NBA PLAYOFFS/SCHEDULE

EASTERN CONFERENCE

MIAMI HEAT (1) VS. ATLANTA HAWKS (8)

• GAME 1: MIAMI 115, ATLANTA 91

• GAME 2: ATLANTA VS. MIAMI | TUESDAY, APRIL 19 | 7:30 ET | TNT

• GAME 3: MIAMI VS. ATLANTA | FRIDAY, APRIL 22 | 7 ET | ESPN

• GAME 4: MIAMI VS. ATLANTA | SUNDAY, APRIL 24 | 7 ET | TNT

• GAME 5*: ATLANTA VS. MIAMI | TUESDAY, APRIL 26 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 6*: MIAMI VS. ATLANTA | THURSDAY, APRIL 28 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 7*: ATLANTA VS. MIAMI | SATURDAY, APRIL 30 | TBD | TNT

HEAT LEAD SERIES 1-0

BOSTON CELTICS (2) VS. BROOKLYN NETS (7)

• GAME 1: BOSTON 115, BROOKLYN 114

• GAME 2: BROOKLYN VS. BOSTON | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20 | 7 ET | TNT

• GAME 3: BOSTON VS. BROOKLYN | SATURDAY, APRIL 23 | 7:30 ET | ESPN

• GAME 4: BOSTON VS. BROOKLYN | MONDAY, APRIL 25 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 5*: BROOKLYN VS. BOSTON | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 6*: BOSTON VS. BROOKLYN | FRIDAY, APRIL 29 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 7*: BROOKLYN VS. BOSTON | SUNDAY, MAY 1 | TBD | TBD

CELTICS LEAD SERIES 1-0

MILWAUKEE BUCKS (3) VS. CHICAGO BULLS (6)

• GAME 1: MILWAUKEE 93, CHICAGO 86

• GAME 2: CHICAGO VS. MILWAUKEE | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20 | 9:30 ET | TNT

• GAME 3: MILWAUKEE VS. CHICAGO | FRIDAY, APRIL 22 | 8:30 ET | ABC

• GAME 4: MILWAUKEE VS. CHICAGO | SUNDAY, APRIL 24 | 1 ET | ABC

• GAME 5*: CHICAGO VS. MILWAUKEE | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 6*: MILWAUKEE VS. CHICAGO | FRIDAY, APRIL 29 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 7*: CHICAGO VS. MILWAUKEE | SUNDAY, MAY 1 | TBD | TBD

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (4) VS. TORONTO RAPTORS (5)

• GAME 1: PHILADELPHIA 131, TORONTO 111

• GAME 2: TORONTO VS. PHILADELPHIA | MONDAY, APRIL 18 | 7:30 ET | TNT

• GAME 3: PHILADELPHIA VS. TORONTO | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20 | 8 ET | NBA TV

• GAME 4: PHILADELPHIA VS. TORONTO | SATURDAY, APRIL 23 | 2 ET | TNT

• GAME 5*: TORONTO VS. PHILADELPHIA | MONDAY, APRIL 25 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 6*: PHILADELPHIA VS. TORONTO | THURSDAY, APRIL 28 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 7*: TORONTO VS. PHILADELPHIA | SATURDAY, APRIL 30 | TBD | TNT

SIXERS LEAD SERIES 1-0

WESTERN CONFERENCE

PHOENIX SUNS (1) VS. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS (8)

• GAME 1: PHOENIX 110, NEW ORLEANS 99

• GAME 2: NEW ORLEANS VS. PHOENIX | TUESDAY, APRIL 19 | 10 ET | TNT

• GAME 3: PHOENIX VS. NEW ORLEANS | FRIDAY, APRIL 22 | 9:30 ET | ESPN

• GAME 4: PHOENIX VS. NEW ORLEANS | SUNDAY, APRIL 24 | 9:30 ET | TNT

• GAME 5*: NEW ORLEANS VS. PHOENIX | TUESDAY, APRIL 26 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 6*: PHOENIX VS. NEW ORLEANS | THURSDAY, APRIL 28 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 7*: NEW ORLEANS VS. PHOENIX | SATURDAY, APRIL 30 | TBD | TNT

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (2) VS. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (7)

• GAME 1: MINNESOTA 130, MEMPHIS 117

• GAME 2: MINNESOTA VS. MEMPHIS | TUESDAY, APRIL 19 | 8:30 ET | NBA TV

• GAME 3: MEMPHIS VS. MINNESOTA | THURSDAY, APRIL 21 | 7:30 ET | TNT

• GAME 4: MEMPHIS VS. MINNESOTA | SATURDAY, APRIL 23 | 10 ET | ESPN

• GAME 5*: MINNESOTA VS. MEMPHIS | TUESDAY, APRIL 26 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 6*: MEMPHIS VS. MINNESOTA | FRIDAY, APRIL 29 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 7*: MINNESOTA VS. MEMPHIS | SUNDAY, MAY 1 | TBD | TBD

WOLVES LEAD SERIES 1-0

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (3) VS. DENVER NUGGETS (6)

• GAME 1: GOLDEN STATE 123, DENVER 107

• GAME 2: DENVER VS. GOLDEN STATE | MONDAY, APRIL 18 | 10 ET | TNT

• GAME 3: GOLDEN STATE VS. DENVER | THURSDAY, APRIL 21 | 10 ET | TNT

• GAME 4: GOLDEN STATE VS. DENVER | SUNDAY, APRIL 24 | 3:30 ET | ABC

• GAME 5*: DENVER VS. GOLDEN STATE | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 6*: GOLDEN STATE VS. DENVER | FRIDAY, APRIL 29 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 7*: DENVER VS. GOLDEN STATE | SUNDAY, MAY 1 | TBD | TBD

WARRIORS LEAD SERIES 1-0

DALLAS MAVERICKS (4) VS. UTAH JAZZ (5)

• GAME 1: UTAH 99, DALLAS 93

• GAME 2: UTAH VS. DALLAS | MONDAY, APRIL 18 | 8:30 ET | NBA TV

• GAME 3: DALLAS VS. UTAH | THURSDAY, APRIL 21 | 9 ET | NBA TV

• GAME 4: DALLAS VS. UTAH | SATURDAY, APRIL 23 | 4:30 ET | TNT

• GAME 5*: UTAH VS. DALLAS | MONDAY, APRIL 25 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 6*: DALLAS VS. UTAH | THURSDAY, APRIL 28 | TBD | TBD

• GAME 7*: UTAH VS. DALLAS | SATURDAY, APRIL 30 | TBD | TNT

JAZZ LEAD SERIES 1-0

* = IF NECESSARY

SUNDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/nba/scoreboard.asp

MLB SCOREBOARD

SAN FRANCISCO 8 CLEVELAND 1

BALTIMORE 5 NY YANKEES 0

BOSTON 8 MINNESOTA 1

TORONTO 4 OAKLAND 3

TAMPA BAY 9 CHICAGO WHITE SOX 3

DETROIT AT KANSAS CITY POSTPONED

LA ANGELS 8 TEXAS 3

SEATTLE 7 HOUSTON 2

PITTSBURGH 5 WASHINGTON 3

NY METS 5 ARIZONA 0

MIAMI 11 PHILADELPHIA 3

MILWAUKEE 6 ST. LOUIS 5

CHICAGO CUBS 6 COLORADO 4

LA DODGERS 9 CINCINNATI 1

SAN DIEGO 2 ATLANTA 1

SUNDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/mlb/scoreboard.asp

MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

ST. PAUL 5 INDIANAPOLIS 1

FT. WAYNE 4 SOUTH BEND 3

NHL SCOREBOARD

FLORIDA 6 DETROIT 1

BUFFALO 5 PHILADELPHIA 3

ST. LOUIS 8 NASHVILLE 3

MINNESOTA 5 SAN JOSE 4

TORONTO 4 NY ISLANDERS 2

ANAHEIM 6 COLUMBUS 4

SUNDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/nhl/scoreboard.asp

COLLEGE BASEBALL SCOREBOARD

RUTGERS 10 INDIANA 9

AKRON 4 BALL STATE 3

VALPARAISO 2 ILLINOIS STATE 1

COLLEGE SOFTBALL SCOREBOARD

NORTHWESTERN 10 PURDUE 2

PENN STATE 8 INDIANA 6

ROBERT MORRIS 1 IUPUI 0

UNITED STATES FOOTBALL LEAGUE

HOUSTON 17 MICHIGAN 12

BIRMINGHAM 28 NEW JERSEY 24

TOP NATIONAL SPORTS  NEWS/HEADLINES

Robinson makes eight 3s, Heat top Hawks 115-91 in Game 1

MIAMI (AP) Duncan Robinson couldn’t miss shots. Trae Young couldn’t make shots.

In simplest terms, that’s how Game 1 went for Miami and Atlanta.

Robinson came off the bench to set a franchise playoff record with eight 3-pointers, and the top-seeded Heat forced Young into matching the worst-shooting game of his career on the way to a 115-91 win over the eighth-seeded Hawks in the opener of an Eastern Conference first-round series Sunday.

“It’s always nice to throw the first punch,” Robinson said. “But in the grand scheme of things, it’s just winning one game.”

Robinson scored 27 points on 9-of-10 shooting for the Heat, 8 of 9 from 3-point range. Jimmy Butler scored 21, P.J. Tucker added 16 and Kyle Lowry had 10.

But this wasn’t about offense for Miami. It was about defense, so much so that even Heat coach Erik Spoelstra – a former point guard himself – spent some possessions in a defensive stance, clapping his hands and imploring his team to dig a little bit deeper on that end of the floor.

“You have to be on edge,” Spoelstra said.

The edge, for Miami, was razor sharp. Young went 1 for 12, matching his effort against Chicago on Jan. 23, 2019.

“You’ve got to give them credit,” Young said. “They came out aggressive.”

Danilo Gallinari led Atlanta with 17 points. De’Andre Hunter scored 14 for the Hawks and John Collins added 10.

Game 2 is Tuesday.

“I thought Miami played at another level,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “We talked about that in our locker room, that in the playoffs, there’s another level you have to get to. … They showed us tonight there’s another level we have to get to in order to compete in these playoffs.”

Robinson broke the record of seven 3s that he previously shared with Damon Jones and Mike Miller.

He sizzled. The Hawks fizzled.

Young – who saw everything from traps to full-court pressure – was 0 for 7 from 3-point range and finished with just eight points, a season-low. Bogdan Bogdanovic missed all eight of his shots, and the Hawks never led outside of a brief edge in the opening minutes.

Butler revealed the Heat game plan when it comes to defending Young: “Just make it physical on him, challenge every shot, keep him off the free throw line and make him pass,” he said.

It worked.

“I’m very confident we’re going to turn this around,” Young said.

Atlanta went 3-0 in Game 1s last year, all three of those wins on the road, coming by two, four and three points, respectively.

That was then.

This was one-sided by halftime. The Heat set the tone by forcing Atlanta into a 1-for-11 start from the field – free throws were the only thing keeping the game close for much of the first half – and Miami took a 59-40 lead into the break.

A 3-pointer from Kevin Huerter early in the second got Atlanta within 26-20. A 15-6 Heat run, capped by a 3-pointer from Lowry, pushed the lead out to 41-26, and another 3 from Lowry later in the quarter made it 53-34.

Gallinari made a 3-pointer to open the second half, getting the Hawks within 16. And that was as close as the Hawks got. Miami controlled the rest of the third, turning things into a complete runaway.

It was 86-60 after three, the Hawks managing only one more point through 36 minutes than Miami had through 24, and the outcome was decided. A four-point play from Robinson with 8:54 left was probably the official end to all Atlanta hope, as Miami fans waved their white giveaway rally flags in earnest after the Heat won a home playoff game – excluding the bubble run in 2020, which obviously wasn’t at home – for the first time since 2016.

“I came here for this.” Tucker said.

TIP-INS

Hawks: The 19-point halftime deficit was Atlanta’s second-largest of the season. Atlanta trailed Chicago by 21 at the break on Dec. 29. … Atlanta was playing less than 36 hours after arriving in Miami following its play-in victory at Cleveland on Friday. The Hawks got settled in Miami around 3 a.m. Saturday, and Sunday had a 1 p.m. start.

Heat: Butler – one of the best free-throw shooters in the NBA – started 0 for 3 from the line, the first time he’s done that in his first three Heat seasons. … Tucker, Lowry and Max Strus all got their first Miami playoff starts. There have now been 69 players all-time to start a playoff game for the Heat.

ROBINSON’S DAY

Robinson’s eight 3s were the second-most in NBA playoff history by a reserve. Jason Terry had nine for Dallas in a 2011 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. J.R. Smith had eight for Cleveland in a 2015 game, also against Atlanta.

GAME 1 HISTORY

Miami improved to 26-22 all-time in Game 1s, including 20-7 at home – and 12-2 at home when playing host to a Game 1 in Round 1. Atlanta fell to 37-41 all-time in Game 1s, a figure that includes a handful of one-game playoffs from the league’s early days.

COLLINS PLAYS

Collins (foot, finger injuries) played for the first time in 19 games. He was 4 for 6 in 21 minutes, with the Hawks needing extra depth inside with Clint Capela out with a right knee injury.

UP NEXT

Game 2 is Tuesday in Miami.

Tatum’s layup at buzzer gives Celtics 115-114 win over Nets

BOSTON (AP) Jayson Tatum has been adamant he didn’t view the Celtics’ matchup with the Nets as a chance to prove anything opposite two of the league’s elite scorers.

His finish in Game 1 said otherwise.

Tatum made a layup at the buzzer on a pass from Marcus Smart to give Boston a dramatic 115-114 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

“When he took that dribble we just kind of made eye contact. He made a great pass,” Tatum said. “It doesn’t get any better than that. A buzzer-beater in a playoff game at home.”

