittsburgh's advantage late in the first period when he and Olli Maatta broke in on McElhinn ey 2-on-1. Cullen looked at Maatta, but opted to zip a wrist shot from the right circle that sailed over McElhinney's right arm and into the net for his seventh of the season. Patric Hornqvist, who left briefly in the first period when his head hit the boards while getting checked by Carolina's Dougie Hamilton, earned a measure of revenge 46 seconds into the third period when he collected a blind backhanded drop pass from Dominik Simon and beat McElhinney from the bottom of the right circle. The goal was Hornqvist's 18th of the year and his first non-power play tally since Jan. 6. Carolina mustered little in response. The Hurricanes didn't reach double digits on the shot counter until the middle of the second period. When Carolina did find space, Murray either came up with the stop or the Hurricanes couldn't get the bounce they needed. NOTES: Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan exited with an upper-body injury after getting pushed to the ice by Pittsburgh� 39;s Jake Guentzel. De Haan will return to Carolina for tests. ... Letang, Malkin, F Zach Aston-Reese and D Chad Ruhwedel all skated Sunday morning, but remain out with injuries. ... The Hurricanes went 1 for 2 on the power play. The Penguins were 0 for 1. ... The teams split the season series 2-2. ... Johnson picked up the first two assists of his career for Pittsburgh. UP NEXTHurricanes: Visit Toronto on Tuesday. Penguins: Begin a home-and-home series with the Red Wings on Tuesday in Detroit.---More NHL: and

NHL Game Recap: Minnesota Wild (0) vs. Arizona Coyotes (4) - 3/31/2019

NHL Game Recap: Minnesota Wild (0) vs. Arizona Coyotes (4) - Date: 3/31/2019 / GLENDALE, Ariz. Darcy Kuemper has gone from backup to backstop in goal for Arizona this season. Kuemper made 36 saves for his second straight home shutout and Josh Archibald had two goals as the Coyotes continued a playoff push with a 4-0 victory over Minnesota in the closest thing to a playoff elimination game each team has faced this season.''We wouldn't be where we are at without his game,'' Coyotes forward Alex Galchenyuk said of Kuemper. ''Again tonight, he made a couple of game-changing saves. He's been our best player the whole year. You have to give him all the credit.''Kuemper began the season behind Antti Raanta, but took over when Raanta suffered a season-ending lower-body injury in late November. Kuemper has career highs in starts (53) and victories (26) and has started 20 straight games, t ied for third-longest for a goalie in franchise history.''A lot of guys are feeding off him,'' Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. ''He's calm during the off days. He's calm during practice and he's calm during the game. Free Sports Picks Daily. That exudes a lot of confidence to your players when your goalie is like that.''Goalies can do that to a team, lift a team, and obviously, `Kemps' is the heartbeat of our team.''Kuemper had his second shutout in three games overall, and the Coyotes moved within one point of Colorado for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference with three games to play. Sports Handicapper Records. The Avalanche have four games remaining. Sports Bettors Phone Leads. The Coyotes, who have not made t he playoffs since 2012, have won 10 of their last 12 at home. One of Kuemper's key saves came with three minutes remaining, when he stopped a rising slap shot from the slot by Brad Hunt with three minutes remaining to keep the game 2-0, Kuemper shut out Chicago 1-0 on Tuesday and has three shutouts in March.''It feels good,'' Kuemper said. ''Huge win. It keeps us alive. The guys did a great job in front of me. They allowed me to see it (puck). It always takes a full team to get a shutout, and we had everyone tonight. We need some help. We need Colorado to lose. But we feel like if we win these last three, we have a good chance here.''Devan Dubnyk made 19 saves for the Wild, who have lost eight of 11 since beating Tampa Bay 3-0 on March 7, when they were three points ahead of Arizona and four points ahead of Colorado for the second wild-card spot in the west. The Wild pulled Dubnyk with 2:59 left. Galchenyuk scored his 18th goal in the first period, and Archibald and Vinnie Hinostroza had empty-netters in the final two minutes for the Coyotes (38-33-8), who have rebounded after losing six of seven, including one in overtime and two by shootout. They had nine goals in those seven games. Galchenyuk poked a loose puck past Dubnyk at 7:48 of the first period after Oliver Ekman-Larsson flipped a shot on net from the left circle and Dubnyk could not control the bouncing puck.''Keep fighting,'' Galchenyuk said. ''Same approach we've had for the last month or two now. Same mentality. We keep pushing. We're still in it. A couple of games left. We have to battle it out.''The Wild's Jason Zucker had a breakaway with six minutes left in the first period, but could not get off a shot when Niklas Hjalmarsson was penalized for slashing. The Coyotes killed the penalty to preserve their lead. Archibald gave the Coyotes a 2-0 lead in the final minute of the second period when he skated in on the right side and beat Dubnyk with a wrist shot high to the glove side. NOTES: Coyotes F Nick Schmaltz to a seven-year contract extension through the 2025-26 season on Saturday. Schmaltz has five goals and 14 points in 17 games with the Coyotes after being acquired from Chicago on Nov. 25. He has not played since Dec. 30 because of a lower-body injury. ... Wild F Zach Parise (lower-body injury) missed his fourth straight game. He has a team-high 26 goals. ... The Wild finish the season with home games against Winnipeg and Boston and a road game at Dallas. All have clinched playoff berths. ... Dubnyk leads NHL goalies in games (66) and road victories (19) this season. UP NEXTWild: Play host to Winnipeg on Tuesday. The Wild have won the first four games of the five-game season series. Coyotes: Play host to Los Angeles on Tuesday.---More NHL: and