Tatum scored 31 points, the last two on the first buzzer-beater of his career. It was Boston’s first in the postseason since Paul Pierce in 2010 against the Heat.

Tatum’s bucket came after a poised Boston possession in the frantic final seconds. Kevin Durant missed on the other end, Boston rebounded and raced up the court, electing not to call a timeout.

Jaylen Brown dribbled toward the middle and swung the ball out to Smart. He fired it into a cutting Tatum, who spun around and dropped in his layup just before time expired.

“I’ve always been told you have more time than you realize you have,” Smart said. “I was about to throw it to Al (Horford) off the dribble and I saw JT cut at the last minute.”

All five Celtics touched the ball on the possession.

“I think that’s kind of a microcosm for our season, guys moving the ball being unselfish,” coach Ime Udoka said.

Brown added 23 points for the Celtics, who host Game 2 on Wednesday. Horford had 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Smart finished with 20 points, including four 3-pointers.

Kyrie Irving finished with 39 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter. But the Celtics forced the ball out of his hands the last time Brooklyn had it and Durant missed a jumper with a one-point lead that set up the Celtics’ final possession.

Durant added 23 points but shot just 9 of 24.

“They did a good job of forcing me away, then helping in the paint. I just got to be more fundamental in my moves,” he said. “I feel like some shots went in an out for me.”

Boston charged out of halftime with a 23-8 run to open a 82-69 lead, sparked by Smart’s dead-eye shooting from beyond the arc.

The Celtics also seemed to tweak their approach to guarding Durant in the half court, fronting him and sending help over the top to limit his driving ability.

Durant and Irving still found ways to score, but they had to exert increased energy to get off their attempts.

It didn’t last.

With Boston leading early in the fourth, Irving got Brooklyn back in the mix with two straight 3-pointers and a layup to trim Boston’s advantage to 98-97. Then, following an empty trip by Boston that saw Brown and Horford fail to convert from in close, Durant calmly drained a 3 on the other end.

Brooklyn had increased its lead to 107-102 when Durant was long with a jumper. Brown found space on the Celtics’ next possession and connected on a 3 from the wing. The Nets turned it back over on an offensive foul on Durant. Smart then slid underneath Irving on Boston’s ensuring trip and tied it.

The score was tied again at 109 with less than 2 minutes left when Durant got a friendly bounce on a jumper. Horford’s follow shot tied it again. But Irving was good from deep on the next time down the floor give the Nets a 114-111 cushion.

Brown then tied it coming out of a timeout with 38 seconds left.

In his latest trip to face his former Boston teammates, Irving received the loudest jeers during pregame introductions and was booed whenever he touched the ball the rest of the way.

Fans also showered plenty disdain on Bruce Brown, who made headlines last week after suggesting Celtics big men Horford and Daniel Theis might be easy to attack inside without injured center Robert Williams III available to defend the rim.

Horford played the opening 12 minutes as if on a one-man mission to obliterate that notion.

Boston entered with the league’s best defensive rating since the All-Star break and applied early pressure on Durant. He tried to establish himself in the post in the first quarter, but the Celtics blitzed him with backside help defenders, stripping him three times.

Brooklyn finished with seven turnovers for the quarter, but it translated into only a 29-28 lead for Boston.

Horford was active throughout, going 3 for 4 from the field with 10 points, two rebounds and a steal.

Boston had to adjust early in the second quarter after Theis picked up his third foul. But things evened out when Drummond was whistled for his fourth foul with 4:58 left in the period.

The Celtics immediately went on a 9-2 run before the Nets clawed back to tie the game up at 61 at the half.

“Stayed with it, took their shot and found a way to finish the game,” Horford said. “End of the day it’s just getting the win, it doesn’t matter how it was.”

TIP-INS

Nets: Brooklyn finished with 16 turnovers. . Durant and Irving shot a combined 1 for 8 from the field in the first quarter.

Celtics: Outscored the Nets 56-32in the paint. . Williams cheered from the bench in street clothes. . New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his son, Jonathan Kraft, sat courtside.

ELITE COMPANY

Horford is just the 13th player in NBA history to record a 20-point, 15-rebound playoff game at age 35 years old.

TOUGH CROWD

Irving had a moment of frustration in the third quarter when he appeared to flip his middle finger toward Boston’s fans as he ran down the court.

“The same energy they have for me, I’m gonna have the same energy for them. It’s not every fan,” Irving said. “There’s only but so much you can take as a competitor.”

Bucks bounce back after blowing big lead to beat Bulls 93-86

MILWAUKEE (AP) On a night when their usually potent offense was searching for answers, the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks had to rely on their defense in their playoff opener.

Fortunately for the Bucks, that’s the one part of their game that was at a championship level.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 16 rebounds, and the third-seeded Bucks recovered after blowing a 16-point lead to beat the sixth-seeded Chicago Bulls 93-86 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series Sunday.

“We’ve got to win the ugly games,” said Jrue Holiday, whose 3-pointer with 5:03 left put the Bucks ahead for good. “I feel like today was ugly. It was a battle and it was tough, but it was an ugly one.”

Holiday’s 3-pointer was part of an 8-0 run that gave the Bucks an 85-78 edge. The Bulls got the margin down to one but could never regain the lead, as Zach LaVine missed a potential tying 3-pointer from nearly 30 feet away with 29 seconds left.

“I thought it was a good shot,” LaVine said. “We were down three. I got a really clean look.”

Milwaukee overcame its struggles on offense by holding the Bulls to the lowest single-game point total of any Bucks opponent all season. The Bulls shot a season-low 32.3% from the floor in their first playoff appearance in five years. They were 7 of 37 on 3-point attempts.

In the fourth quarter, the Bulls were 6 of 28 and 1 of 12 from 3-point range.

“Every shot I took tonight felt good,” said DeMar DeRozan, who scored 18 points but shot 6 of 25. “I guarantee you that me, Zach and Vooch (Nikola Vucevic) aren’t going to miss that many shots again.”

The Bucks, who have won 17 of their last 18 meetings with the Bulls, grabbed an early 32-16 lead and threatened to put this game out of reach early. But they struggled to score the rest of the way.

After shooting 53.8% (14 of 26) in the first quarter, the Bucks made just 34.5% of their attempts (20 of 58) the rest of the way. They had an equal number of turnovers and baskets – 14 – in the second half.

They finished with 21 turnovers. They scored just three points in the first 6 minutes, 57 seconds of the fourth quarter.

“The whole team was kind of out of rhythm,” said Antetokounmpo, who didn’t score in the fourth quarter while dealing with foul trouble. “We weren’t able to find one another as easy as we usually find one another and make shots. We missed a bunch of open shots today. Usually we make those and we get energy.”

Brook Lopez scored 18 points, Holiday had 15, Khris Middleton had 11 and Bobby Portis added 10. Portis also had 12 rebounds.

Vucevic had 24 points and 17 rebounds but shot 9 of 27. LaVine had 18 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 6 of 19.

The Bulls didn’t take their first lead until late in the third quarter. They took their last lead at 78-77 on Vucevic’s inside basket with 5:56 left before the Bucks scored eight straight points.

Alex Caruso’s layup with 1:36 left cut Milwaukee’s advantage to 87-86, but the Bulls wouldn’t score again.

“We showed resiliency tonight,” Lopez said. “Things didn’t go our way offensively for a lot of the game, and we fought through it and did a good job defensively.”

GOING BACK TO CHICAGO

With the two cities separated by only about 90 miles, the Bulls are heading back to Chicago after Game 1 before returning to Milwaukee for Wednesday’s Game 2.

“If we would have had to play Sunday-Tuesday, I think we would have definitely stayed here,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said before the game. “But I think because we have two days, we have a chance to get home at a decent time, those guys can sleep in their own bed, practice tomorrow, practice Tuesday and then come back up.”

TIP-INS

Bulls: Caruso was in the starting lineup. Caruso had started just 18 of the 41 regular-season games he played. … The Bulls were missing assistant coaches Chris Fleming and Damian Cotter, who had tested positive for COVID-19. “They’re still in protocols right now with the league,” Donovan said before the game. Donovan added that “they have never really been in a situation where either one of them has felt bad at all, so that’s been a positive.”

Bucks: Reserve guard George Hill (abdominal strain) and reserve forward Jordan Nwora (back soreness) were unavailable for Sunday’s game. Hill also was held out of the Bucks’ regular-season finale. Jevon Carter essentially filled Hill’s spot in the rotation and scored three points in 9 1/2 minutes. … The Bucks won Game 1 for just the second time in their last seven playoff series.

UP NEXT

Game 2 is Wednesday in Milwaukee.

“Classic Chris” stellar down stretch, Suns beat Pels 110-99

PHOENIX (AP) Chris Paul has built a Hall of Fame-caliber career by passing the ball.

He can also shoot it quite well, if needed.

Paul scored 19 of his 30 points during a brilliant fourth-quarter scoring display and the Phoenix Suns beat the New Orleans Pelicans 110-99 on Sunday night in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.

“Classic Chris,” Suns coach Monty Williams said.

The top-seeded Suns needed Paul’s big finish despite dominating most of the game. The Pelicans shook off a slow start, cutting a 23-point deficit to 79-71 by the end of the third.

New Orleans kept hitting shots in the fourth, but that’s when Paul took over, hitting three 3-pointers and a layup in 2 1/2 minutes in a flurry that kept the Pelicans chasing. The ageless veteran will turn 37 later in these playoffs if the Suns advance far enough, but once again looked a decade younger.

Paul – a proud basketball junkie – said taking over a game is all about feel.

“It’s just reading the game,” Paul said. “We watch games all day, every day. We got to watch all the games yesterday. We watched the games today. We know in the playoffs, teams aren’t going to lay down.”

Paul has never won a championship, falling just short last year when the Suns lost to the Bucks in six games in the Finals. He’s fond of saying he never takes postseason basketball for granted and his 130th career playoff game was among his best.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Phoenix.

The Suns were 47-0 in the regular season when leading after three quarters. Now they’re 1-0 in the playoffs. Paul shot 12 for 16 from the field, including 4 of 6 on 3-pointers. He scored 17 straight points for the Suns at one point in the fourth.

“That man’s a true competitor, a true winner,” Suns guard Devin Booker said. “He wants it that bad. You can see it in his demeanor, you can see it in his walk. It shouldn’t surprise anybody. He’s built for these moments.”

Booker – who finished with 25 points – hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession and the Suns never trailed, using a ferocious defensive effort to quickly take control. Phoenix led 53-34 by halftime, forcing the Pelicans into just 11 of 49 shooting (22%) before the break.

Suns big man Deandre Ayton was particularly dominant on the defensive end with four blocks, and had 21 points and nine rebounds. At one point in the third quarter, he swatted a shot from Jonas Valanciunas and turned toward the crowd, screaming as the fans returned a roar in approval.

CJ McCollum led the Pelicans with 25 points, but struggled with his shooting much of the night. He finished 9 of 25 from the field. Valanciunas added 18 points and 25 rebounds. Brandon Ingram scored 18 points.

The Pelicans had some good moments, particularly during their third quarter rally. It didn’t lead to a win, but it’s something they can build on for Game 2.

“We figured out a way to play,” Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. said. “This is the playoffs and there are going to be ebbs and flows, ups and downs. We are in a chess match now.”

New Orleans made its surprise trip to the playoffs by winning two games in the play-in tournament, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 105-101 on Friday night.

That gave the Pelicans plenty of momentum, but the Suns had the fresh legs and it showed.

The Suns’ initial energy was impressive, particularly on the defensive end. They led by 16 at one point in the first quarter before settling for a 28-16 advantage going into the second.

FRIENDLY FACEOFF

It’s no secret Williams and Pelicans coach Willie Green are close friends and colleagues.

Green was Williams’ lead assistant last season during the Suns’ run to the Finals before earning the head coaching job in New Orleans during the offseason.

Williams said he texted Green to congratulate him following the Pelicans’ win over the Clippers on Friday. Otherwise, he said there’s been no communcation.

“We haven’t had some long, drawn-out conversation with violins playing behind us or anything like that,” Williams said before the game. “We’ve got to prepare our teams to play. I’m looking forward to the competition.”

TIP-INS

Pelicans: F Zion Williamson (right foot fracture) isn’t expected to play this series. … Larry Nance Jr. scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. … New Orleans had a 55-35 advantage on the glass. Valanciunas had a season-high 13 offensive rebounds.

Suns: G Landry Shamet (sprained left foot) missed practice on Friday but was listed as available on Sunday. He didn’t play. … Cam Johnson finished with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. JaVale McGee added seven points and seven rebounds. … Mikal Bridges was called for a technical foul in the fourth quarter.

Mavericks expecting another Luka Doncic absence in Game 2 vs. Jazz

(AP) — Though Luka Doncic returned to the practice court for a bit of shooting over the weekend, the Dallas Mavericks’ superstar is not expected to play in Game 2 of the first-round series with the Utah Jazz.

Doncic missed Game 1 — a 99-93 Jazz win in Dallas — and likely won’t play Monday night at home, ESPN reported, because of a strained left calf.

“Yesterday was another good day, and today he’s back on the court, so that’s a plus,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said Sunday. “And we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

With Doncic in a cheerleader role on the bench, the Mavericks took an early lead but eventually fell behind by as many as a dozen points. To their credit, they stormed back in the fourth quarter, pulling within one and having the ball with a chance to go ahead in the final two minutes, before Utah made enough clutch plays to snag home-court advantage away.

Both teams took positives away from the way things played out in that fourth quarter, which really got interesting after Max Kleber drained a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game with 2:12 remaining.

“There were some moments when our mental toughness was challenged,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder admitted. “And we really responded.”

That hasn’t always been the case this season. Utah had a bad habit of watching double-digit leads devolve into defeats.

Kleber could have given the Mavs the lead back with a minute and a half remaining, but he missed a 3. Royce O’Neale, who attended nearby Baylor and hails from Killeen, Texas, then rebounded his own missed shot and followed that up by sinking a dagger beyond the arc for a four-point Jazz lead with 57.3 left.

Donovan Mitchell, who was MIA in the first half, sealed the win with four free throws in the final 16.2 seconds. He scored 30 of his 32 points in the second half.

Rudy Gobert only took one shot but spearheaded the Jazz defense with 17 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Utah likes that it was able to snag the series-opening win even though it doesn’t feel like it played its best and survived the comeback.

“I’m just happy to win the game,” Gobert said. “They had a lot of free throws at the end of the game, and we stayed focused and kept our heads and kept trusting each other.”

Added Mitchell: “We did our job, we got Game 1, now we gotta go out there and get Game 2. We’re not satisfied with this one.”

The Mavericks, on the other hand, got a bit of a confidence boost because they had a chance to win despite missing Doncic, being outrebounded by 19, 53-34, and only shooting 38.2 percent from the field and 9-for-32 from 3-point range.

Spencer Dinwiddie noted that free throws were a difference-maker. Utah hit 20 of 23, while Dallas only shot 26 of 34 from the charity stripe. He was 10 of 16 from the line and shot 6 of 15 overall.

“Personally, I’ve been thinking about the fact we lost by six and I missed six free throws, right?” Dinwiddie said. “So if anything, this should be encouraging for the fan base, in my opinion.

“Give them credit. They won the game. … But we had our chances to win it. And we just didn’t do it. Myself, first and foremost: It’s inexcusable in a playoff game to miss six free throws.”

Dallas also hopes to improve on the boards. The Mavericks were at a disadvantage, playing small against the Jazz and their 7-foot-1 star defender with a 7-foot-9 wing span.

“We have to do a better job as smalls to get back and help,” Kidd said. “That’s something that we knew was going to be an issue, especially playing small.”

Jokic, Embiid, Antetokounmpo finalists for NBA MVP honors

NEW YORK (AP) Nikola Jokic is a finalist to win a second straight NBA MVP award, along with two-time winner Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid.

The NBA unveiled the top-three finishers in voting for its individual awards Sunday, with the expected names in the running for the marquee award.

Jokic, the Denver Nuggets center, ended Antetokounmpo’s two-year reign last season and was every bit as good this season. Embiid, hoping to join them in the MVP club, led the NBA in scoring.

The winners of the awards will be announced during the postseason.

The other finalists are:

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Mikal Bridges (Phoenix), Rudy Gobert (Utah), Marcus Smart (Boston).

COACH OF THE YEAR

Taylor Jenkins (Memphis), Erik Spoelstra (Miami), Monty Williams (Phoenix).

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER

Darius Garland (Cleveland), Ja Morant (Memphis), Dejounte Murray (San Antonio).

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Scottie Barnes (Toronto), Cade Cunningham (Detroit), Evan Mobley (Cleveland).

SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR

Tyler Herro (Miami), Cam Johnson (Phoenix), Kevin Love (Cleveland).

Andrew Heaney whiffs 11, Dodgers sweep Reds with 9-1 blowout

LOS ANGELES (AP) Freddie Freeman and Andrew Heaney were aware of the high standards they would be expected to reach when they joined the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers in the offseason.

Freeman has fit right in with his usual excellence, while Heaney looks better than ever so far.

Freeman had four hits and three RBIs, Heaney struck out 11 over six innings of one-hit ball in a scoreless home debut, and Los Angeles completed a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds with a 9-1 victory Sunday.

Max Muncy, Will Smith and Chris Taylor had RBI doubles during a seven-run fourth on another dominant day for Los Angeles, which has won six straight.

“Hitting is contagious, and when you’ve got a bunch of great players, that seems to feed it,” Freeman said after his 19th career game with at least four hits. “That just shows what this lineup is capable of doing. Every guy is pretty much a game-changer in this lineup.”

The former Atlanta star warmed up for the Braves’ arrival in Chavez Ravine on Monday with a pair of run-scoring singles for the Dodgers, who hadn’t swept the Reds in a four-game home series since April 14-17, 1975 – exactly 47 years ago.

Tyler Naquin had an RBI single in the eighth for the Reds, who have lost six in a row to start the season at an NL-worst 2-8.

Heaney (1-0) largely dominated Cincinnati with only his fastball and a newfound slider, posting his 15th career start with at least 10 strikeouts. He walked three and allowed only a third-inning double by Kyle Farmer in his first appearance at Dodger Stadium since moving up the I-5 from Anaheim, where he spent 6 1/2 seasons with the Angels.

“It was just really good to see him build on that last outing,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Today it was really fun to watch. He was in complete command.”

After pitching scoreless ball into the fifth at Minnesota in his Dodgers debut last Tuesday, Heaney retired the first seven Reds he faced. After Farmer’s hit, Heaney set down 10 of his final 12 batters while again relying on his breaking pitches more frequently than at any previous point in his major league career.

“I had a good feel for the fastball and the slider, and that’s what we went with for the most part,” Heaney said. “I think (my) confidence has grown with that breaking ball. You don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself, but I’m getting more confident with that, and it’s a good feeling.”

Trea Turner went 0 for 4 with a walk and a run, ending his career-best hitting streak at 27 games dating to last year. The 2021 MLB batting champion, who hit a 105 mph lineout to shortstop in the eighth, failed to get a hit for only the seventh time in 61 games since joining the Dodgers last season.

Tyler Mahle (1-1) struck out five before finding big trouble in the fourth, eventually yielding seven runs on seven hits by the Dodgers’ relentless lineup.

The Orange County native shut down the Dodgers early before five straight batters reached base to open the fourth. Muncy drove home Freeman and Turner before Smith and Taylor added RBI doubles.

Freeman chased Mahle with an RBI single, his second hit of the inning.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: RHP Daniel Duarte went on the 10-day injured list with swelling in his right elbow. He hasn’t pitched since giving up two runs to Cleveland last Tuesday. … 2B Jonathan India missed his third straight game with a hamstring injury, but Cincinnati still hadn’t decided whether he needs an IL stint. “He’s going to get treatment today,” manager David Bell said. “It’s been sore, but not too bad. Still hoping to avoid the IL.”

Dodgers: In the club’s first roster moves of the season, RHP Phil Bickford was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Bickford had arm soreness before spring training and wasn’t ready to start the season in the majors. LA optioned LHP Garrett Cleavinger, who made just one appearance.

UP NEXT

Reds: Nick Lodolo (0-1, 11.25 ERA) is scheduled to make his second major league start in San Diego for the opener of a three-game series Monday.

Dodgers: A rematch of the NL Championship Series and a reunion game for Freeman and new Atlanta closer Kenley Jansen when the Braves and Dodgers open a three-game series. Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 0.00 ERA) starts for Los Angeles after throwing seven perfect innings in his season debut.

Suzuki homers to extend hot start, Cubs beat Rockies 6-4

DENVER (AP) Seiya Suzuki hit his fourth home run, extending an impressive start to his major league career, and the Chicago Cubs defeated the Colorado Rockies 6-4 on Sunday.

Willson Contreras also went deep for the Cubs. Nick Madrigal had three hits and Nico Hoerner drove in two runs.

Suzuki is batting .400 and has hit safely in eight straight games with an at-bat. The 27-year-old outfielder from Japan has reached base in all nine games with the Cubs.

“To me what has stood out is just how calm the at-bats are,” manager David Ross said. “You hear about the plate discipline and the contact, but just being able to find his pitches and not chase outside the strike zone with the velocity that’s here and some of the nasty stuff that he’s faced has been really impressive.”

Rowan Wick (1-0) won in relief and David Robertson earned his third save.

Ryan McMahon homered for the Rockies.

The Cubs roughed up Colorado starter Austin Gomber (0-1) for five runs – four earned – in 4 1/3 innings. Contreras hit a solo homer in the first, Hoerner had a two-run double in the second and Frank Schwindel made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the third.

“I was just a little bit off,” Gomber said. “I thought I got better as the game got on, my stuff got better. The shape of my off-speed pitches early on was not typical for me so I knew something was off. They were aggressive and made me pay.”

Gomber exited in the fifth after he intentionally walked Suzuki to load the bases. Yan Gomes hit an RBI single off reliever Ashton Goudeau.

Suzuki wasn’t bothered by the intentional walk.

“The bases get loaded so now it creates a bigger chance for the team,” he said through translator Toy Matsushita. “That’s the most important thing.”

Chicago starter Drew Smyly struck out four in 4 2/3 innings and left after a single by Yonathan Daza put runners on first and second with two outs. Scott Effross got Connor Joe to ground out to end the inning, but the Rockies came back in the sixth.

Elias Diaz’s RBI single gave Colorado its first run and McMahon hit his first homer of the year off Michael Rucker to make it 5-3.

Suzuki’s solo homer in the seventh made it a three-run game.

“It’s been really impressive so far,” Ross said.

Colorado loaded the bases twice in the bottom of the seventh but managed just one run on Kris Bryant’s sacrifice fly.

WISDOM SHOWS SOME TEETH

Chicago third baseman Patrick Wisdom was hitting .048 after going 0 for 4 on Thursday night but found his groove the rest of the weekend. He had two doubles Friday night and followed that with three hits in Saturday night’s loss. He continued to produce with another double and two walks Sunday.

Wisdom had five doubles in the series and raised his batting average to .233.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: RHP Alec Mills (lower back strain) threw a bullpen Saturday and is expected to face hitters in the coming days. The next step would be a minor league rehab assignment. … LHP Wade Miley (left elbow inflammation) threw off a mound Saturday for the first time since spring training.

Rockies: Placed INF Garrett Hampson on the 10-day injured list with a bruised right hand and recalled infielder Colton Welker from Triple-A Albuquerque. … OF Randal Grichuk returned to the lineup after missing three games with back soreness. He went 2 for 4.

UP NEXT

Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 7.00 ERA) opens a home series against Tampa Bay on Monday night.

Rockies: RHP Chad Kuhl (0-0, 2.08) makes his home debut when Colorado begins a three-game series against Philadelphia on Monday night.

Arozarena leads Rays past White Sox 9-3 to stop 4-game slide

CHICAGO (AP) Randy Arozarena doubled twice and finished with three hits as the Tampa Bay Rays topped the Chicago White Sox 9-3 on Sunday to stop a four-game slide.

Manuel Margot also had three hits for the Rays, including a double. Kevin Kiermaier and Francisco Mejia each drove in two runs. Wander Franco added an RBI double as Tampa Bay pulled away with a four-run eighth inning.

Margot, Kiermaier and Yandy Diaz had RBIs in a four-run first when the Rays jumped on shaky Chicago starter Vince Velasquez without hitting the ball hard.

J.P. Feyereisen opened for Tampa Bay, then was followed by Chris Mazza, Jalen Beeks, Ryan Thompson and Tommy Romero as the defending AL East champions patched together an unusual three-hitter that included five walks – plus a hit batter and passed ball that scored Chicago’s first two runs.

Feyereisen was perfect through the first two innings, striking out three, in his first start as a pro. Rays manager Kevin Cash used an opener for the first time this season.

Beeks and Thompson also allowed no one to reach base.

Mazza (1-0), the second Tampa Bay pitcher, walked five and allowed two hits and two runs in 2 1/3 innings. The right-hander threw 62 pitches, only 31 strikes.

Gavin Sheets hit a solo homer off Romero in the ninth. Adam Engel singled, walked, stole two bases and scored a run for the White Sox.

The Rays sent 10 batters to the plate in the first and a took a 4-0 lead on three soft singles, three walks and error by Velasquez (0-1). The right-hander threw 35 pitches and 20 strikes in the inning, then settled down to go 4 2/3 innings.

Velasquez walked Ji-Man Choi with the bases loaded to force in Tampa Bay’s first run.

Velasquez gloved Josh Lowe’s comebacker but dropped the ball, allowing a second run to score. Margot’s bloop single made it 3-0, and Kiermaier walked to force in another run.

The White Sox got on the board in the fourth when Mazza hit Sheets with a pitch with the bases loaded.

The White Sox loaded the bases against Mazza again with one out in the fifth but again managed only one run. Engel scored from third on a passed ball after Beeks relieved, cutting it to 4-2.

The Rays scored four runs off Matt Foster and Anderson Severino in the eighth to seal it.

NICE GRAB

Lowe made a leaping catch at the left-center wall on Tim Anderson’s drive in the bottom of the first. It might have been the hardest-hit ball in the game.

ON HIS WAY

RHP Javy Guerra, acquired by the Rays from the Padres for cash Saturday, is expected to join the team Monday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: Cash said left-handed starter Ryan Yarbrough (left groin tightness) threw from about 150 feet and should toss off a mound in the next couple of days.

White Sox: Manager Tony La Russa said RHP Joe Kelly (right biceps nerve injury) is progressing in his rehab at the team’s training facility in Arizona. La Russa said the 32-year-old Kelly is “throwing in the mid-90s (mph) with no discomfort,” but has yet to face hitters and there’s no timetable for his return.

UP NEXT

Rays: LHP Shane McClanahan (0-1, 3.00 ERA) faces Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 7.00) on Monday night as the Rays move across town to Wrigley Field for three games.

White Sox: Two former AL Cy Young Award winners meet when LHP Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 5.40) takes the mound against Guardians ace Shane Bieber (0-0, 2.70) in Cleveland on Monday night. The teams play a four-games series.