MLB Game Recap: Baltimore Orioles (7) vs. New York Yankees (5) - 3/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Baltimore Orioles (7) vs. New York Yankees (5) - Date: 3/31/2019 Nunez, Orioles top Yankees 7-5 to take season-opening seriesNEW YORK Renato Nunez, Trey Mancini and Joey Rickard hit Baltimore's first home runs of the year and the Orioles started strong at Yankee Stadium, beating New York 7-5 Sunday in a game delayed more than three hours by rain.Coming off a 115-loss season under Buck Showalter, the Orioles and new manager Brandon Hyde opened by taking two of three from the 100-win Yankees. Baltimore hadn't won two in a row since August.DJ LeMahieu hit an RBI single with two outs in the Yankees ninth off Mychal Givens. Paul Fry relieved with two on and two outs and struck out pinch-hitter Troy Tulowitzki for his first save.Nunez hit a three-run drive into the bleachers in the first inning and Mancini made it 4-0 in the third. J. A. Happ (0-1) never settled in - the first pitch was held up by rain for 3 ho urs, 17 minutes, and it was 47 degrees and windy when the game began.Only a couple thousand fans were left in the seats when it ended almost four hours later.John Means (1-0) replaced shaky starter Dylan Bundy and got the win in his second major league game. Basketball Picks. The 25-year-old lefty struck out five in 3 1/3 innings, keeping the Yankees guessing with changeups and breaking balls.After Gary Sanchez homered off Means in the seventh to pull the Yankees within 5-4, Rickard connected for a two-run homer in the eighth off Stephen Tarpley.Givens made a throwing error that helped the Yankees load the bases in the eighth, but he retired Luke Voit on a grounder to escape.Bundy had an uneven outing a year after he tied for the most losses in the majors (16) and set a franchise record by serving a big league-high 41 home runs. He struck out seven, walked five and gave up two hits in 3 2/3 innings.Means relieved with the bases loaded and walked Brett Gardner in an 11-pitch at-bat, making it 4-1. Aaron Judge followed with a two-run single before Means, hit hard at Fenway Park last September in his only previous major league appearance, found his rhythm.A decent number of fans weathered the delay and stuck around for the start. Number #1 Sports Handicapping Service. Their biggest cheers in the early innings came when the sun broke while Judge batted and after Gleyber Torres captured a plastic bag that was blowing around the infield.TRAINER'S ROOMOrioles: Chris Davis was back in the lineup, a day after sitting out vs. LHP James Paxton. Sports Handicapping. The slumping slugger went 0 for 3 after striking out in all three at-bats in the opener.Yankees: RHP Dellin Betances (shoulder) threw a bullpen session Saturday and will throw one more before facing hit ters on the side.UP NEXTOrioles: RHP David Hess makes his first start of the season, facing LHP Clayton Richard at Toronto on Monday night. Hess threw two scoreless innings in relief on opening day. The 25-year-old was 3-10 with a 4.88 ERA as a rookie last year.Yankees: RHP Domingo German (2-6, 5.57) will pitch at some point vs. Detroit at home Monday night, but manager Aaron Boone isn't quite sure when. A reliever might start with an inning or two, or it could be German from the first pitch. RHP Tyson Ross starts for the Tigers.---More MLB: and

MLB Game Recap: Chicago Cubs (10) vs. Texas Rangers (11) - 3/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Chicago Cubs (10) vs. Texas Rangers (11) - Date: 3/31/2019 Rangers top Cubs 11-10 after falling behind former ace againARLINGTON, Texas Joey Gallo scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Texas Rangers outscored the Chicago Cubs 11-10 on Sunday after falling behind one of their former aces for the second straight day.With one out in the ninth and the Cubs playing five infielders, Gallo raced home from third base when Pedro Strop's pitch to Nomar Mazara bounced past catcher Willson Contreras and high onto the net behind home plate to give the Rangers a series win after the Cubs' 12-4 victory on opening day.Jose Leclerc (1-0) stopped a Chicago rally and got the last four outs for Texas. Strop (0-1) allowed Gallo's leadoff double in the ninth, a high drive just over leaping left fielder Ben Zobrist at the wall.Cole Hamels couldn't hold a 4-0 lead, allowing Delino DeShields' ; first career grand slam for a 5-4 deficit a day after Yu Darvish took the mound for Chicago up 3-0 before walking seven of his first 13 hitters and failing to get through the third inning.The Japanese star who spent his first five-plus major league seasons with the Rangers was long gone by the time the Cubs finally lost the lead on Gallo's three-run homer in the eighth inning of an 8-6 Texas win.Chicago answered DeShields' slam with a barrage of run-scoring singles before reliever Mike Montgomery gave up a tying, two-run triple to Mazara and Asdrubal Cabrera's second two-run homer in two days, a high fly that grazed the foul pole in left for a 10-8 Texas lead.The Cubs got even again in the eighth on Anthony Rizzo's first homer , an upper-deck solo shot to right, and Daniel Descalso's third hit - one of seven RBI singles for the Cubs.Jason Heyward, Zobrist, Rizzo and Javier Baez drove in a run apiece in the sixth inning before Jeff Mathis, celebrating hi s 36th birthday, homered to get Texas to 8-6.Hamels, acquired from the Rangers before the July 31 trade deadline last year, lost his shutout on Cabrera's sacrifice fly in the fourth. Consecutive walks from the left-hander set up DeShields' liner into the first row above the 14-foot wall in left field.Lance Lynn lost his only lead in his Texas debut by allowing a double to Descalso and Heyward's run-scoring hit to start the sixth. Lynn came out after Zobrist's second RBI single, and Jesse Chavez gave up singles to all three hitters he faced.Kyle Schwarber opened the scoring with his second solo homer in two games, a shot to left in the second that Cubs reliever Randy Rosario snagged in his cap while sitting in a bullpen chair.UP NEXTCubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks is set for Atlanta's home opener on Monday. Hendricks, who led the Cubs with a career-high 33 starts last season, is 1-0 with a 2.33 ERA in four appearances against the Braves.Rangers: LHP Drew Smyly is scheduled for his first major league start since September 2016 in his Texas debut at home against Houston on Monday. Smyly, acquired from the Cubs in November, had Tommy John surgery in July 2017.---More MLB: and