Estrada, Wood power Giants to 8-1 win, sweep of Guardians

CLEVELAND (AP) Alex Wood didn’t succumb to the cold or the Guardians.

Despite near-freezing temperatures, Wood took the mound Sunday wearing just his Giants jersey on top – like he does for every game.

“Never had a start in sleeves,” he said. “Won’t have one.”

Wood wasn’t about to change his routine or do anything to alter San Francisco’s run of steady starts.

Thairo Estrada homered and drove in four runs and Wood continued the team’s strong starting pitching to open the season as the Giants completed a three-game sweep of Cleveland with an 8-1 win Sunday over the Guardians in football-like weather.

Estrada hit a two-run homer off Aaron Civale (0-1) in the second inning and Brandon Belt added a two-run shot in the seventh as the Giants won their fifth straight.

Wood (1-0) allowed just four hits without a run over five innings before turning it over to San Francisco’s bullpen.

It was the ninth straight game in which a Giants starter allowed two runs or fewer, the second longest streak since 1901. Only the 1966 Chicago White Sox (11) have had a more extensive stretch to open a season.

“Just gotta keep rolling,” Wood said. “It’s not how you start, but how you finish. Everybody is really happy with this start we’ve had as a staff, and I think we’ve got some competitive juices flowing and guys want to back up what the guy does the day before.”

Giants manager Gabe Kapler didn’t seem initially impressed by his team’s historic string of starts.

“Oh, cool,” he said.

Kapler, though, isn’t all that surprised by what his pitchers have done.

“We’re aware that our starters are pitching well,” he said. “We expected it to be a strength of our club. They just come out and fill up the strike zone, that’s exactly what we’re asking them to do.

“All of them have left the games giving our bullpen a chance to hold it down and win games for us.”

It was a tough opening weekend at home for the Guardians.

In their first series at Progressive Field since the club’s name change, Cleveland managed just six hits and was held to four runs. The Guardians also had a couple defensive breakdowns that proved costly.

The game-time temperature was 35 degrees, the coldest for a first pitch in a Giants game since 1990. The Guardians might be more used to it, but that doesn’t make it any easier to perform.

“Once you’re out there, the weather becomes irrelevant,” said Civale, who was pulled after four innings. “You can’t use that as an excuse for anything. It’s part of the game. Temperature is all a part of it. It’s something that you’ve done it before and you know how to handle it.”

The weather conditions weren’t ideal for players or fans, but they didn’t affect Wood in his first appearance against Cleveland since 2013 with Atlanta. The left-hander walked two and struck out five.

“You can see by his delivery, there’s a lot of deception there,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “But with it, there’s also some movement. When he’s been healthy, he’s been really good. There’s just been times when he hasn’t been able to maintain his health, but he’s a good pitcher.”

Estrada gave the Giants a 2-0 lead in the second with his second homer, a shot to left field that barely cleared the 19-foot wall. Estrada’s homer came after Wilmer Flores doubled off the wall in left-center with two outs.

Estrada picked up another RBI in the fourth, when the Guardians failed to turn a double play on his one-out grounder to short as second baseman Owen Miller’s return to throw to first skipped into the photographer’s pit for an error.

The Giants made it 6-0 in the sixth on Estrada’s RBI double and Steven Duggar’s run-scoring single off Eli Morgan.

Belt followed a leadoff walk to Austin Slater in the seventh with his third homer.

Cleveland’s Austin Hedges ended the shutout in the seventh with an RBI single, his first hit after starting the season hitless in 21 at-bats.

BUNDLED UP

Some flurries swirled in the ballpark as Kapler arrived in the dugout for his pregame media availability.

Stocking caps and winter gloves were again necessary with temperatures in the 30s and a stiff wind blowing in.

Kapler was asked if he remembered the coldest game he played in, and correctly guessed it came when he played for Colorado. What Kapler didn’t remember of the 2003 game was that he got three hits.

“I did?” he said, joking he would dig up the video if his players complained about the cold.

UP NEXT

Giants: Continue their four-city trip in New York with RHP Alex Cobb (1-0) starting the first of four games against the Mets, who will counter with RHP Tyler Megill (2-0).

Guardians: RHP Shane Bieber (0-0) starts the opener of a four-game home series against Chicago’s Dallas Keuchel (1-0) and the White Sox.

Taylor has key double, Hader saves 100th, Brewers beat Cards

MILWAUKEE (AP) Tyrone Taylor hit a two-run double in the seventh inning to give Milwaukee a cushion, and the Brewers outlasted Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 on Sunday.

Pujols hit his 681st career homer, a three-run shot in the third inning off Aaron Ashby that tied the game at 3, but the Brewers regained the lead in the fourth on Willy Adames’ bases-loaded walk and held on from there.

Taylor’s seventh-inning double made it 6-3. St. Louis got within one in the eighth against Devin Williams, but Josh Hader struck out two during a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the season and 100th of his career.

Jake Cousins (2-0) worked a scoreless fifth for Milwaukee. St. Louis starter Dakota Hudson (0-1) allowed four runs, three earned, in three innings.

“I don’t think that’s what he wanted for himself,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “At the end of the day, you have to throw more strikes in order to compete.”

Making his first start of the season after two relief appearances, Ashby issued four walks and a pair of hits over four innings. The three runs he allowed – all on Pujols’ blast – were unearned thanks to an error on Milwaukee second baseman Kolten Wong to open the inning.

The Brewers jumped ahead 3-0 in the first. Andrew McCutchen had a sacrifice fly, and Rowdy Tellez hit a run-scoring double to the wall in left-center. Milwaukee got another run on a throwing error by catcher Andrew Knizner.

Hudson retired six of his next seven batters before Keston Hirua brought his day to an end with a single to lead off the fourth. Reliever T.J. McFarland gave up a single and a walk to load the bases. After striking out Wong, McFarland lost a seven-pitch battle to Adames that gave Milwaukee the lead.

“We had to be patient,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We did a nice job of that. And then we got some big hits. Keston, Tyrone obviously a really big one. Today was a day when just patience and grinding out at-bats paid some dividends eventually.”

CLIMBING THE LIST

Pujols moved one step closer to Alex Rodriguez, who is fourth in major league history with 696 homers.

Ashby got the better of the veteran slugger in the first inning with a sinker for a called third strike. In Pujols’ next at-bat, Ashby left a 1-0 slider hanging out over the plate.

“It was a great pitch to hit and that was my best swing of the night,” Pujols said. “I wasn’t looking for anything, I was just trying to execute my game plan.”

Pujols used to work out at a fitness center Ashby’s family owned in Kansas City when Pujols was in town to host hitting camps that Ashby himself attended for three years while growing up.

“I wish he would have taught me to hit a little better, but that’s the way it goes,” Ashby said.

HISTORY FOR HADER

Hader became the third pitcher in Brewers history to record 100 saves, joining Dan Plesac (133) and John Axford (106). He is the 160th player to reach the century mark since the save became an official statistic in 1969.

“It was a fun journey just to make it here and to get 100 (saves), it’s pretty special,” Hader said.

Hader needed just 286 1/3 innings and 236 appearances to achieve the feat.

“He’s four-and-a-half full seasons (into his career),” Counsell said. “No reliever has had a better start to his career than Josh Hader in the history of the game. I’m not exaggerating. That’s a fact. I don’t think it’s really disputable.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: C Yadier Molina (right knee soreness) was out of the starting lineup for a third straight game but came on as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning.

Brewers: INF Luis Urias (left quad) remains in Arizona where he’s been doing simulated baseball activities. The Brewers hope to send Urias out for a minor league rehab assignment before the end of the month.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: St. Louis gets a day off in Miami Monday before Adam Wainwright (1-1, 3.48 ERA) takes the mound Tuesday to open a three-game series against the Marlins.

Brewers: LHP Eric Lauer (0-0, 6.23) looks for his first victory of the season Monday when Milwaukee opens a three-game series against Pittsburgh.

Angels’ Trout plunked in win over Texas, X-rays negative

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Mike Trout left the Los Angeles Angels’ 8-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Sunday after being hit in his left hand by a pitch, but the team said X-rays were negative and the three-time AL MVP is day to day.

Trout was struck by a 1-1 slider from Rangers right-hander Spencer Patton leading off the fifth inning. He was seemingly handcuffed by the 81 mph pitch, lowering his hands to protect his midsection.

Trout jumped around and shook the hand in pain. He initially walked toward the visiting dugout, then marched about halfway down the first-base line, where he was met by trainer Mike Frostad and manager Joe Maddon. Frostad checked to see if Trout could squeeze the hand, then walked him off the field and back to the clubhouse.

Trout is hitting .267 this season with two home runs and two RBIs. He earlier doubled on a flair to short right field during the Angels’ three-run third inning in which they took a 4-1 lead.

Mike Mayers (1-0) retired two of three batters to end the fifth for starter Jose Suarez. The Angels have won three straight for the first time since August.

Adolis Garcia hit a two-run home run for the Rangers, who have lost three straight and are 2-7 to open the season for the first time since 2006. Texas starter Martin Perez (0-2) allowed four runs, three earned, in four innings.

Seven Angels had one RBI. Los Angeles took advantage of seven walks – five of those runners scored – and three Texas errors plus a passed ball that scored a run. Matt Duffy had three hits for LA.

NOTES

Angels 3B Anthony Rendon was given a day off for the second straight Sunday. … Texas SS Corey Seager was given the day to deal with what manager Chris Woodward called normal wear and tear. … The Rangers have had a starter go five innings only once this season, with one of their nine games having a one-inning opener. … Globe Life Field’s roof was open for the fifth time in six games this season. In the two previous seasons of the ballpark, the roof was open six times in 30 games in 2020 and 11 times in last year’s full 81 home schedule.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Angels: C Kurt Suzuki stayed in the game after being hit in the back of the head by Andy Ibanez’s backswing in the eighth inning.

Rangers: INF-OF Brad Miller (back tightness) missed his second straight game after being a late scratch Saturday.

UP NEXT

Angels: RHP Michael Lorenzen (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will open a three-game series at Houston against Astros RHP Luis Garcia (0-0, 0.00).

Rangers: RHP Jon Gray (0-0, 6.75) is scheduled to come off the injured list and start Tuesday at Seattle against Mariners LHP Robbie Ray (1-1, 4.73) to begin a six-game AL West road trip. Gray left his Texas debut on opening day at Toronto after four innings with a blister.

Panthers’ win streak reaches 10 games with 6-1 rout of Wings

DETROIT (AP) Anton Lundell scored twice and the Florida Panthers extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 6-1 rout of the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

“I didn’t even realize this was 10, but I’ve really liked our game in the last three or four games,” Panthers coach Andrew Brunette said. “We’re doing the right things and we’re bringing our top game every night. When we do that, we’re going to be successful.”

Anthony Duclair, Sam Reinhart, Maxim Mamin and Gustav Forsling also scored for the Panthers, who tied a franchise mark with their 22nd road win of the season. Spencer Knight made 33 saves.

Pius Suter scored and Alex Nedeljkovic had 33 saves for the Red Wings, who have allowed six or more goals for the 14th time this season.

Duclair snapped the scoreless tie at 5:02 of the second period when his shot from the right faceoff dot beat Nedeljkovic, increasing his career high with his 31st goal of the season.

Reinhart made it 2-0 just 90 seconds later when he scored his 28th goal of the season, extending his points streak to six games.

Lundell scored his first of the game at 14:23 of the second and Mamin followed 28 seconds later for a 4-0 lead.

“Against this team you either have to be perfect or you have to score and we weren’t perfect and we didn’t score, so then you’re down 4-0,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said.

Reinhart assisted on Lundell’s goal, giving him four goals and seven assists during his points streak.

While short-handed, Lundell scored his second of the game in the third period on a spectacular between-the-legs drop pass from Aleksander Barkov.

“I was just trying to keep up with him, but he obviously has eyes in the back of his head, because he dropped it right on my stick,” Lundell said.

Said Brunette: “He’s a world-class player who makes incredible plays every day, so we get kind of spoiled by him, but that was fantastic.”

Suter scored Detroit’s goal at 12:04 of the third. And Forsling added his ninth of the season at 13:14.

“They got two quick, three quick and we didn’t respond, we didn’t get back at them,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said. “It doesn’t help when you give up a short-handed goal. You get a chance to put one on the board. We had a good start, Ned played well and then they just scored and we didn’t respond.”

The Panthers also extended their team record for goals to 314, the most in the NHL this season.

“The good thing about having four lines that can score is that it only takes one or two to step up and make a play to get us rolling,” Lundell said. “It’s a lot of fun when that happens, because we know we can score a lot in a hurry.”

STREAK ENDS

Jonathan Huberdeau’s points streak ended at 13 games. He had 11 goals and 13 assists in that span.

ROSTER MOVES

Before the game, the Red Wings recalled right wing Riley Barber from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins under emergency conditions. They also assigned center Chase Pearson to the Griffins.

MILESTONE

Before the game, the Red Wings and Panthers honored referee Brian Pochmara for his 1,000th game. Pochmara, a Detroit native whose family was in attendance, received signed jerseys from both teams and a Tiffany crystal.

UP NEXT

Panthers visit the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.

Red Wings visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Playoff-bound Blues score 7 in 2nd period, beat Preds 8-3

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The St. Louis Blues set a franchise record for goals in a period, hanging seven on Nashville in the second period of an 8-3 win over the Predators on Sunday.

Calle Rosen, Brayden Schenn and Jordan Kyrou each scored two goals, Nathan Walker and Vladimir Tarasenko also scored, and Jordan Binnington made 33 saves for the Blues, winners of nine straight. St. Louis locked up its fourth straight playoff spot on Saturday when it beat Minnesota.