NCAAB Game Recap: Michigan State (68) vs. Duke (67) - 3/31/2019

NCAAB Game Recap: Michigan State (68) vs. Duke (67) - Date: 3/31/2019 Mar 31, 2019WASHINGTON Cassius Winston put Michigan State on his shoulders and carried the Spartans into the Final Four for the first time since 2015.The do-everything point guard took over the game when his team faced its biggest deficit and led second-seeded Michigan State to a 68-67 victory over Duke that likely ended Zion Williamson's collegiate career.Williamson, the presumptive top pick in the NBA Draft and the biggest star of this NCAA Tournament, had a game-high 24 points and 14 rebounds for Duke. But it was Winston who stole the show with 20 points and 10 assists. He made nine of his 23 shots and never shied away from taking it at Duke and shooting at nearly every opportunity in the East Region final Sunday.''Now is not the time to doubt yourself,'' Winston said. ''We've been working, we've been playing all year to get to these moments. Now's not the time to shy away from those big moments.'' The biggest moment is yet to come.Michigan State will play Texas Tech in one national semifinal Saturday in Minneapolis. Virginia faces Auburn in the other.''We're not done yet, and it feels good,'' senior guard Matt McQuaid said.Winston was the facilitator but the Spartans received a huge boost from their oldest player. Kenny Goins, a fifth-year senior who missed his first four 3-point attempts, drained the go-ahead shot with 34.3 seconds left to put Michigan State up 68-66.''I was out there, great pass, trusted it and let it go and it went down,'' Goins said. ''As soon as I let it go, I knew it was good. I was ready to celebrate, but I knew I had to get back on defense.'' Duke had the chance to tie but Barrett missed the first of two free throws with 5.2 seconds left. Duke was helpless with only four fouls, and Winston was able to g et the ball away from the Duke defenders and dribble out the clock.''There wasn't enough time so I tried to miss the second one and it went in,'' Barrett said.Michigan State is in the Final Four for the eighth time under coach Tom Izzo, who beat Duke's Mike Krzyzewski for just the second time in 13 meetings and second time in seven NCAA Tournament games. Izzo is in the Final Four for the eighth time in his career and tied Krzyzewski what would have been a record 13th appearance.''I love you all, I appreciate you all. I'll see you in Minneapolis'' Izzo, who wiped away tears, told the celebrating crowd that included Michigan State alumnus Magic Johnson.Izzo had to navigate foul trouble to big man Xavier Tillman, who was essential in guarding Williamson and factoring in on the offensive end. Handicapper Directory. Tillman played 29 minutes and scored 19 points on 8 of 12 shoot ing.Duke fell one step short of the Final Four after finally coming out on the losing end of a nail-biter. Free Sports Picks Today. The Blue Devils won their previous two NCAA Tournament games by a combined three points, and escaped in the final seconds only when their opponents missed at the buzzer.Falling short likely ended the college career of Williamson, the freshman sensation expected to leave Duke for the NBA. Interest in Williamson has been so high that CBS dedicated a camera to his every move in the NCAA Tournament.''We're very upset, obviously, but congrats to Michigan State,'' Williamson said. ''Just looking around the locker room and see your teammates, your brothers and you just think this group will probably never play together again.'' RJ Barrett had 21 points - but not the one that could have sent the game into overtime. Best Sports Handicapping Services. That's thanks in large part to Winston, who made or assisted on 19 of Michigan State's 30 shots.''Winston was the difference maker,'' Krzyzewski said. ''He's the best guard we've played against.'' REDDISH BACKCam Reddish didn't start for Duke but the freshman was the first player off the bench two minutes in after being a game-time decision. Reddish missed the Sweet 16 victory against Virginia Tech on Friday with a left knee injury.Reddish missed his first two shots before his two free throws gave Duke its first lead at 22-21 with 7:10 left in the first half. Reddish finished with eight points on 2 of 8 shooting.''Obviously it was sore or whatever but I wanted to be out there with my guys,'' Reddish said.MCQUAID'S HIGHLIGHTSMcQuaid dunked the ball in the first half and in the second half had a 360 up-and-under layup that should be a regular feature on highlight reels.''I don't know what got into me,'' McQuaid said.UP NEXTWhile this is the Spartans' 10th Final Four, it's the first in program history for their opponent, Texas Tech, which beat Gonzaga to win the West Region.---More college basketball: and

MLB Game Recap: Arizona Diamondbacks (7) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (8) - 3/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Arizona Diamondbacks (7) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (8) - Date: 3/31/2019 Pollock, Dodgers rally in eighth to beat Diamondbacks 8-7LOS ANGELES A. J. Pollock hit a key two-run double during an eighth-inning rally to help the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-7 on Saturday.Pollock tied it at 7 with a shot down the line against Yoshihisa Hirano and advanced to third when right fielder Adam Jones misplayed it. Pollock, a former Diamondback who signed with Los Angeles as a free agent this offseason, scored on Max Muncy's sacrifice fly.Pollock had two hits in the game and six RBIs over the four-game season-opening series against Arizona. Profitable Handicappers. The Dodgers went 3-1.Cody Bellinger hit his fourth homer and had three hits, and Alex Verdugo drove in two.Dylan Floro (1-0), the sixth Los Angeles pitcher, worked an inning of scor eless relief. Kenley Jansen got his first save.Ketel Marte and Nick Ahmed each had two hits and two RBIs for Arizona. Starting pitcher Luke Weaver homered in his first game with Arizona but allowed five runs and six hits over 4 1/3 innings. Weaver's homer came during a seven-run fourth, in which the Diamondbacks took a 7-4 lead. Good Sports Handicappers. The right-hander was part of the return from St. Louis in exchange for slugger Paul Goldschmidt.Los Angeles jumped ahead with three runs in the first and one in the third. Sports Predictions. The Dodgers got their first three batters aboard in the first before Enrique Hernandez had a one-out sacrifice fly and Verdugo hit a two-run double to the gap in right-center.Bellinger extended the lead to 4-0 in the third with a home run to center on a 3-2 fastball by Weaver that he left near the middle of the zon e.Walker Buehler allowed one hit over the first three innings before Arizona got to him the second time through the order. The right-hander allowed five runs and five hits in his season debut.Ildemaro Vargas led off the fourth with a double and scored on David Peralta's single to center. Marte's two-run single chased Buehler, and Ahmed's two-run double off Pedro Baez gave Arizona a 5-4 lead. Weaver gave himself some insurance with a two-run homer to left on Baez's fastball.RECORD BOOKThe Dodgers set a franchise record with 42 runs in the four-game series. The previous mark was 37, set May 9-12, 1974 against San Diego.TRAINER'S ROOMDiamondbacks: Pitcher T. J. McFarland is scheduled to throw his next bullpen session Tuesday. The left-hander is on the 10-day injured list due to inflammation in his left shoulder.Dodgers: Shortstop Corey Seager and third baseman Justin Turner were not in the starting lineup. Manager Dave Roberts said he prefers not to sit both on the same day, but Friday's 13-inning game and Sunday being a day game after a night game were what prompted the move. Seager did come on as a pinch-hitter.UP NEXTDiamondbacks: Merrill Kelly will make his major league debut Monday when Arizona opens a three-game series in San Diego. The right-hander, who was selected in the eighth round by Tampa Bay in 2010, has spent the last four seasons with the SK Wyverns in Korea.Dodgers: Left-hander Julio Urias makes his season debut as Los Angeles opens a three-game set with San Francisco on Monday. Urias was limited to four innings of relief in three games last season after missing most of the year due to shoulder surgery.---Follow Joe Reedy at MLB: and