“I’m very happy with the team, the way they’re performing,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “They are playing for each other and right now. They are doing a good job. It’s all about the team.”

Nick Cousins had a goal and an assist and Luke Kunin and Dante Fabbro also scored for Nashville, which has lost two of three. The Predators are tied in points with Dallas for the top wild card spot in the tight Western Conference.

The game was tied 1-1 after the first period. Cousins gave Nashville its only lead of the game at 4:16 and Schenn answered at 17:41.

“The thing is, it’s so cliche, but there’s nothing you can about it right now,” Cousins said. “You just got to get ready for the next one. It doesn’t really matter whether we lost 2-1, 3-1. It’s a loss.”

The floodgates opened in the second. Nashville goaltender Juuse Saros was pulled at 9:29 after allowing Kyrou’s first goal, which made it 4-1.

“Every line can play and every line can score goals and do the right things,” Kyrou said. “It’s obviously huge and it’s definitely going to be huge in the playoffs.”

Saros, who backstopped the Predators in their win over Chicago on Saturday, made 16 saves on 20 shots. He was replaced by David Rittich, who allowed four goals on 13 shots.

“There (weren’t) any soft goals,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “It was a 2-on-1, breakaway, 2-on-1. It was all clear-cut chances. We just left them out to dry. There was nothing they could have done. It’s on us. We got embarrassed in the second period and we gave up way too much.”

The seven goals were the most allowed in a period for the Predators franchise.

Rosen, playing in his 34th career game, had scored just once prior to Sunday’s two-goal effort – on April 1, 2019. He also picked up an assist Sunday.

“It’s always fun to score goals, so it was good to get two today, but it’s a great second period by us,” Rosen said. “We were rolling over them. It was a fun game to play.”

STREAKS EXTENDED

Blues forwards Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich both extended their lengthy point-scoring streaks.

With one assist, Thomas has reached the scoresheet in 13 straight, scoring six goals and adding 19 assists.

Buchnevich also had an assist, giving him points in his last 10 games. He has six goals and 12 assists over that span.

HONORING TERRY CRISP

The Predators honored longtime broadcaster Terry Crisp before the game. Crisp has been part of Nashville’s broadcast team since the team entered the league in 1998 and is retiring at season’s end.

Affectionately known as “Crispy,” he won Stanley Cups as a player with the Philadelphia Flyers and as a coach with the Calgary Flames.

Crisp was also an original Blue, playing five seasons for St. Louis beginning with the team’s inaugural season in 1967-68.

TARASENKO’S MILESTONES

Tarasenko played his 600th career game. With his goal and three assists, he set a career high in points with 76. Tarasenko has scored in five straight games and has eight goals and seven assists in his six-game points streak.

UP NEXT

Predators: Host Pacific Division-leading Calgary on Tuesday.

Blues: Host Boston on Tuesday.

Spieth beats Cantlay with playoff bunker shot to 7 inches

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) Thinking he might have a chance for a playoff, Jordan Spieth rolled in a 10-foot birdie on the 18th hole in regulation. He made an even bigger shot at Habour Town’s signature hole in a playoff to win the RBC Heritage.

Spieth’s 56-foot shot from a greenside bunker stopped 7 inches away and he beat Patrick Cantlay with a tap-in par Sunday on the lighthouse hole for his 13th career PGA Tour title – and second straight on Easter Sunday.

Sometimes, Spieth said, there’s a tournament where you feel you’ve played well, yet not good enough to win. “I honestly felt like this was that week,” he said with a grin. “I needed a lot of things to go right.”

And he got them all.

Spieth, at 13 under after his 5-under 66, finished four groups ahead of Cantlay and waited out the stellar field that had several chances to tie or move in front. But all except Cantlay could not chase down Spieth, who stayed away from watching too much of the action once he finished.

“Every single putt looks like it’s going in,” Spieth said. “It was way more nerve-racking than actually playing.”

Spieth was certain he’d get passed by Cantlay, the FedEx Cup champion; past British Open winner Shane Lowry or third-round leader Harold Varner III. When all three parred the par-5, 15th, the best chance for birdie on the back nine, Spieth felt his chances improve.

When Spieth finished, he was a stroke behind Shane Lowry. But Lowry’s chip on the par-3 14th raced across the green and into the water, leading to double bogey. He finished a stroke back after a 69.

After Cantlay, tied for the lead after a birdie on the 17th, hit his approach on the green on his closing hole of regulation, Spieth headed out to loosen up, certain he’d be called back after Cantley made the winning putt.

Instead, Cantlay slid it by right to set up the playoff.

In the playoff, Cantlay also hit into the front bunker, with his lie looking like a fried egg. He blasted 35 feet past the cup and missed the par putt.

Cantlay was 179 yards from the hole in the playoff and used a 9-iron as he did a short time earlier in regulation. This shot, came up short of the green and in an awful position.

“Obviously, with it plugged like that, it’s darn near impossible to get it close,” Cantlay said.

Three strokes behind Varner entering the round, Spieth eagled both front-nine par 5s to get into the mix.

Spieth had won his last event, the Valero Texas Open, on Easter to end a four-year winless drought.

Next Easter Sunday? The final round of the Masters.

“That’s good vibes,” said Spieth, a three-time major champion.

Cam Davis (63) also was a stroke back with Varner (70), J.T. Poston (64), Cameron Young (66), Sepp Straka (68), Matt Kuchar (68).

Spieth has won from the bunker before. He beat Daniel Berger with greenside bunker shot on first extra hole at the 2017 Travelers Championship.

Others besides Cantlay, who missed a 15-footer for birdie on his 72nd hole, had a chance to catch Spieth. Straka tied Spieth at 13 under with a birdie on the 17th, then bogeyed the final hole after his approach found some gnarly long grass in front of the green. Varner had birdie chances on each of his last four holes, yet could not convert any of them.

Spieth took off with the early eagles. On the second hole, he holed out from a greenside bunker. On the fifth hole, he reached the green in two and rolled in a 24-footer as the gallery erupted in cheers.

Spieth reached 13 under with a birdie on the eighth before falling back to 11 under with bogeys on the ninth and 11th. He moved into striking position with a birdie on the 13th, then struck his approach to the drama-filled lighthouse hole to 10 feet and posted at 13 under.

He came in this week bothered about missing the cut last week at Augusta National. “I hated it,” he said. “It was the worst feeling. It was the worst feeling as a golfer than I can remember.”

That turned around at Harbour Town in front a happy, sold-out crowd that Spieth said was four-deep during his pro-am round Wednesday.

“I was actually very surprised by the amount of support that everyone had this week, and I felt a lot of it personally,” Spieth said. “These crowds were just fantastic for it being a non-major.”

Spieth had only played the tournament three times since 2015 because it falls after the always grueling Masters week.

“What a great tournament to win,” Spieth said. “It’s an amazing golf course.”

Kyle Busch steals Bristol win as Reddick and Briscoe crash

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) Kyle Busch backed into the record book by stealing a win at dirt-covered Bristol Motor Speedway.

That’s what he’d say if it had been anyone else, right?

Busch won his first race of the season Sunday night by sliding past the leaders as Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe spun racing for the win. Busch tied Hall of Famer Richard Petty’s NASCAR record for victories in consecutive years at 18.

But his tune was far different at Bristol than it was six weeks ago when Alex Bowman won at Las Vegas and an irate Busch complained that Bowman is “the same (expletive) guy who backs into every (expletive) win that he ever (expletive) gets.”

When it was Busch’s turn to inherit a win, he had no problem collecting the checkered flag.

“We got one, you know?” Busch said. “It doesn’t matter how you get them, it’s all about getting them.”

Later, he acknowledged that he did “back into one” but said it felt good.

Reddick was chasing the first Cup win of his career, led 99 of the 250 laps, and controlled the race from the final restart with 24 laps remaining. Lapped traffic gave Briscoe a shot and Briscoe made his move in the third turn as he tried to slide inside past Reddick.

The move backfired and both cars spun out of control and Busch, who was running third, simply skirted through for his first win.

Busch won for the ninth time in Cup at Bristol – first time in two dirt races – and was booed by the smattering of fans who waited out two rain delays that pushed the first race on Easter Sunday since 1989 to nearly four hours.

“I mean, man, I feel like Dale Earnhardt Sr. right now. This is awesome. I didn’t do anything,” Busch said of the 1999 race in which Earnhardt was booed for bumping Terry Labonte out of the way for the win.

Reddick finished second and faulted himself for not holding off Briscoe. Briscoe went from two turns away from the win to 22nd and immediately found Reddick on pit road to apologize.

“I was going to spin out, I think, either way,” Briscoe said. “I’m sorry. I just wanted to let you know. I am sorry. I wish you would have won.”

Reddick was understanding and admitted he should have been more defensive.

“I don’t think I did everything right. Briscoe was able to run me back down there,” Reddick said. “I should have done a little bit better job of just, I don’t know, I shouldn’t have let him get that close. He ran me back down. Worked really hard to do that.

“I mean, you’re racing on dirt, going for the move on the final corner. It’s everything that as a driver you hope to battle for in his situation. Made it really exciting for the fans. I should have done a better job and pulled away so he wasn’t in range to try to make that move.”

Rain had stopped the race for a second time moments before the race was supposed to go green with 30 laps remaining.

“It’s slimy,” Busch, who was running second as the rain slicked the track, said of the conditions.

From inside his cockpit, Reddick knew he had his work cut out for him if he was to win.

“One of the best in stock car racing, Kyle Busch, he’s definitely going to make me earn it,” Reddick said from inside his Chevrolet.

But Briscoe got past Busch when the rain finally stopped and it was Briscoe who wrecked Reddick’s trip to victory lane.

The race was NASCAR’s second attempt at running a Cup race on dirt and it turned into a wet and muddy mystery when rain paused the racing and most of the drivers seemed clueless about the rules.

Bristol dumped more than 2,300 truckloads of Tennessee red clay onto its beloved concrete 0.533-mile bullring to help NASCAR add variety to the schedule at a time the stock car series is experimenting with radical changes. Fox Sports then convinced NASCAR to take the prime-time television slot on Easter Sunday, the first time since NASCAR’s 1949 inception the Cup Series deliberately chose the date.

NASCAR had held 10 previous Cup races on Easter Sunday in its history, but all because of weather-related rescheduling. This purposeful event was designed to dominate a television audience gathered together as a family the same way the NFL and NBA do on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What the new audience saw was a mid-race mass of confusion because few drivers seemed to understand the rules during the first stoppage. Some drivers pitted – presumably because their teams knew scoring was halted under the red flag and wouldn’t resume until the race went green.

Busch was among many drivers who did not pit – perhaps because they assumed they’d move up in the running order. So it was Busch who had his car out front when NASCAR halted all activity, but Briscoe, who had pitted, was scored as the leader.

Denny Hamlin, who had already been eliminated from the race, was watching on Fox Sports and saw what he claimed was a rules explanation that lasted longer than a minute.

“What’s wrong with this picture,” Hamlin wrote on Twitter. “As a fan sitting on my ass right now watching, it’s hard to take this seriously.”

Carson Hocevar, the runner-up in Saturday night’s Truck Series race, posted a meme th at intimated NASCAR was making up the rules as it went along. In actuality, NASCAR was clear in its pre-race rules video that scoring would be stopped at the end of the stage and not resume until the race went green again.

The confusion up and down pit road indicated few had a clear grasp of the procedures, which at Bristol differed from all other Cup races. NASCAR held a mandatory pre-race driver meeting prior to the pandemic in which rules were discussed; it has since been replaced by a video.

The race did resume – with Briscoe as the leader – with the entire third stage still remaining.

DALE JR. TO THE FOX BOOTH

NASCAR Hall of Famer and NBC Sports analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be in the rotating guest in the Fox Sports booth next Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Earnhardt will join Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer on Sunday. He has a record His record six wins at Talladega and is the 15-time winner of NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver award.

“Calling a race from Talladega is an incredibly fun experience,” Earnhardt said in a statement issued by Fox Sports. “You absolutely have to be on your toes at all times. It doesn’t take much for all hell to break loose.”

Fox Sports and NBC Sports split NASCAR’s 38-race schedule. Neither network had an explanation for the sharing next week of Earnhardt. Fox Sports all season has used a different guest analyst as the replacement for Jeff Gordon, who returned to a competition role at Hendrick Motorsports this season and left the network with a two-man booth.

UP NEXT

NASCAR races next Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, where Brad Keselowski is he defending race winner and Bubba Wallace in October earned his first career victory.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS/HEADLINES

Baseball Falls in Finale at Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The Indiana baseball program dropped a heartbreaking decision, 10-9, in the series finale at Big Ten-leading Rutgers on Sunday (April 17) afternoon at Bainton Field.

Indiana (13-21, 2-7 B1G) opened the scoring with a single run in the first inning, before the two teams scored three runs apiece in the third. Both teams plated four runs in the fifth inning and IU struck with one in the sixth to build a 9-7 lead. Rutgers (30-6, 11-1 B1G) plated one in the seventh and hit two solo home runs in the ninth for the walk-off victory.

Freshman Carter Mathison hit a grand slam as part of a multi-hit game. The left-handed hitter went 2-for-4 with four RBIs in his eighth multi-hit effort of the season. It was the first grand slam for Indiana since Matt Gorski cleared the bases against Ball State on April 16, 2019.

Along with Mathison, graduate student Tyler Doanes, senior Phillip Glasser, freshman Josh Pyne and redshirt-sophomore Bobby Whalen each added multi-hit games, and Hunter Jessee was on base three times. Whalen singled, doubled, scored three runs and stole two bases in the game, while Pyne added one RBI and two runs scored. For the second straight game, Jessee worked three walks, and added a single, one run scored and one RBI in the finale. Redshirt-junior Matthew Ellis drove in a pair of runs in the contest.

Senior starting pitcher Bradley Brehmer ran into trouble in the fifth inning and handed the ball off the Reese Sharp (0-6) who got out of the fifth inning jam and cruised into the ninth inning before allowing the two home runs. In all, Brehmer allowed seven runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings and Sharp surrendered three runs on four hits with five strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.

Chris Brito led the Rutgers offense with three RBIs and Josh Kuroda-Grauer and Evan Sleight each plated two RBIs. The ninth-inning runs were provided by Tony Santa Maria and Jordan Sweeney via solo home runs. Sam Bello (3-0) came on in the top of the ninth and stranded the bases loaded to get the win.

Scoring Recap

Top First

Bobby Whalen led off the game with a double down the left field line, moved to third on a flyout and scored on a passed ball with two outs.

Indiana 1, at Rutgers 0

Top Third

A leadoff walk to Peter Serruto was erased on a Whalen fielder’s choice. Glasser followed with a base hit and ended up on second after the Rutgers defense tried to cut down Whalen going first to third. Matthew Ellis delivered the sacrifice fly and Josh Pyne doubled to push Glasser across. Hunter Jessee singled to score Pyne.

Indiana 4, at Rutgers 0

Bottom Third

A one-out single up the middle for Evan Sleight got Rutgers on the board and put two runners on base. Chris Brito then doubled to left field with two outs to plate two runs.

Indiana 4, at Rutgers 3

Top Fifth

Ellis reached on a dropped third strike and his time on base was extended thanks to an error that allowed Pyne to reach and moved Ellis to third. A Jessee walk loaded the bases, before a run was cut down at home on a fielder’s choice. Carter Mathison then hit a grand slam to right field.

Indiana 8, at Rutgers 3

Bottom Fifth

Five of the first six batters reached base, as Sleight and Nick Cimillo each drove in one RBI. With the bases loaded, Josh Kuroda-Grauer drove in a pair of runs with a base hit through the left side. Reese Sharp came on in relief with two runners on and one out and stranded two base runners to hold the IU lead.

Indiana 8, at Rutgers 7

Top Sixth

Whalen singled and stole second before the first out of the inning was recorded. After stealing third, Whalen scored on an Ellis chopper to the pitcher.

Indiana 9, at Rutgers 7

Bottom Seventh

Chris Brito hit a solo home run.

Indiana 9, at Rutgers 8

Bottom Ninth

Tony Santa Maria led off the inning with a solo home run and Jordan Sweeney hit a one-out walk-off home run.

at Rutgers 10, Indiana 9

Up Next

It will be a busy week for the Hoosiers, as Indiana will play two midweek games before hosting a three-game series over the weekend. Trips to Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday, April 19 and Cincinnati on Wednesday, April 20, and host Nebraska in a Big Ten series starting on Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m.

Boilermakers Fall in Series Finale at No. 6 Northwestern

EVANSTON, Ill. – Home runs were the difference-maker in Purdue softball’s (19-24, 2-9 Big Ten) loss at No. 6 Northwestern. A combined four home runs, including a Wildcat grand slam, led to a five-inning 2-10 final score.

Despite the loss, the Boilermakers held steady against the Wildcats, with a 0-1 Northwestern lead until a grand slam in the bottom of the third was the eventual game-winner.

Catcher Kaeley Hallada rocketed off a two-run home run in the fourth inning, marking the fifth home run of the season for the senior and the first since her game-winning homer at then-No. 22 USF (3/17/22). Rachel Becker scored on the play from first.

The Boilermakers committed no errors and were out-hit by Northwestern, 4-9.

In the circle, starter Brenna Smith received the loss, moving to 2-8 on the year after tossing one strikeout and allowing eight hits.

Purdue will return home to Bittinger next weekend for a three-game series vs. Michigan State, which will be streamed on B1G+. Game times are scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. ET, Saturday at 2 p.m. ET and Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Cardinals Fall in Series Finale to Zips

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team and the Akron Zips closed out a four-game series from the Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex on Easter Sunday. Amir Wright led the Cardinals with a 1-for-1 day at the plate with two walks and he was hit by a pitch twice. Wright scored two of the three BSU runs. Ball State fell to Akron 4-3.

Wright has reached safely in 33 of the 34 games this season and has reached in all Mid-American Conference games. He is currently on a seven-game hitting streak. Zach Cole has reached safely in 12-straight contests and led the Cardinals with two hits in today’s game. Trenton Quartermaine extended his streak of reaching base safely to 10 games.

With the loss, Ball State fell to 21-13 overall and 15-3 in league contests, while Akron improved to 11-24 overall and 9-15 in the conference.

Wright led off the bottom of the first with a six-pitch walk. Quartermaine singled up the middle to move Wright to third.  Nick Powell reached safely on a fielder’s choice as Quartermaine was out at second, but Wright was able to score. The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead into the top of the second.

In the top of the second, Akron was able to get runners on the corners. Casey Bargo closed the door and got out of the second inning unscathed.

After a scoreless top of the third, Zach Lane led off the home half with a four-pitch walk. Lane stole second before Wright notched a single to the pitcher to give Ball State runners on the corners with no outs. Quartermaine tallied an RBI on a sac fly to right center that scored Lane. Wright then stole second to move into scoring position. Hunter Dobbins drew a two-out walk. Cole followed with a walk to load the bases. Ryan Peltier picked up an RBI as he was hit by a pitch that scored Wright from third. Ball State held a 3-0 advantage after three innings in the books.

The Zips cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth with one run on two hits. In the top of the sixth, Akron plated two runs on just one hit and stranded the bases loaded. The Zips sent the game tied into the home half of the sixth.

Ball State was able to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth but was unable to get the go-ahead run across.

The Zips were able to capitalize on a lead-off walk and a throwing error to get runners on second and third with no outs. The Cardinals were able to turn a double play to prevent one run from scoring, but the Zips still had a runner on third with two outs. A wild pitch gave Akron the 4-3 lead after eight and a half innings.

Ball State was able to get a runner to second in the home half of the ninth but were unable to get the tying run across.

Bargo picked up a no decision in the start for BSU. He went five innings with three strikeouts and surrendered two earned runs on three hits. Nate Dohm added 1 1/3 innings of relief with two strikeouts with one earned run on two hits. Ryan Brown picked up the loss in 2 1/3 innings of relief and fell to 1-2. Brown struck out three batters and gave up an unearned run on two walks. Sam Klein went 1/3 of an inning to get out of the ninth inning.

Brady Biglin got the start for the Zips and went four innings with three strikeouts. He gave up three earned runs on three hits. Brett Dietrich collected the win in four innings of relief and improved to 2-0. Dietrich tallied two strikeouts and gave up three hits. Sammy Tortorella collected the save with one strikeout in one inning of relief.

Ball State returns to action for a Tuesday afternoon MAC contest on the road against Western Michigan. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m.

From the Coach – Head Coach Rich Maloney

“It’s always tough to win four games. We made a couple of mistakes that were costly. They made the plays when they had to, and we didn’t.”

WOMEN’S GOLF EARNS RUNNER-UP FINISH AT LADY JAGUAR INVITE

CARMEL, Ind. – The IUPUI women’s golf team earned a runner-up finish at this weekend’s Lady Jaguar Invitational at Plum Creek Golf Club, finishing with a team total of 601 (301-300) to place second to Eastern Michigan. EMU closed with a team score of 585 and were led by Anna Watson’s 6-under 138 as she earned medalist honors.

IUPUI was tied for third heading into Sunday’s final round, but outpaced Dayton and leapfrogged Butler to collect their fifth runner-up finish of the season.

“I’m extremely proud of the way the ladies handled their emotions and strategized around the golf course. Having two Jaguars finish in the top-5 and 77 being our drop score shows our depth in the lineup,” assistant coach Tavia Rutherford said. “We can pull a lot of positive things from today that will be great momentum leading into conference.

“We still need to strengthen some areas, but I’m excited to get to work and trust that we will have our best effort when we tee it up in Florida next week.”

The Jaguars’ depth was on full display on Sunday (Apr. 17) as part of their final round 300.

Senior Kara Blair led the way with an even par 72 and fifth year senior Amelie Svejda posted a round of 75 in her 100th career round. Sophomore Shelby Busker posted a score of 76 and Annaliese Fox and Nerea Lancho closed at 5-over 77. Blair and Busker finished inside the top five overall, ending the tournament at 150 each.

Fox just missed a top-10 finish, tying for 11th at 151, including a long birdie putt on her final hole. She finished the week with a team-high seven birdies, tying for third overall amongst the field. Blair and Busker each had a team-high 23 pars while Svejda and Lancho each made 22.

Keisha Bennett led IUPUI’s two individual entries on Sunday with a score of 79 and Ally Stuckey shot 84. Stuckey finished the tournament at 160, tying for 31st overall.

IUPUI will next compete in the Horizon League Championships at Mission Inn Resort on Apr. 24-26.

MIDWEEK PREVIEW: VALPARAISO AND PURDUE FORT WAYNE

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Notre Dame baseball team is back at home to open a five-game homestand on Tuesday with two-straight midweek matchups. The Irish will face Valparaiso for the second time this season on Tuesday and will host Purdue Fort Wayne on Wednesday. Both games are set for a 5 p.m. ET start from Frank Eck Stadium and will be streamed on the ACC Network Extra. Admission is free for all fans this season at Frank Eck Stadium.

Irish Return Home for Midweek Matchups

The Irish return home for another long stretch of games at Frank Eck Stadium. Eight of the next nine games for the Irish will be at home, including a five-game homestand starting on Tuesday.

The Irish open the homestand with a double midweek against Valparaiso on Tuesday and Purdue Fort Wayne on Wednesday.

This will be the second meeting between Valparaiso and Notre Dame after the Irish beat the Beacons 12-1 in the home opener on March 15.

Brooks Coetzee III homered and Jack Findlay earned his second win of the season in the win over the Beacons.

In the all-time series between the two schools, Notre Dame holds an 84-21 advantage and are 57-10 in games play at home.

The Irish have won 12 straight against the Beacons and 22 of the last 23 dating back to the 2001 season.

Valpo enters the game 13-18 on the season and are 2-4 in Missouri Valley play. They are coming off a 2-1 weekend after winning a road series over Illinois State.

On Wednesday, the Irish will face off with Purdue Fort Wayne for the seventh time in program history and the first time since 2012.

The Irish are 6-0 against the Mastodons and are 5-0 in games played in South Bend.

The last time the two teams played each other, the Irish won 8-1 on March 21, 2012 at Frank Eck Stadium.

The Mastodons are 10-23 on the season and are 7-8 in Horizon League play. They are coming off a 2-1 weekend after winning a road series at Northern Kentucky.

Among the Nation’s Best

Since the start of the 2020 season, the Irish have been one of the most consistent teams over the past three seasons.

Notre Dame is 66-23, good for a .742 winning percentage over that period.

That ranks third overall in the NCAA, trailing only Tennessee and Arkansas.

McCluskey Earns Victory, Valpo Takes Rubber Match to Win Road Series at Illinois State

Valparaiso University baseball sophomore Griffin McCluskey (Normal, Ill. / Normal Community) won’t soon forget his return to his hometown this weekend.

The Normal native earned his first collegiate victory, delivering six one-run innings of four-hit ball to pitch the visitors to a 2-1 victory over Illinois State in the rubber match of a three-game series on Easter Sunday. This marked Valpo’s second road series win in league play since joining the Missouri Valley Conference and first since 2018.

How It Happened

McCluskey faced a first-inning jam as Illinois State had two on with only one away. However, both runners were stranded in scoring position as the Valpo righty worked out of it with no damage done.

The hometown hero put up another zero in the bottom of the second, then the Beacons went to work offensively in the third. After Illinois State had sent down six straight Valpo batters to start the game, the guests produced a third-inning run as the bottom of the order came through. Angel DiFederico (New Haven, Ind. / New Haven) started the frame with a single, and dove in safely at home on a double to center by Alex Ryan (Lake Mills, Wis. / Lakeside Lutheran) a moment later for the first tally of the game.

The bottom of the third came to an end as Valpo turned a strike him out, throw him out double play. McCluskey fanned the batter, while DiFederico cut down a would-be base stealer.

McCluskey put up another zero in the fourth, then continued to cruise with a 1-2-3 fifth.

Valpo added to the lead in the top of the sixth, when Alex Thurston (Fowler, Ind. / Benton Central) drilled a double and came in to score as Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) went the other way by poking one through the right side for a run-scoring single to make it 2-0.

The Redbirds got on the board in the last of the sixth on a two-out, run-scoring double that sliced the lead in half.

Valpo went to the bullpen in the seventh as Nathan Chasey (Ames, Iowa / Gilbert [Indian Hills CC]) took over. The Redbirds got the tying run into scoring position, but the righty worked out of it as the Beacons continued to cling to the 2-1 advantage.

Chasey followed up by retiring the side in order in the eighth to keep the narrow Valpo edge intact.

Closer Bobby Nowak (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central [Kankakee]) took over in the ninth and nailed down the save.

Inside the Game

Valpo’s previous road series win in Missouri Valley Conference play came in April 2018 at Evansville, when the guests took two of three.

Nowak picked up his seventh save of the season, the most by a Valpo pitcher in a single season since Jon Tieman’s seven in 2017. In addition, Nowak now ranks tied for 10th in program history in career saves. Entering this weekend, only 23 players in the nation had seven saves or more in 2022.

McCluskey’s final line in his first collegiate win featured six innings of one-run, four-hit ball. He struck out five and walked one to up his season record to 1-1.