MLB Game Recap: San Francisco Giants (1) vs. San Diego Padres (3) - 3/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: San Francisco Giants (1) vs. San Diego Padres (3) - Date: 3/31/2019 Machado, Paddack lead Padres to 3-1 win vs GiantsSAN DIEGO Manny Machado brought in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded grounder in the seventh inning, Chris Paddack struck out seven in five impressive innings in his major league debut and the San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 Sunday.Four pitchers combined on a two-hitter for the Padres, who took three of four from the Giants.Giants manager Bruce Bochy had Nick Vincent (0-1) walk Eric Hosmer to load the bases with one in the seventh to bring up Machado. Sam Dyson came on, and Machado grounded to shortstop Brandon Crawford. He got the force at second, but Machado beat Joe Panik's relay to first as Hunter Renfroe scored.It was Machado's first RBI with San Diego, who signed the All-Star slugger to a $300 million, 10-year contract early in spring training.Austin Hedges added an RBI single in the eighth.Vincent, who grew up in nearby Ramona, allowed one run and three hits in 1 1/3 innings in relief of Jeff Samardzija.Adam Warren (1-0) pitched two hitless innings for his first win with San Diego. Kirby Yates pitched the ninth for his third save in three chances.Paddack, 23, had an impressive debut. Relying on a fastball and changeup, he retired his first 10 batters, six by strikeout, including the fanning the side in the second. He walked Panik with one out in the fourth and got out of the inning when he struck out Yangervis Solarte and Panik was thrown out trying to steal second.The Giants broke through against the tall Texan in the fifth when Crawford singled to right with one out and scored on Pablo Sandoval's double to center.The Padres got Paddack off the hook for a loss in the bottom of the inning. Franchy Cordero walked while pinch-hitting for Paddack, advanced on Sandoval's throwing error and scored on Eric Hosmer's single to right.Paddack, the only right-hander in San Diego's rotation, pitched his way onto the opening day roster with a stellar spring. He made the jump from Double-A, where he pitched only 37 2/3 innings last season after starting out in Class A. He pitched just 90 innings last year after missing all of 2017 while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.Paddack poked a line drive into right with the bases loaded in his first career plate appearance, but outfielder Gerardo Parra threw him out at first base.Samardzija, coming off an injury-marred season, allowed an unearned run and three hits in five innings while striking out two and walking four.TRAINER'S ROOMGiants: 3B Evan Longoria was off Sunday after fouling a ball off his left calf during his second at-bat in Saturday night's victory. He left the game after the top of the sixth.UP NEXTGiants: LHP Drew Pomeranz makes his season debut vs. LHP Julio Urias in the opener of a three-game series at the Los Angeles Dodgers.Padr es: LHP Matt Strahm makes his season debut for San Diego. He made five starts as an opener last year as he was eased back from surgery on his torn left patellar tendon the previous season while with Kansas City. He threw 61 1/3 innings in 41 appearances last year.---More baseball: and

MLB Game Recap: Los Angeles Angels (1) vs. Oakland Athletics (2) - 3/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Los Angeles Angels (1) vs. Oakland Athletics (2) - Date: 3/31/2019 Davis homers again to lead A's past Angels 2-1OAKLAND, Calif. Khris Davis homered for the fourth time in six games, Frankie Montas pitched into the seventh inning and the Oakland Athletics beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 on Sunday.Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman had two hits apiece for the A's, who took three of four from the Angels after getting swept by Seattle in a two-game series in Tokyo to start the season.Montas (1-0) allowed three hits and struck out six in a splendid outing for the young right-hander. He gave up a leadoff double and hit Mike Trout with a pitch to begin the game, then retired 16 straight batters before Kole Calhoun connected for a two-out homer in the sixth.Calhoun's homer was the first by the Angels this season and the only run they scored off an Oakland starter in 24 innings during the series. Los Angeles was held to two runs or fewer in three of the four games.Davis remained the hottest A's hitter with his third home run in four days, a towering shot off starter Tyler Skaggs (0-1) leading off the fourth. Sports Handicapping Service Winning Streaks. The slugger led the majors with 48 home runs in 2018.Semien doubled in the fifth and scored on Chapman's two-out single.Lou Trivino retired three batters after Montas allowed a leadoff double in the seventh. Joakim Soria pitched the eighth and Blake Treinen worked the ninth for his second save.Skaggs took a scoreless streak of 17 1/3 innings at the Coliseum into the game before Davis' home run. Sports Handicapper Reviews. The Angels left-hander allowed two runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out two, giving him 400 for his career.TRAINER'S ROOMAngels: Albert Pujols did not start but grounde d out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. . RHP Jesus Castillo cleared waivers and was sent outright to Double-A Mobile. Castillo was designated for assignment last week to make room for OF Brian Goodwin.Athletics: RHP Chris Bassitt (bruised right leg) threw 40 pitches in a side session before the game. Oakland manager Bob Melvin said Bassitt might face hitters in the next step of his rehab program.UP NEXTAngels: RHP Chris Stratton, acquired in a trade with San Francisco, makes his Angels debut Monday in Seattle. Stratton went 10-10 with a 5.09 ERA last season.Athletics: RHP Aaron Brooks faces the Red Sox in the opener of a four-game series Monday at the Coliseum. Brooks has pitched against Boston once, as a reliever in 2015.---More MLB:? and?

NBA Game Recap: Dallas Mavericks (106) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (103) - 3/31/2019

NBA Game Recap: Dallas Mavericks (106) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (103) - Date: 3/31/2019 Mar 31, 2019OKLAHOMA CITY Trey Burke had 25 points and eight assists, Dwight Powell scored the winning basket on a dunk with 21 seconds left and the Dallas Mavericks, playing without star rookie Luka Doncic, stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder 106-103 on Sunday.Jalen Brunson had 18 points, Devin Harris added 15 and Dirk Nowitzki - playing perhaps his final game in Oklahoma City - grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds to go with seven points for the Mavericks, who were 3-17 over their previous 20 games.Russell Westbrook had 25 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his 30th triple-double of the season and Paul George had 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder, which had sealed a Western Conference playoff spot Saturday when the Sacramento Kings lost. But Oklahoma City has struggled since the All-Star break, going 7-13.Dallas led 93-84 after Burk e made one of two free throws with 6:50 left, but Oklahoma City used a 14-4 run and went ahead 98-97 with 1:59 left on two free throws by George, the first of six lead changes in the final two minutes.Burke scored on a tough, driving basket with 1:15 left to put Dallas back up 100-98, but George answered with a 3-pointer with 1:09 left. Brunson hit a 17-foot jumper with 49.1 seconds and the Mavericks went ahead 102-101 before Jerami Grant's layup - off an inbounds pass from Westbrook - put Oklahoma City up 103-102 with 32.8 seconds left.Brunson passed to Powell for the dunk with 21 seconds left and Dallas again took the lead. Dennis Schroder and George each missed a 3-point attempt for the Thunder before Dallas' Ryan Broekhoff made two free throws with 4.2 seconds left to make it 106-103. Westbrook missed a 38-foot shot just before the buzzer.Steven Adams added 20 points and 15 rebounds and Grant had 14 points for Oklahoma City, while Powell had 11 points and nine re bounds for the Mavericks.Doncic missed the game with a right thigh contusion.An 11-0 spurt over 91 seconds of the second quarter - which included two 3-pointers from Harris - gave the Mavericks a 51-37 lead with 5:05 left in the half, but Oklahoma City closed the half on a 19-7 run to pull within 58-56.TIP-INS:Mavericks: Coach Rick Carlisle, who played on Virginia's Final Four team in 1984, began his pregame news conference wanting to discuss his alma mater's win over Purdue on Saturday that sent the Cavaliers to the national semifinals for the first time since 1984. ... Nowitzki received a loud ovation when he was introduced as part of the starting lineup. ... Courtney Lee started in place of Doncic. ... Harris received a technical foul with 11:48 left for arguing an out of bounds call.Thunder: Westbrook, who already has served a one-game suspension for accumulating too many technical fouls, picked up another one in the third quarter, his 17th of the season. Another technical would result in a second one-game suspension. ... Westbrook's triple-double was the 134th of his career. He's four behind Magic Johnson (138) for second place in NBA history in that category.UP NEXT:Mavericks: Host Philadelphia on Monday to begin a three-game homestand.Thunder: Host the Los Angeles Lakers (without LeBron James) on Tuesday.---More NBA: and

NCAAB Game Recap: Auburn (77) vs. Kentucky (71) - 3/31/2019

NCAAB Game Recap: Auburn (77) vs. Kentucky (71) - Date: 3/31/2019 Mar 31, 2019KANSAS CITY, Mo. The confetti was still swirling around Auburn coach Bruce Pearl when he gazed over a team headed to the first Final Four in school history and declared, ''This one was for Chuma!''''The next two,'' Pearl added with a triumphant grin, ''are for Auburn.'' Drawing inspiration from injured forward Chuma Okeke, the No. 5 seed Tigers finished off a joyful romp through college basketball royalty by bringing down the winningest program of all. Winning Sports Handicappers. Their 77-71 overtime win over second-seeded seed Kentucky in the finals of the Midwest Region on Sunday came after blowouts of Kansas and North Carolina that served notice: Auburn is more than a football school.Jared Harper led the way with 26 points, including the tyi ng basket in regulation and a crucial series of layups in overtime. Bryce Brown added 24 points and Anfernee McLemore came up big in the extra session, helping Auburn (30-9) set a school record for wins with its 12th straight overall.''We wanted to make history,'' Pearl said. ''You have to understand, at Auburn in athletics, we're not Cinderellas in anything. We're really, really good in all those other sports. We win championships. Been a long time since men's basketball has been good.'' Okeke was there in more than just spirit, too. Sports Bettors Phone Leads. The sophomore forward, who tore his ACL in the final minutes against the Tar Heels, was rolled behind the bench in a wheelchair early in the second half.He was still there when the wild celebration finally began.''Moving him to the gym, sitting him on the bench - he doesn't want the camera on him,'&# 39; Pearl said. ''He must have been watching the first half at the hotel and said, `I can't stay here. I got to go.'' 'The Tigers had only reached the Elite Eight once before, and that was 33 years ago. But after twice losing to Kentucky during the regular season, they rose to the occasion on the game's biggest stage.Next stop: the Final Four and a national semifinal date with Virginia.''I'm so glad we came out and battled the whole entire 40 minutes for Chuma,'' Brown said. ''If he was out there, he would have made a huge difference.'' Auburn forced overtime when Harper made a tying layup with 38 seconds left, and the diminutive guard added the first four points of the extra session. And when Ashton Hagans scored for Kentucky, it was McLemore who added back-to-back baskets that forced the Wildcats to play catch-up.They never made it all the way back.Samir Doughty made the second of two free throws to give Aubur n a cushion with 16.1 seconds to go, and the Wildcats' Keldon Johnson misfired at the other end, wrapping up a victory that surely sent the Tigers' fan base streaming to Toomer's Corner.''They played aggressive. Selections. They played tough. They bumped and it was a grinding-type game,'' Kentucky coach John Calipari said. ''They deserved to win the game.'' PJ Washington came off the bench and had 28 points and 13 rebounds for the Wildcats, but he also had a shot blocked that could have given his team the lead in the final seconds of regulation. Johnson added 14 points and Hagans finished with 10, though he also committed seven turnovers.''We thought we were going to win,'' said Washington, who declined to say whether it was his final game at Kentucky. ''Just a lot of emotions not being able to finish it the way I wanted to.'' Pearl acknowl edged his team would need to shoot lights-out to beat Kentucky, and midway through the first half the Tigers were still searching for the switch.The team that knocked down 17 3-pointers against North Carolina missed seven of its first eight shots against Kentucky. Brown clanked two wide-open attempts in the first minute, and his brazen bunch quickly found themselves staring at a big hole against a much bigger team.The plan for Big Blue Nation was simple: bludgeon Auburn inside. And it became a whole lot easier when forwards Malik Dunbar, Horace Spencer and Austin Wiley picked up two fouls apiece.Despite a depleted front line, the SEC Tournament champs managed to hang tough.Harper kept dashing to the rim for layups, he converted a four-point play late in the half, and the Tigers - who had won 11 straight after a blowout loss at Rupp Arena - were within 35-30 at the break.It took Brown finding his rhythm for the Tigers to find the lead.The SEC's most prolific 3-point shoot er this season buried one early in the second half. After he added a pair of free throws on the next trip down floor, Brown corralled a loose ball and dropped another 3-pointer from the corner to give Auburn its first lead at 40-37 with 17 1/2 minutes left.Then it was Washington's turn to provide the clutch plays.The sophomore forward, who eschewed the NBA draft for another year in Lexington, made an acrobat duck-under layup to knot the game 58-all. Then, Washington followed up his own miss with a finger-roll to give the Wildcats a 60-58 lead with a minute to go.Harper's scooping layup later knotted the game, and both teams had chances to score again in regulation. Washington and Johnson had their shots swatted in the paint for Kentucky, and Spencer - an odd choice to take the final shot - missed an open 3 at the buzzer for Auburn.All that did was delay the wild party that would soon take place on the Tigers' bench.DO IT FOR CHUMAThe hashtag ''DoItForChum a'' began trending less than 48 hours after Okeke hurt his knee against the Tar Heels. Meanwhile, several Tigers said they took umbrage with a crude picture that a Kentucky fan put up a banner outside his house that made light of his injury. Images of it circulated on social media.BIG PICTUREAuburn proved it could win without burying a dozen or more 3-pointers, going just 7 of 23 from behind the arc. The so-called ''football school'' also held their own on the boards, turned the ball over a mere nine times and proved to basketball's bluebloods they are every bit as good.Kentucky needed more from Tyler Herro, who hit the go-ahead 3 in the regional semifinals against Houston. The polarizing freshman managed just seven points on 3-for-11 shooting, and he was completely absent during the most important stretches off the game.UP NEXTThe Tigers head to the Twin Cities for the Final Four, where they will face South Region champion Virginia. The Cavaliers beat Purdue in an overtime thriller on Saturday night.---More college basketball: and

MLB Game Recap: Chicago White Sox (6) vs. Kansas City Royals (3) - 3/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Chicago White Sox (6) vs. Kansas City Royals (3) - Date: 3/31/2019 Giolito no-hit bid ends in 7th, White Sox beat Royals 6-3KANSAS CITY, Mo. Lucas Giolito took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in his first start of the season, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 6-3 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep in the season-opening series.Giolito (1-0) walked Whit Merrifield on four pitches to begin the game, but then retired 19 straight before Alex Gordon's single with one out in the seventh. Gordon fouled off four consecutive pitches before lining a curveball into center field.Yonder Alonso preserved the no-hitter with a diving stop in the sixth, and he and Jose Abreu homered on consecutive pitches in the fourth off starter Jorge Lopez (0-1).Alex Colome pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.Giolito couldn't finish the seventh. Ryan O'Hearn drove in Gordon with a double into the r ight field corner, and Lucas Duda chased Giolito with an RBI single. Giolito was charged with two runs in 6 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. He threw 99 pitches.Giolito was 10-13 with a 6.13 ERA in 2018 and led the AL in walks (90) and the majors in earned runs allowed (118). In seven starts against the Royals in his career, Giolito is 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA. In 14 starts against the other AL Central teams, Giolito has a 5.62 ERA.Ryan Burr got the final out of the seventh to end the threat.Alonso had two hits and three RBIs. Four other White Sox had two hits in the game, including Abreu.Alonso also robbed Billy Hamilton of a hit by diving down the first base line to snag a line drive in the sixth.Lopez and reliever Tim Hill combined to walk three straight during the sixth inning, resulting in two runs. Lopez allowed four runs in five-plus innings.Royals right-handers Kyle Zimmer and Chris Ellis made their major league debuts. Zimmer threw a sco reless eighth inning, surrendering a single and striking out two. Sports Handicapper Tracker. The fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft, Zimmer spent six seasons in the minor leagues and spent last year way from the organization while working on his mechanics at the Driveline baseball facility in Seattle.Ellis matched Zimmer with a scoreless ninth, giving up two singles and a walk in the inning after retiring the first two batters he faced.UPON FURTHER REVIEWAfter leading baseball in challenges won in 2018, going 33 for 42 (78.6%), the Royals are a perfect 3 for 3 after three games. On Sunday, the Royals had a close play at first base overturned in their favor. Chris Owings made a diving stop on a sharply hit ground ball to third base, hopped up and fired to Duda, who picked the ball off a bounce for the final out of the ninth. After Eloy Jimenez was initially called safe, replay confirmed the throw beat him by a co uple inches.TRAINER'S ROOMWhite Sox: OF Jon Jay (right hip strain) will have his hip reevaluated when the team gets back to Chicago later this week, and RHP Ian Hamilton is throwing as he continues to work his way back from right shoulder inflammation. Manager Rick Renteria said both players, who have been on the 10-day injured list since March 25, are improving each day.UP NEXTWhite Sox: Ivan Nova makes his first start Monday as a member of the White Sox as Chicago travels to Cleveland for a two-game series.Royals: Brad Keller will make his second start of the season Tuesday against the Twins. Keller has pitched 41 consecutive innings without allowing a home run, dating to Aug. 31. It's the longest active streak in the AL and the second-longest streak in the majors.---More MLB: and

MLB Game Recap: Cleveland Indians (3) vs. Minnesota Twins (9) - 3/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Cleveland Indians (3) vs. Minnesota Twins (9) - Date: 3/31/2019 Cruz hits first homer, Pineda strong as Twins beat IndiansMINNEOLIS Nelson Cruz hit his first homer with Minnesota, Michael Pineda was stellar in his first pitching appearance since 2017 and the Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 9-3 on Sunday.Pineda had Tommy John surgery after his previous start in July 5, 2017 while with the New York Yankees, and this was his first time back on a big league mound. Pineda pitched four scoreless innings, striking out five with one hit and one walk.Cruz, Byron Buxton and Willians Astudillo each drove in two runs for the Twins.Carlos Santana had four hits for the Indians, including a three-run double. Cleveland hitters struck out 39 times in the three-game series.Twins starters allowed one earned run in 17 1/3 innings in the season-opening series. Jose Berrios pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings Thursday, and Jake Odorizzi allowed one run in six innings Saturday. Berrios struck out 10 and Odorizzi 11, making Minnesota the second team since 1893 to open the season with their first two starts each striking out at least 10.Signed by Minnesota in December 2017, Pineda earned $2 million last season while rehabbing his elbow in hopes he could be a stabilizing force in 2019, when his salary jumped to $8 million.Intimidating at 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds, Pineda struck out five of the first nine Cleveland hitters, including three in the third on 11 pitches. He was pulled after throwing 40 pitches, 28 strikes.Minnesota's fifth starter, Martin Perez (1-0), pitched 3 2/3 innings and was one pitch away from getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth before Santana lined a shot into the left-field corner.Hitting 6 for 56 (.071) entering the game, the Twins finished with 15 hits, including 10 in 4 1/3 innings against starter Carlos Carrasco (0-1), who allowed six runs and struck out four.A two-run dou ble by Buxton gave Minnesota a 3-0 lead in the fourth.One inning later, Cruz smashed a two-run drive off the second deck. Cruz has hit 37 homers in each of the past five seasons. He signed a $14.3 million, one-year deal with Minnesota in the offseason.Jonathan Schoop added an RBI double, Astudillo hit a sacrifice fly, and a throwing error by Santana gave the Twins an 8-0 cushion.TRAINERS ROOMTwins: Manager Rocco Baldelli had nothing new to report on the quartet of Twins placed on 10-day injured list before opening day: 3B Miguel Sano (right heel laceration), LHP Gabriel Moya (left shoulder tendinitis), RHP Matt Magill (right shoulder tendinitis) and RHP Addison Reed (left thumb sprain). He anticipates providing some sort of update in a couple days.UP NEXTIndians: RHP Mike Clevinger (13-8, 3.02 in 2018) will get the ball for Cleveland's home opener Monday against the White Sox. Chicago is to send Ivan Nova (9-9, 4.19 in 2018) to the hill.Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (1-0, 0.00 ) will make his second start of the season when Minnesota begins a seven-game trip Tuesday in Kansas City. Berrios tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings and had 10 strikeouts in Thursday's season opener. RHP Brad Keller (1-0, 0.00) is scheduled for the Royals.---More MLB: and

MLB Game Recap: New York Mets (5) vs. Washington Nationals (6) - 3/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: New York Mets (5) vs. Washington Nationals (6) - Date: 3/31/2019 Turner hits 2 HRs as Nationals beat Mets 6-5 for 1st winWASHINGTON Trea Turner homered twice, including a game-ending solo shot in the ninth inning, and the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-5 on Sunday for their first win of the season.Turner earlier hit a three-run homer and also scored in the fifth to put Washington up 4-1. Sports Monitor. The Nationals let a 5-2 lead evaporate in the eighth before Turner ended it with a drive off Justin Wilson (0-1) that landed in the second row of the left-field seats.Sean Doolittle (1-0) got the win despite allowing successive RBI singles in the New York eighth.Left-hander Patrick Corbin gave up two runs, seven hits and two walks over six innings in his Washington debut. Corbin spent six seasons in Arizona before signing a $140 million, s ix-year deal with the Nationals, who hope he can fill out a rotation centered around stars Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.The starting rotation won't matter if the bullpen can't deliver. After giving up seven runs in two innings on Saturday, Washington relievers frittered away a three-run cushion in the eighth.Tony Sipp allowed two hits, Trevor Rosenthal yielded a run-scoring single to Amed Rosario, and pinch-hitters Wilson Ramos and Juan Lagares hit two-out RBI singles off Doolittle to tie it.That enabled Mets starter Zack Wheeler to avoid taking the loss. He gave up four runs in five innings.HISTORY LESSONThe Mets were bidding to go 3-0 for the first time since 2012, when they won their first four games. Handicapper Directory. The Nationals successfully avoided being swept in their opening series for the first time in a decade.SMOOTH GLOVEWith the score 4-1 in the sixth, New York opened with successive singles to put runners on the corners. Nationals second baseman Brian Dozier subsequently snagged Rosario's grounder up the middle and flipped a backhand relay to Turner to launch a 4-6-3 double play.HARPER RETURNSBryce Harper returns to Washington on Tuesday with his new team, the Philadelphia Phillies.''I know he's coming in and it's going to be exciting, for sure,'' Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. ''Of course I'll say hello to him, but then again, he plays on a different team now so I'm going try to win.'' Harper played seven years in Washington before signing a 13-year, $330 million contract with Philadelphia.TRAINER'S ROOMMets: RHP Seth Lugo was unavailable after throwing 41 pitches Saturday. ... 3B-LF Jeff McNeil, a left-handed hitter, was rested against Corbin after getting four hits Saturday.Nationals: Rosenthal pitched one day after returning from Tommy John surgery Saturday in his first appearance since August 2017. Martinez had no qualms about using Rosenthal again, saying: ''He said he feels real, real good.'' Rosenthal threw only one pitch Sunday.UP NEXTMets: LHP Steven Matz makes his 2019 debut Monday in the opener of a three-game series against the Marlins. Matz has won his last three starts in Miami.Nationals: Scherzer (0-1, 2.35 ERA) faces the Phillies on Tuesday, giving him two starts in Washington's first four games.---More baseball: and

MLB Game Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (5) vs. Cincinnati Reds (0) - 3/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (5) vs. Cincinnati Reds (0) - Date: 3/31/2019 Williams leads Pirates past Reds 5-0CINCINNATI Trevor Williams pitched six effective innings and drove in two runs, helping the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the sloppy Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Sunday.Williams picked up where he left off last season, when he was the only major leaguer to make 10 starts of at least six innings without allowing a run. Sports Picking Services. The right-hander gave up three hits, struck out six and walked one.The Reds put runners on the corners with two out in the sixth, but Williams struck out Yasiel Puig to end the inning. Puig is 0 for 7 with four strikeouts and a walk in two games after he was acquired in an offseason trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers.Puig also misjudged Francisco Cervelli's fly ball to right in the ninth inning, but rec overed in time to make a diving catch.Adam Frazier and Melky Cabrera each had two hits as Pittsburgh earned its first win of the season after losing 5-3 on opening day on Thursday. Saturday's game was postponed by rain.Sonny Gray (0-1) struggled in his Cincinnati debut, allowing three runs, two earned, and five hits in 2 2/3 innings. Selections. The right-hander walked four and struck out none.Gray was acquired in an offseason trade with the New York Yankees, and then agreed to a new contract with Cincinnati.Pittsburgh jumped in front on Josh Bell's RBI single in the first. Gambling Profit. The run was unearned after Starling Marte reached when Gray dropped a relay to first for the first of four errors for the Reds.Williams singled in Cabrera in the second for his second career RBI. He entered the season with a .082 career batting average.Williams made it 3-0 by working a bases-loaded walk in the third.TRAINER'S ROOMPirates: RHP Jordan Lyles, plagued with right side discomfort, has rejoined the team and is scheduled to start on Thursday against Cincinnati.Reds: LHP Alex Wood remains in Arizona while trying to come back from lower back stiffness. Manager David Bell labeled a possible mid-April comeback ''aggressive.'' UP NEXTPirates: RHP Chris Archer starts Pittsburgh's home opener against St. Louis.Reds: RHP Tanner Roark pitches Monday against Milwaukee. It's his first start for Cincinnati after he was acquired in an offseason trade with Washington.

MLB Game Recap: Detroit Tigers (4) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (3) - 3/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Detroit Tigers (4) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (3) - Date: 3/31/2019 Castellanos lifts Tigers over Blue Jays 4-3 in 11 inningsTORONTO Nicholas Castellanos singled home the go-ahead run in the 11th inning, Jeimer Candelario had five hits and the Detroit Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Sunday after blowing a late lead.Castellanos drove in Grayson Greiner, and the Tigers salvaged a split of the four-game series to open the season. Free Picks and Parlays. The decisive hit came off left-hander Thomas Pannone (0-1), the eighth pitcher of the game for Toronto.Candelario drove in two runs and Daniel Stumpf (1-0) pitched one inning for the win. Sports Handicapper Tracker. Toronto put the potential tying run at third with two outs in the bottom of the 11th but Shane Greene got Teoscar Hernandez to li ne out for his second save.Candelario came in 1 for 12 on the season and 0 for 9 with seven strikeouts since his lone base hit on opening day. He singled in the first, sixth, seventh and 11th, and doubled in the ninth.Trailing 3-0 in the eighth, the Blue Jays tied it against Joe Jimenez when pinch-hitter Rowdy Tellez hit a three-run homer to center field.The drive undid seven shutout innings by Tigers starter Matt Moore. Making his Detroit debut, the left-hander allowed two hits, walked one and struck out six.Moore was perfect through four before walking Randal Grichuk on a 3-2 pitch to begin the fifth. Moore lost his no-hit bid with one out in the sixth when Richard Urena grounded a single up the middle. Danny Jansen's two-out double moved Urena to third, but Moore escaped by fanning Brandon Drury on a 3-2 pitch.After doubling against Stumpf in the 10th, Urena tried to score from second on an infield single by pinch-hitter Freddy Galvis. Documented Handicappers. Tigers shortstop Jordy Mercer, who had dived to corral Galvis' hit, threw home from his knees in time to retire Urena and send the game to the 11th.Detroit, which had scored two runs through its first three games and none since the 10th inning on opening day, snapped a 24-inning scoreless drought with a three-run seventh. Javy Guerra issued a bases-loaded walk to Mercer before Candelario followed with a two-run single.Making his major league debut, Blue Jays right-hander Trent Thornton allowed two hits in five shutout innings. Toronto starting pitchers have worked 24 consecutive scoreless innings to begin the season, tripling the previous club record. It's baseball's longest such streak since Atlanta starters threw 25 shutout innings to begin the 1994 season.Thonton struck out eight, the most by a Blue Jays pitcher making his first big league appearance. The previous record was seven, join tly held by Matt Boyd and Marc Rzepczynski.Thornton wasn't the only Blue Jays pitcher to make his debut. Right-hander Elvis Luciano, who turned 19 in February, became the youngest pitcher in team history when he replaced Guerra in the seventh. Luciano, selected from Kansas City in the Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings in December, is the first big league player to be born in this century. He allowed one hit in 1 1/3 innings.TRAINER'S ROOMTigers: Miguel Cabrera started at DH. Cabrera left Saturday's game after being hit on the right hand by Aaron Sanchez's pitch in the sixth.Blue Jays: Galvis (lower back) was scratched from the starting lineup and replaced by Urena. Galvis extended his MLB-leading streak of consecutive games played to 329 when he pinch hit. ... LHP Clayton Richard (right knee) will not make his scheduled start Monday against Baltimore. RHP Sean Reid-Foley will start in his place. ... Thornton started in place of LHP Ryan Borucki (left elbow) . Borucki is expected to throw off a mound sometime this week.UP NEXTTigers: RHP Tyson Ross starts Monday in the opener of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium. Ross is 0-3 with a 6.88 ERA in six career games against New York.Blue Jays: Reid-Foley went 2-4 with a 5.13 in seven starts for Toronto last season.---More MLB: and