Schmack notched his team-leading 13th multi-hit game of the year, accounting for a third of the team’s six hits in the victory.

Schmack’s RBI was his team-leading 22nd of the season.

Valpo improved to 2-2 in one-run games this season and 5-6 in games decided by two runs or fewer.

The Beacons were 0-9 when scoring two runs or fewer this season prior to Sunday.

Over the last two seasons, Valpo now owns a 6-2 record in matchups with Illinois State with three of those six victories coming in one-run games.

Prior to this month, Valpo hadn’t bounced back from losing a series opener to win a series since May 2015 vs. Youngstown State. Now, the team has accomplished that feat in two out of the last three weeks, rallying to take road series from both UIC and Illinois State.

The Beacons played flawless defense all weekend, as the team did not commit an error in the three games. This marks the first time Valpo has avoided an error in three straight games this season.

All three games in the series were lightning-fast, as none of the three games took longer than 2:31 (Saturday’s game). The Friday game lasted just 2:07, while the Sunday game checked in at 2:05. The Friday and Sunday games are the two shortest nine-inning games that Valpo has played all season.

Up Next

Valpo (13-18, 2-4 MVC) will visit nationally-ranked Notre Dame on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Central Time. The game will air on ACC Network Extra. Links to live video and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.

TODAY IN  BASEBALL HISTORY

1899       John McGraw, 26, makes his debut as a major league manager when his Orioles enjoy a 5-3 victory over the Giants, a team he will later manage for 30 years. ‘Mugsy,’ a 1937 inductee of Hall of Fame, will finish his 33-year managerial career with a 2763-1948 (.586) record, en route to winning ten pennants and capturing three World Championships.

1923       In front of over 72,000 fans, Yankee Stadium opens with Babe Ruth hitting the park’s first home run, a two-run homer off Red Sox hurler Howard Ehmke, which helps beat Boston, 4-1. The new $2.5 million ballpark is the first to feature three decks.

1923       At South Field on Columbia’s campus in New York City, a collegian hurler strikes out seventeen batters to establish a school record but loses the game due to wildness to Williams, 5-1. The young southpaw, named Lou Gehrig, will become better known for his hitting prowess with the Yankees.

1925       At his Waldorf-Astoria apartment, 65-year-old Dodgers’ owner Charles H. Ebbets dies of a heart attack. Later in the day, his team opens the home season in Brooklyn, losing to the Giants at Ebbets Field, 7-0.

1925       The Cardinals rout the Cubs, 20-5, in a game that sees Rogers Hornsby score five runs. Redbirds third baseman Les Bell leads the Wrigley Field 22-hit attack, compiling 12 total bases with a pair of home runs along with two doubles.

1929       The Yankees will become the second team to wear numbers on uniforms when rain postpones their Opening Day game, giving the Indians the distinction of being the first to don the digits. The assignment of the numbers, Earle Combs #1, Mark Koenig #2, Babe Ruth #3, Lou Gehrig #4, Bob Meusel #5, Tony Lazzeri #6, Leo Durocher #7, Johnny Grabowski #8, Benny Bengough #9, and Bill Dickey #10 (#’s 8-10 are all catchers) is the result of the player’s position in the lineup.

1929       In his first at-bat since his marriage yesterday, Babe Ruth hits a home run, a first-inning solo shot off Red Ruffing in the Yankees’ eventual 7-3 victory over Boston. As the ‘Bambino’ rounds second base, he tips his hat to his new bride, Claire Hodgson.

1939       The five-year ban on broadcasting games played by the New York major league teams ends when Red Barber, hired away from the Reds by Larry McPhail, calls Brooklyn’s 7-3 loss to the Giants at Ebbets Field. In 1934, the two National League teams and the Yankees agreed not to air their games on the radio, fearing the exposure would reduce the number of fans attending games.

1939       In Brooklyn, Red Barber calls the action in the first broadcast of a regular-season Dodger game, a 7-3 loss to New York at Ebbets Field. The future Hall of Fame announcer was brought in from Cincinnati by the team’s new president, Larry MacPhail, who had hired the ‘Ol Redhead’ when he was in a similar post with the Reds.

1942       Due to the fear of a Japanese attack, General L. Dewitt, the Fourth Army Commander, asks the Pacific Coast League teams to limit night-game attendance to not higher than the previous year’s average number of fans 3,000 fans for most clubs. Later in the season, the commanding officer will prohibit all evening contests scheduled for ballparks within 15 miles of the Pacific Ocean, making San Diego the only club not having to shuffle their starting times.

1946       In a game against the Jersey Giants at Roosevelt Stadium, Montreal Royals’ on-deck batter George Shuba congratulates Jackie Robinson with a handshake after his teammate hits his first professional home run. The gesture will become known as ‘A Handshake for the Century’ because the deed marks the first time that a white player publicly acknowledges the accomplishment of a black teammate.

1947       Dodger president Branch Rickey names 62-year-old Burt Shotton, a team scout, to replace Leo Durocher, who was suspended ten days ago by Commissioner Happy Chandler for acts “unbecoming to a major league manager.” Brooklyn’s new skipper, the son of a sailor who operated freighters on Lake Erie, reluctantly takes over the team two games into the season and will manage the club for one year in his street clothes along with wearing the team’s hat and jacket.

1950       Eddie Waitkus, who missed most of last season after being shot in June by a deranged fan in a Chicago hotel room, goes 3-for-5 in the Phillies’ Opening Day 9-1 victory over the Dodgers at Shibe Park. The Philadelphia first baseman will be named the Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year, scoring a team-high 102 runs while playing in every game for the National League Champions.

1950       The Yankees defeat the Red Sox on Opening Day, 15-10, after trailing 9-0 after five innings. The Bronx Bombers take the lead when they score nine times in the top of the eighth frame at Fenway Park, thanks to eight hits, none being home runs, and three walks surrendered by Boston’s starter Mel Parnell and four relievers.

1950       In the first Opening Day game scheduled as a night contest, the Cardinals beat the Pirates at Sportsman’s Park, 4-2. Gerry Staley gets the win, and Stan Musial homers in the St. Louis contest.

1950       Former Cleveland Buckeyes star of the Negro American League, Sam Jethroe, becomes the first black player for the Braves. The 33-year-old highly-touted prospect, who will lead the majors with 35 stolen bases, will be named the National League’s Rookie of the Year.

1950       Vin Scully calls the first game of his illustrious 67-year career with the Dodgers, detailing Brooklyn’s 9-1 defeat to the Phillies on Opening Day at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park. The 22-year-old broadcaster, who will become the team’s primary announcer just three seasons later, will be awarded the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award by Bud Selig in 2014.

1950       The Phillies play their first game with the team’s name officially changed back from Blue Jays, routing the Dodgers at Shibe Park, 9-1. Skipper Eddie Sawyer has his team wear red pinstriped uniforms, a design reminiscent of the club’s look in the early 1900s.

1952       On Opening Day in Brooklyn, Willie Mays is knocked unconscious when he smashes into the Ebbets Field wall after chasing pinch-hitter Bob Morgan’s seventh-inning, two-out base-loaded line drive into the gap in left field. All three Dodgers baserunners cross the plate but do not score when the motionless Giants center fielder comes to his feet and jogs into the dugout, apparently unhurt, having held onto the ball after making a fantastic catch for the third out to end the inning.

1952       In the Pirates’ home Opener‚ Bob Friend tosses a five-hitter, blanking the Reds at Forbes Field‚ 3-0. After beating the Cardinals yesterday, Pittsburgh’s second consecutive victory is an accomplishment not surpassed when the team does not have a winning streak longer than two games all season‚ setting a twentieth-century mark for futility.

1955       In his first major league appearance, 25-year-old Pirates reliever Al Grunwald, getting just one batter out, gives up a single to Don Mueller, a double to Monte Irvin, a triple to Willie Mays, and a homer to Whitey Lockman. The Giants’ fourth-inning ‘cycle’ contributes to an eight-run frame in the eventual 12-3 victory over Pittsburgh at the Polo Grounds.

1956       Third base umpire Ed Rommel becomes the first major league arbitrator to wear glasses during a game during the Yankees’ 9-5 victory over Washington at Griffith Stadium. The bespectacled arbitrator, known as the father of the modern knuckleball, played 13 seasons with Philadelphia, compiling an impressive record of 171-119 with the A’s from 1920 to 1932.

1957       At Briggs Stadium, Roger Maris hits a game-winning, grand-slam home run in the top of the 11th inning against Detroit in the Indians’ second game of the season. In his major league debut two days ago, the 22-year-old rookie outfielder went 3-for-5 in the Tribe’s 3-2 loss to Chicago at Cleveland Stadium.

1958       At the LA Coliseum, in front of a National League record crowd of 78,672, the Dodgers play their first home game on the West Coast. Carl Erskine gets the win, besting Al Worthington and the Giants, 6-5.

1959       Branch Rickey, former general manager of the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Pirates, is appointed the president of the Continental League. The third potential major league never materializes but helps accelerate the expansion of the existing clubs, including putting a National League team in New York to fill the void created by the Giants’ and the Dodgers’ 1958 departure to the west coast.

1960       Ted Williams becomes the first major leaguer to homer in four different decades when he blasts a pitch from Senators’ right-hander Camilo Pascual over the center-field wall for the only run in the Red Sox’s 10-1 Opening Day loss at Griffith Stadium. In 1939, the then 20-year-old ‘Kid’ hit the first of his 521 career round-trippers, a first-inning two-run shot off Philadelphia’s Bud Thomas at Fenway Park.

1964       In the top of the third inning, L.A. southpaw Sandy Koufax throws the second of his two career immaculate innings when he strikes out the side on nine pitches, quickly setting down Leo Cardenas, Johnny Edwards, and Jim Maloney. Cincinnati will score all of the game’s runs in the next frame, thanks to a three-run homer hit by Deron Johnson, to beat the Dodgers in the Chavez Ravine contest, 3-0.

1966       Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills becomes the first batter to collect a hit on artificial turf in a major league game when he singles to center off future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts. The Astrodome’s new playing surface, called Chemgrass initially by its manufacturer, the Monsanto Company, couldn’t be made quickly enough, so the season begins with the artificial material only on the infield with the outfield remaining painted dirt until July.

1970       Denny Doyle’s first-inning single is the only hit allowed by Nolan Ryan when he blanks the Phillies at Shea Stadium, 7-0. The 23-year-old right-hander ties the Mets’ mark established by Jerry Koosman in 1968 with 15 strikeouts, but Tom Seaver will break the short-lived record, whiffing 19 Padres later in the week.

1972       For the first time in franchise history, the Yankees play a night game at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day. The Bronx Bombers, behind the three-hitter by thrown Steve Kline, beat the Brewers in the Bronx ballpark, 3-0.

1973       In the top of the 11th inning in San Francisco’s 4-3 victory over Atlanta at Candlestick Park, Dave Rader completes an unusual unassisted double play for a catcher. After catching an attempted popped up sacrifice bunt with Braves runners on first and second base, the Giants’ backstop races to second base and steps on the bag before Sonny Jackson, who had headed toward third on contact, can get back.

1978       Lyman Bostock, a highly-sought free agent in the offseason who hit .336 for the Twins last year, offers not to accept a salary for April if he doesn’t begin producing after going 2-for-39 (.051) to start the season. The 27-year-old outfielder raises his batting average to .296, the club’s highest, before being fatally shot near the end of the season as an unintentional victim while riding a passenger in a car.

1978       After getting ahead in the count 3-0, Reggie Jackson, knowing he has a green light to hit away, feigns to be upset by getting a bogus take sign from third base coach Dick Howser. Oriole right-hander Tippy Martinez, deceived by the batter’s behavior, grooves a fastball down the middle of the plate that the Yankee slugger promptly puts over the fence, giving the Yankees a 4-3 walk-off victory.

1981       Joining Walter Johnson, Gaylord Perry, Bob Gibson, and Nolan Ryan, Reds’ right-hander Tom Seaver becomes the fifth major leaguer to collect 3,000 strikeouts when he whiffs Cardinals’ infielder Keith Hernandez in the team’s 10-4 loss at Riverfront Stadium. Hernandez is the fourth first baseman to mark a milestone K for the future Hall of Fame hurler, with Donn Clendenon being strikeout victim number 1, followed by Willie Montanez at #1,000 and Dan Driessen at #2,000.

1981       In International League action at McCoy Stadium, the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings begin the longest professional game ever played. At 4:07 am, the suspended 32-inning contest ends with the score knotted at 2-2, being completed later in the season, with the Red Sox scoring the winning run in the 33rd inning

1982       Joe Torre’s Braves set a National League record when they win their 11th straight game to start the season, beating Houston at the Astrodome, 6-5. The eventual NL West Division champs, who will finish the campaign with an 89-73 record, will extend the mark to 13-0 when they add two more victories against Cincinnati at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.

1987       At Three Rivers Stadium, Mike Schmidt becomes the 14th player in major league history to hit 500 career home runs. The Phillies third baseman’s three-run ninth-inning shot off Don Robinson is cheered by the Pittsburgh fans and his teammates in the team’s 8-6 Phillies victory.

1991       A sellout crowd of 42,191 watches the White Sox play their first game at new Comiskey Park and sees the home team get crushed by the Tigers, 16-0. Jack McDowell gives up the park’s first homer to Cecil Fielder.

1997       Roger Pavlik of the Rangers becomes the first starting pitcher in the American League to begin a game by walking the first four batters. The Blue Jays take advantage of the All-Star hurler’s wildness by scoring five runs in the frame en route to a 6-5 victory at the Ballpark in Arlington.

2000       Adam Kennedy ties a franchise mark by driving in eight runs during the Angels’ 16-10 rout of Toronto. The Halo infielder’s run-producing single, three-run triple, and grand slam account for his RBIs in the SkyDome contest.

2000       After serving a 12-game suspension for making disrespectful comments about minorities, John Rocker pitches a scoreless ninth inning against the Phillies in a 4-3, 12-inning home victory. The outspoken Braves’ reliever receives a standing ovation as he enters the game.

2000       During the Angels’ 16-10 victory over the Blue Jays, a SkyDome promotion becomes a bit too frank when fans get hit with bits of hot dogs when the wieners fall apart after being shot from the ‘Hot Dog Blaster.’ Undaunted by the fallout, promoters continue to propel the missiles even though the hot dogs repeatedly splatter the onlookers.

2001       After a 4-10 start, former Royals’ skipper Hal McRae replaces Larry Rothschild as the manager of the Devil Rays. Rothschild, the only pilot in the team’s four-year history, finished in last place three consecutive years, compiling a 205-294 record.

2002       After the Brewers’ dismal start of 3-12, GM Dean Taylor releases manager Davey Lopes. The fired skipper, who compiled a 144-195 overall record with Milwaukee, will be replaced on an interim basis by bench coach Jerry Royster.

2004       At Wrigley Field, Sammy Sosa surpasses Ernie Banks as the Cubs’ all-time home run leader when he goes deep off Reds right-hander Paul Wilson in the first frame off in the team’s 11-10 loss when he slugs his 513th dinger for the franchise. Slammin’ Sammy adds another round-tripper in the third inning to bring his current career total to 543 homers, en route to finishing with 609 during his 18-year tenure in the majors.

2007       At Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field, Mark Buehrle hurls the 16th no-hitter in White Sox history and the first home no-no since 1967. The South-side southpaw faces the minimum 27 batters, thanks to picking off Sammy Sosa, who walked in the fifth inning.

2008       In his final season, Braves’ right-hander Tom Glavine is put on the disabled list for the first time during his 22-year major league tenure. The 42-year-old southpaw’s ailing right hamstring needs more time to heal before he goes after his 304th and next-to-last career win.

2008       The T-Bones, a minor league team in the independent Northern League, cancel the Michael Vick “Welcome to the Neighborhood Night” after receiving numerous complaints about the promotion. The plans for the event included the teams wearing black and white striped jerseys and orange jumpsuit-style uniforms to mock the former Falcons quarterback, who is serving a 23-month sentence in the nearby Leavenworth prison after pleading guilty to federal charges related to dogfighting.

2008       Conor Jackson, needing only a double to complete the cycle, hustles instead to get his second triple of the game. The Diamondbacks outfielder’s unselfish offensive output helps to pace the club to a 9-0 win over the Padres.

2008       The Dodgers announce the fans’ selection of Joe Beimel in an online poll during spring training as the player whose likeness will appear in an August 12th bobblehead promotion. The 30-year-old southpaw reliever, considered a long shot for the honor, gets the nod due to an intense internet campaign orchestrated by his parents, Ron and Marge.

2011       Tiger outfielder Ryan Raburn becomes the first player to hit a ball off Seattle’s Safeco Field’s retractable roof when his first-inning pop fly makes contact with one of the trusses approximately 175 feet above the playing field. The redirected foul ball, which falls between Mariner catcher Miguel Olivo and third baseman Chone Figgins, if caught, would have been the second out of the inning, according to the ballpark’s ground rules.

2012       Beginning with the second pitch of the fifth inning through the seventh pitch of the eighth frame, A’s right-hander Bartolo Colon throws 38 consecutive strikes en route to picking up a victory the team’s 6-0 win over the Angels. The Oakland starter faces eleven straight batters who never see a pitch that is called a ball in the Anaheim contest.

2012       A memorable pitching duel between Cliff Lee, who throws ten innings of scoreless ball against San Francisco, and Matt Cain, who doesn’t give up a run to the Phillies in his nine innings of work, ends with the Giants beating the Phillies, 1-0, in 11 innings at AT&T Park. The only run in the extra-inning contest, which takes only two hours and 27-minutes to complete, scores as the result of Melky Cabrera’s one-out RBI single off Antonio Bastardo.

2021       Shane Bieber becomes the first major leaguer to begin the season with at least ten strikeouts in his first four starts. The Indians’ right-hander fans 13 in the team’s 6-3 victory over the Reds at the Great American Ball Park.

TV MONDAY

COLLEGE BASEBALLTIME ETTV
ARIZONA AT CREIGHTON7:00PMFS1
COLLEGE SOFTBALLTIME ETTV
TEXAS A&M AT TENNESSEE7:00PMSECN
MLBTIME ETTV
MINNESOTA AT BOSTON11:10AMBALLY SPORTS
NESN
CHI. WHITE SOX AT CLEVELAND6:10PMBALLY SPORTS
NBCS-CHI
ARIZONA AT WASHINGTON7:05PMMASN/2
BALLY SPORTS
SAN FRANCISCO AT NY METS7:10PMNBCS-BAY
SNY
PITTSBURGH AT MILWAUKEE7:40PMBALLY SPORTS
ATTSN-PIT
TAMPA BAY AT CHI. CUBS7:40PMMARQ
BALLY SPORTS
LA ANGELS AT HOUSTON8:10PMATTSN-SW
BALLY SPORTS
PHILADELPHIA AT COLORADO8:40PMNBCS-PHI
ATTSN-RM
BALTIMORE AT OAKLAND9:40PMMASN/2
NBCS-CA
CINCINNATI AT SAN DIEGO9:40PMBALLY SPORTS
ATLANTA AT LA DODGERS10:10PMBALLY SPORTS
SPORTSNET
NBA PLAYOFFSTIME ETTV
FIRST ROUND GAME 2: TBA AT MIAMI7:30PMTNT
FIRST ROUND GAME 2: BROOKLYN AT BOSTON8:30PMNBATV
FIRST ROUND GAME 2: TBA AT PHOENIX10:00PMTNT
NHLTIME ETTV
CALGARY AT CHICAGO8:00PMSPORTSNET
NBCS-CHI
WASHINGTON AT COLORADO9:00PMNHLN
ALT
NBCS-WSH
OTTAWA AT SEATTLE10:00PMSPORTSNET
ROOT SPORTS
CAROLINA AT ARIZONA10:00PMBALLY SPORTS
NEW JERSEY AT VEGAS10:00PMMSG+
ATTSN-RM
DALLAS AT VANCOUVER10:30PMBALLY SPORTS
SPORTSNET
SOCCERTIME ETTV
ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIP: MIDDLESBROUGH VS HUDDERSFIELD TOWN7:30AMESPN+
ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIP: QUEENS PARK RANGERS VS DERBY COUNTY10:00AMESPN+
ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIP: BRISTOL CITY VS SHEFFIELD UNITED12:30PMESPN+
ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIP: NOTTINGHAM FOREST VS WEST BROMWICH ALBION3:00PMESPN+
SERIE A: NAPOLI VS ROMA1:00PMPARAMOUNT+
LA LIGA: BARCELONA VS CÁDIZ3:00PMESPN+
SERIE A: ATALANTA VS HELLAS VERONA3:00PMPARAMOUNT+

MLB STANDINGS

AMERICAN LEAGUE
EAST
TEAMWLPCTGBHOMEROADEASTCENTRALWESTLAST 10STREAK
TORONTO64.6004 – 22 – 22 – 20 – 04 – 26 – 4W 1
BOSTON54.5560.52 – 13 – 31 – 24 – 20 – 05 – 4W 2
NY YANKEES55.50014 – 31 – 25 – 50 – 00 – 05 – 5L 1
TAMPA BAY55.50014 – 31 – 23 – 01 – 21 – 35 – 5W 1
BALTIMORE36.3332.53 – 30 – 32 – 40 – 00 – 03 – 6W 1
CENTRAL
TEAMWLPCTGBHOMEROADEASTCENTRALWESTLAST 10STREAK
CHI WHITE SOX63.6674 – 22 – 12 – 12 – 12 – 16 – 3L 1
CLEVELAND45.44420 – 34 – 20 – 02 – 20 – 04 – 5L 3
DETROIT45.44422 – 42 – 11 – 23 – 30 – 04 – 5L 1
KANSAS CITY35.3752.53 – 40 – 10 – 03 – 40 – 03 – 5W 1
MINNESOTA36.33332 – 41 – 21 – 20 – 02 – 23 – 6L 2
WEST
TEAMWLPCTGBHOMEROADEASTCENTRALWESTLAST 10STREAK
LA ANGELS64.6003 – 33 – 10 – 00 – 04 – 46 – 4W 3
HOUSTON54.5560.50 – 05 – 40 – 00 – 04 – 35 – 4L 1
OAKLAND55.50010 – 05 – 54 – 30 – 00 – 05 – 5L 1
SEATTLE55.50012 – 13 – 40 – 03 – 42 – 15 – 5W 1
TEXAS27.2223.51 – 51 – 21 – 20 – 01 – 32 – 7L 3
NATIONAL LEAGUE
EAST
TEAMWLPCTGBHOMEROADEASTCENTRALWESTLAST 10STREAK
NY METS73.7002 – 15 – 25 – 20 – 02 – 17 – 3W 1
ATLANTA56.4552.53 – 42 – 21 – 22 – 22 – 25 – 5L 1
MIAMI45.4442.53 – 11 – 43 – 10 – 01 – 24 – 5W 1
PHILADELPHIA46.40033 – 31 – 32 – 50 – 00 – 04 – 6L 1
WASHINGTON47.3643.51 – 33 – 43 – 41 – 30 – 04 – 6L 2
CENTRAL
TEAMWLPCTGBHOMEROADEASTCENTRALWESTLAST 10STREAK
ST. LOUIS53.6253 – 12 – 20 – 04 – 30 – 05 – 3L 1
CHI CUBS54.5560.52 – 13 – 30 – 03 – 22 – 25 – 4W 1
PITTSBURGH54.5560.54 – 21 – 23 – 12 – 30 – 05 – 4W 2
MILWAUKEE55.50012 – 23 – 30 – 03 – 40 – 05 – 5W 1
CINCINNATI28.20040 – 22 – 62 – 20 – 00 – 42 – 8L 6
WEST
TEAMWLPCTGBHOMEROADEASTCENTRALWESTLAST 10STREAK
LA DODGERS72.7784 – 03 – 20 – 04 – 01 – 27 – 2W 6
SAN FRANCISCO72.7784 – 23 – 02 – 10 – 02 – 17 – 2W 5
COLORADO63.66714 – 32 – 00 – 02 – 22 – 16 – 3L 1
SAN DIEGO65.54522 – 24 – 32 – 20 – 04 – 36 – 4W 1
ARIZONA36.33342 – 41 – 21 – 20 – 01 – 33 – 6L 1

X – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Y – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT

NHL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
1 X-FLORIDA PANTHERS75541561145131721832-6-022-9-610-0-0
2 X-CAROLINA HURRICANES76482081044725118727-8-421-12-44-5-1
3 X-TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS76502061064829523528-8-222-12-48-1-1
4 X-NEW YORK RANGERS76492161044523519125-8-424-13-27-2-1
5 X-TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING75462181004425021224-7-622-14-25-3-2
6 X-PITTSBURGH PENGUINS77432311974025421521-12-522-11-63-6-1
7 X-BOSTON BRUINS7546245974423320323-13-223-11-35-5-0
8 X-WASHINGTON CAPITALS75422310943726022319-15-523-8-57-3-0
NEW YORK ISLANDERS7535319793320821019-13-416-18-56-4-0
10 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS7635356763124528219-15-416-20-23-6-1
11 BUFFALO SABRES78293811692621927815-18-614-20-55-5-0
12 DETROIT RED WINGS76293710682621429118-15-711-22-33-5-2
13 OTTAWA SENATORS7528407632720424413-21-415-19-35-4-1
14 NEW JERSEY DEVILS7526427592323127816-17-410-25-33-5-2
15 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS76234211572219627813-20-610-22-52-8-0
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS76204511511719729510-23-410-22-72-8-0
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
1 XYZ-COLORADO AVALANCHE75551461165129420631-4-324-10-39-0-1
2 X-CALGARY FLAMES75462091014426818823-9-723-11-26-3-1
3 X-ST. LOUIS BLUES764620101024428821926-9-420-11-69-0-1
4 X-MINNESOTA WILD75472171014228123527-7-220-14-56-1-3
EDMONTON OILERS7644266944026423524-12-120-14-58-1-1
LOS ANGELES KINGS77402710903622222619-16-421-11-64-5-1
DALLAS STARS7543275913921922124-10-319-17-26-2-2
NASHVILLE PREDATORS7643285914124422524-14-019-14-55-4-1
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS7641305873724422621-14-320-16-27-2-1
10 VANCOUVER CANUCKS75372810843422421117-14-620-14-46-2-2
11 WINNIPEG JETS76353011813323524519-15-316-15-84-5-1
12 ANAHEIM DUCKS77303314742621925317-17-513-16-93-4-3
13 SAN JOSE SHARKS75293412702719524116-16-513-18-70-6-4
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS75253911612020226812-20-613-19-51-7-2
15 SEATTLE KRAKEN7424446542119325813-21-311-23-34-6-0
16 ARIZONA COYOTES7522485492118328710-25-112-23-42-8-0
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF FORMAT.  THE TOP THREE TEAMS FROM EACH DIVISION MAKE UP THE FIRST SIX SPOTS.   THE TWO REMAINING TEAMS WITH THE HIGHEST POINTS, REGARDLESS OF DIVISION, QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL TWO WILD CARD SPOTS.  X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT, Y – CLINCHED DIVISION, Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE