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Cubs, Cardinals Win; Sox Lose

>>Cubs Bullpen Terrific In Win Over Dodgers

 

Travis Wood and three other relievers combined for seven perfect innings after starter Jason Hammel left with cramps, and the Chicago Cubs held the Los Angeles Dodgers to one hit in a 2-0 victory Monday.

 

Hammel exited after his right hamstring cramped while warming up for the third inning. Wood (3-0) pitched four perfect innings in his longest stint of the season.

 

Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon pitched one inning each for the Cubs, with Rondon getting his ninth save. He has converted 20 straight save opportunities dating back to Aug. 14.

 

Ben Zobrist extended his hitting streak to a career-high-tying 16 games. He singled leading off the fifth and reached third when right fielder Yasiel Puig misplayed the ball. He scored on Jason Heyward's infield single.

 

Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood (1-4) gave up two runs on seven hits in five innings.

Tonight, Jake Arrieta (9-0, 1.72 ERA) will try to become the major league's first 10-game winner.

 

Scott Kazmir (4-3, 4.84) pitched for then-Tampa Bay manager Maddon's 2008 World Series team. He has a 1-0 career record and 2.53 ERA in two games against the Cubs. Kazmir is 3-1 in May with a 4.13 ERA.

 

>>Martinez Sharp in Win Over Brewers

 

Carlos Martinez struck out eight in a crisp performance and Matt Carpenter had four hits, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.

After giving up at least four runs in each of his three previous starts, Martinez rebounded nicely with another masterful outing against Milwaukee. Entering Monday, he had a 1.34 ERA in 15 career games, including four starts, against the Brewers.

 

Martinez allowed five singles and walked one. Trevor Rosenthal finished the five-hitter.

 

Carpenter sparked the offense from the leadoff spot. He even scored from second in the seventh after catcher Jonathan Lucroy lost track of a wild pitch by Jhan Marinez that trickled to the backstop.

 

The Cardinals never trailed after building a 3-0 lead in the third off Junior Guerra (3-1), who allowed eight hits and three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings. St. Louis capitalized on some questionable Milwaukee defense in the third.

 

The top four hitters in the Cardinals' lineup accounted for 10 of the team's 12 hits. Third-place hitter Matt Holliday was 3 for 4 with three RBIs, including a 466-foot homer in the seventh off Marinez that landed in the top row of the bleachers in left.

 

The Cardinals are averaging 5.25 runs a game in the last four starts of RHP Mike Leake (3-4) after averaging 3.7 runs over his first six outings.

 

Wily Peralta (3-5) is 4-9 with a 5.00 ERA in 14 career starts against St. Louis.

 

>>Harvey Rebounds in Win Over White Sox

 

Matt Harvey retired Todd Frazier on a foulout and J.B. Shuck on a grounder to escape trouble, Neil Walker homered off Jose Quintana on the second pitch of the bottom half and the New York Mets beat Chicago 1-0 Monday to send the reeling White Sox to their seventh straight loss.

Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia got six straight outs to complete the two-hitter, preserving Harvey's first win since May 8. Harvey struck out six, walked two and threw four pitches of 98-98.5 mph after not topping 97.5 mph previously this season. He threw 61 of 87 pitches for strikes.

 

Harvey retired his first 13 batters before Shuck lined a single to left. Shuck got doubled up when first baseman Wilmer Flores made a diving catch on Brett Lawrie's liner.

 

Adam Eaton drew a walk for the Sox.

 

Steven Matz (7-1), who has won seven straight starts, takes the mound Tuesday night for New York against Mat Latos (6-1).

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Aaron Rodgers Played Golf With President Obama

What could be more nerve-wracking than playing golf with the President of the United States?

 

Turns out, not much if you're Aaron Rodgers.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback recently went on his old teammate A.J. Hawk's podcast and discussed playing golf this spring with President Barack Obama.

 

"It was my best round of the year, thankfully," Rodgers told Hawk.

 

The two played with Tony Kornheiser and astronaut Mark Kelly.

 

Rodgers also noted that he gets incredibly nervous when he plays in public tournaments like the Pebble Beach Pro-Am despite a 4.7 handicap.

 

The foursome played at The Courses at Andrews Air Force Base at the beginning of April. It was Obama's 280th round as president.

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Bulls Gasol Considering Skipping Olympics Over Zika Virus

Pau Gasol says he is considering not playing at the Olympics because of the Zika virus.

The Spanish basketball player says there is too much uncertainty about the situation in Brazil and anyone going to Rio de Janeiro for the games should "think about" whether it's worth the risk.

 

He says other Spanish athletes have also expressed their concerns about the virus and are also considering skipping the games. He did not name the other athletes.

 

Gasol says Olympic committees and health organizations must come forward with more information about the risks athletes could be facing if they decide to compete in Rio.

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Warriors Complete Comeback, Headed to Finals

Splash Brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson carried the 73-win Warriors right back to the NBA Finals, as Golden State rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 96-88 on Monday night in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals.

Now, Curry and Co. are playing for another NBA title - just as they planned since Day 1 of training camp in September.

 

The MVP scored 36 points with seven 3-pointers to finish with an NBA-record 32 in a seven-game series, and also had eight assists. Thompson added 21 points and six 3s, two days after his record 11 3-pointers led a Game 6 comeback that sent the series home to raucous Oracle Arena for one more.

 

The Warriors became the 10th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit and win a postseason series. They return to the NBA Finals for a rematch with James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who lost the 2015 title in six games as Golden State captured its first championship in 40 years.

Game 1 is Thursday night in Oakland.

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Penguins Open Stanley Cup Finals With Win

Nick Bonino darted to the net and knocked in Kris Letang's centering pass with 2:33 remaining, lifting the Penguins to a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 on Monday night.

Pittsburgh recovered after blowing an early two-goal lead and spoiled San Jose's long-awaited debut on the league's biggest stage. Game 2 is Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

 

Letang and Carl Hagelin took turns digging the puck out of the corner behind the San Jose net when Letang emerged with it and slipped it to Bonino, who collected himself and flicked it past Martin Jones' blocker for his fourth goal of the playoffs.

 

Rookies Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary also scored for the Penguins, though Rust left in the third period after absorbing a shot to the head from San Jose's Patrick Marleau. Matt Murray finished with 24 saves.

 

Jones made 38 stops but couldn't get over in time on Bonino's knuckler. The Penguins threw 41 shots at Jones, the most he has faced in a regulation game during the playoffs. 

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Spieth wins Dean & DeLuca Invitational

Jordan Spieth made an emphatic statement with his back nine performance on Sunday at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational to earn his first PGA Tour win in the state of Texas.

 

Spieth opened with all pars on his front nine, but tore through the back nine with six birdies and just one bogey to post a final round 65 and finish at 17 under, three clear of second place. Spieth closed with birdies on the final three holes of the day, none more impressive than his chip-in on the 17th that put him two shots clear of Harris English and essentially iced his win.

 

Spieth's performance on the back nine at Colonial shook off any demons still lingering from his meltdown at Augusta National two months ago, and his win sets up a showdown with Jason Day and Rory McIlroy at the Memorial Tournament next week. Day, McIlroy and Spieth, the top three golfers in the world, have now all won their most recent event.

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Zobrist and Lackey Sharp as Cubs Sweep Phillies 7-2; Royals Edge out Sox; Nationals Hammer Cards 10-2

>> Cubs Sweep Phillies

 

Ben Zobrist hit a three-run homer, John Lackey pitched seven solid innings and the Chicago Cubs completed a sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies with a 7-2 victory Sunday.

 

Miguel Montero added a solo homer and drove in two runs as the Cubs (34-14) won their fifth straight and became the first team this season to get to 20 games over .500.

 

Zobrist's two-out drive to right off Vince Velasquez (5-2) made it 5-0 in the third. It extended Zobrist's hitting streak to 15 games and put the Cubs on the way to their sixth series sweep.

 

 

>> Royals Rally Late to Defeat White Sox

 

Cheslor Cuthbert drive in the go-ahead run with an infield hit in a three-run eighth inning, and the Kansas City Royals rallied for the third straight game in a 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

 

Chicago wasted a 4-2 lead in the eighth after failing to protect a 5-2 seventh-inning advantage on Friday and a 7-1 ninth-inning margin on Saturday. White Sox relievers allowed 17 runs, 15 hits and eight walks over 6 1/3 innings in the three-game series, and Chicago has lost 14 of its last 18 games.

 

Seeking to become the major leagues' first 10-game winner, Chris Sale left with a 4-2 lead after seven innings.

 

 

>> Nationals Down Cardinals

 

Stephen Strasburg won his 12th consecutive decision dating to last season and Jayson Werth connected for a pinch-hit grand slam to help the Washington Nationals close out the season series against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 10-2 win on Sunday.

 

Wilson Ramos had three hits, including a two-run homer, and drove in four runs. Bryce Harper hit an RBI single during Washington's three-run fourth inning off Michael Wacha (2-6).

 

Strasburg (9-0) pitched six innings of one-run ball as Washington salvaged a split of the four-game series. The Nationals went 5-2 against the Cardinals this season.

 

Strasburg improved to 12-0 in 15 starts since losing to the Mets on Sept. 9, and the Nationals have won all 15 of those games. The 12 consecutive winning decisions is a franchise record for a starter, breaking a mark shared by Livan Hernandez (2005) and Dennis Martinez (1989).

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Missed Opportunities Doom Lady Maroons in Regional Final

As heard on WHOW and dewittdailynews.com Saturday morning, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell 1-0 to Effingham at the Rantoul Regional final in girls Class 3A softball action.

 

Trailing 1-0 in the seventh inning, the Lady Maroons loaded the bases with zero outs on a leadoff base hit, then back to back errors by Effingham. A base running mistake cut down the tying run at third base, then a strike out left runners at first and second and two outs.

 

A bloop on the infield by Ryty Dupont-Barlow was fielded by Effinghams' Madison Weis, who threw out Dupont-Barlow by a half step at first to end the game.

 

The Lady Maroons also loaded the bases in the fourth inning and failed to capitalize and left a runner in scoring position in the fifth, leaving six runners on base for the game.

 

Aspyn Taylor returned to the lineup from a broken nose and doubled, finishing 1-for-3. Tori Wilson and Victoria Wayne singled for the Lady Maroons. Bayleigh Holmes and Alexis Estes drew walks.

 

Estes was also terrific in the circle for Clinton. She went the distance with 12 strikeouts to just one walk, allowing an earned run and four hits.

 

She was outdone by Effingham sophomore Aly Armstrong, who also went the distance with seven shutout innings, striking out ten and walking two and allowed three hits.

 

Effingham scored in the fourth inning when Alissa Kersey scored Jenna Wright on an RBI single. Carsyn Fearday was 2-for-3 for the Lady Flaming Hearts.

 

The Lady Maroons end their season 27-10. 

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Lady Maroons Go For Regional Championship Saturday

The Clinton Lady Maroons will go for a Regional title Saturday morning when they take on Effingham at 10 am.

 

The Lady Maroons won 5-2 Tuesday afternoon in Rantoul over Mahomet-Seymour to advance to Saturday's Regional final.

 

Effingham beat Rantoul 9-5 Wednesday.

 

Game time Saturday is at 10 am. Hear it all live on the The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Walk Off Home Run Sends Evansville Past Illinois State

Boomer Synek hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, lifting the Purple Aces to a 4-3 win and eliminating Illinois State from the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Thursday at Bob Warn Field.

 

Illinois State forced extra innings by tying the game in the eighth inning, but missed a prime opportunity to go ahead in the top of the 10th as a pair of runners advanced into scoring position with no outs but failed to score. Synek then led off the bottom of the inning with an opposite-field blast that both cleared the outfield fence and stayed inside the foul pole, each by a matter of feet.

 

Senior Sean Beesley got the Redbirds on the board first with a solo home run to left-center field. Moments later, Owen Miller made it a 2-0 lead when his single scored Jared Hendren, who had followed Beesley's homer with a triple.

 

Miller led the Redbirds with three hits. Brian Rodemoyer collected two hits, one of which was a double.

 

Illinois State finished its season at 17-37.

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Nats Drop Cardinals; Sox, Royals Rained Out; Cubs Open Series With Philly

>>Nationals Edge Cardinals

 

Bryce Harper hit a slump-busting home run, Danny Espinosa also went deep and the Washington Nationals got seven strong innings from right-hander Joe Ross in a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.

The light-hitting Espinosa snapped the tie in the seventh with a drive to right. Batting eighth, Espinosa came in with a .199 batting average and three home runs.

 

Both homers came off Mike Leake (3-4), who won his previous three starts while allowing only two runs over 21 innings.

 

Felipe Rivero worked the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon got three straight outs for his 13th save.

 

Aledmys Diaz homered for St. Louis, 0-4 against Washington this season.

 

The Cardinals were without their top run producer, Matt Carpenter, who was placed on the paternity list earlier Thursday. He leads St. Louis with nine homers and 32 RBIs.

 

Jaime Garcia (3-4, 3.59 ERA) enters Friday night's game in bounce-back mode after giving up a total of eight runs and 15 hits in his last two starts.

 

Max Scherzer (5-3, 3.80) is 1-2 lifetime against St. Louis, but he threw seven shutout innings against the Cardinals on May 1.

 

>>Sox, Royals Rained Out

 

While the Chicago White Sox game at Kansas City was postponed because of rain Thursday night, the Royals are looking on how to fill the gap of possibly losing All-Star third baseman Mike Moustakas for the season to a knee injury.

No makeup date was announced, but it will not be rescheduled as part of this series.

It was the second rainout this season for the Royals.

 

White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez and Royals left-hander Danny Duffy, the scheduled starters Thursday, will pitch Friday.

 

>>Cubs Host Phillies This Weekend

 

The Chicago Cubs will open a three game weekend series with the Philladelphia Phillies this afternoon from Wrigley Field.

 

The Cubs send Jon Lest to the mound in the opener opposite Adam Morgan today for a 1:20 pm start time.

 

Jared Eickhoff and Kyle Hendricks square off Saturday at 1:20 pm and the series concludes Sunday when Vince Velasquez starts for Philly opposite John Lackey.

 

The Cubs are the leaders in the Central at 31-14 and are coming off a series win at St. Louis earlier this week. 

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Penguins Punch Ticket To Stanley Cup

Bryan Rust began training camp hoping just to make the team scored both of Pittsburgh's goals in a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night.

Jonathan Drouin scored his fifth goal of the playoffs for the Lightning and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 37 saves, but it wasn't enough to send Tampa Bay back to the Cup Final for a second straight year.

 

Captain Steven Stamkos had two shots in 11:55 in his from a two-month layoff while dealing with blood clots, his best chance coming on a breakaway in the second period that deflected off Murray and trickled wide.

 

One of Murray's teammates deftly guided the puck out of harm's way, emblematic of Tampa Bay's inability to keep the puck in Pittsburgh's end with any sort of consistency.

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Warriors Stave Off Elimination, Force Game Six

Stephen Curry scored 31 points, raising his arms in the early moments to fire up Golden State's raucous crowd, and the defending champions staved off elimination with a 120-111 victory over the Thunder on Thursday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

 

The MVP dished out six assists, while Klay Thompson added 27 points as Golden State sent the best the best-of-seven series back to Oklahoma City for Game 6 on Saturday night. The Warriors trail 3-2 and are trying to become just the 10th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit.

 

Kevin Durant scored 40 points and Russell Westbrook added 31 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and five steals for the Thunder, trying for the fifth NBA Finals appearance in franchise history and first championship since moving from Seattle.

 

The record-setting, 73-win Warriors, coming off their first back-to-back defeats all season, had been blown out in two losses at Oklahoma City by a combined 52 points.

 

Durant's 3-pointer with 4:34 left got the Thunder within 103-98, then Curry answered with a three-point play.

 

Curry scored seven points in a 58-second stretch of the second quarter and hit more big shots late, but the Thunder didn't go away easily.

 

Warriors Coach Steve Kerr called for center Andrew Bogut to do more and the 7-footer delivered with a playoff career-high 15 points and 14 rebounds for his second double-double this postseason and seventh of his career.

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Dallas Baptist Dominates Illinois State in MVC Tourney Opener

 The Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year kept the Redbirds off the scoreboard for eight innings and the Valley Player of the Year staked the league's regular-season champs to an early lead as top-seeded Dallas Baptist earned a 9-5 win over No. 8 seed Illinois State Wednesday at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at Bob Warn Field.

 

Dallas Baptist starter Colin Poche pitched eight shutout innings and MVC Player of the Year Darick Hall helped Dallas Baptist (38-17) to an early lead with a two-run home run in the top of the first inning as the top-seeded team advanced to a matchup with Southern Illinois (31-23-1) Thursday.

 

Illinois State (17-36) rallied late with five runs in the top of the ninth, chasing Dallas Baptist reliever Eric White, but Sean Stutzman came in and needed only one pitch to end the rally.

Owen Miller, Blake Molitor and Brian Rodemoyer registered two hits each for Illinois State. Starting pitcher Steve Heilenbach was saddled with the pitching loss after allowing five runs over the first five innings.

 

The Redbirds will return to Bob Warn Field to play No. 5 seed Evansville (27-26) in an elimination game Thursday morning at 8 a.m. CT.

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Cubs Overcome Tough Outing By Arrieta for Win; Sox Lose

Jake Arrieta remained unbeaten on the season despite allowing as many as four runs for the first time in nearly a year and the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-8 on Wednesday.

 

Arrieta (9-0) joined the White Sox's Chris Sale as the only nine-game winners in the majors.

Arrieta allowed four runs in a regular-season game for the first time since June 16, 2015.

 

Stephen Piscotty, hitting .360 in May, had an RBI single in the first to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. It was the first run Arrieta had given up in the first inning of a regular-season game since May 29, 2015.

 

Randal Grichuk's solo homer in the second inning cut the Cubs' lead to 6-2 and was the first homer Arrieta had given up in 51 regular-season innings, which was the longest active streak in the majors.

The Cardinals made it 6-4 in the fourth on RBI hits by Matt Adams and Grichuk and they loaded the bases again in the fifth, but Cubs third baseman Tommy La Stella bailed out Arrieta with a diving stop on Grichuk's grounder and forced Yadier Molina at second.

 

Matt Holliday snapped a 3-for-39 slump with a three-run homer in the sixth to make it 9-7. Adams hit his second homer of the series in the seventh to cut it to a one-run deficit.

 

Kris Bryant hit a three-run homer and Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist each drove in two for the Cubs.

 

Jon Lester (4-3, 2.60 ERA) will kick off a 10-game homestand Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies. Lester is 4-0 with a 1.76 ERA in six starts against the Phillies.

 

Mike Leake (3-3, 4.07 ERA) will make his 10th start of the season, starting a seven-game road trip at the Washington Nationals. Leake is 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA in his past three starts.

 

>>Kluber Outduels Quintana for Indians Win

 

Corey Kluber allowed two runs over 7 1/3 innings and the Cleveland Indians roughed up a top White Sox pitcher for the second straight day in a 4-3 win over Chicago on Wednesday.

After sending Chris Sale to his first loss after a 9-0 start, the Indians got three runs and five hits in six innings against Joel Quintana (5-4). Quintana's ERA, an AL-best 1.98 at the start of the day, rose to 2.22.

 

Before Tuesday, the White Sox had been 15-3 in games started by Sale and Quintana.

Cody Allen struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to remain perfect in 11 save chances.

 

Lonnie Chisenhall hit a two-run triple, Yan Gomes had an RBI triple and Juan Uribe had a sacrifice fly.

 

Melky Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, and Jose Abreu had three hits for the White Sox.

 

Chicago cut the gap in the sixth when Todd Frazier walked, stole second, took third as Yan Gomes' throw sailed into center field for an error and came home when center fielder Rajai Davis overran the ball for another error.

 

Gomes' triple boosted the lead to 4-1 in the eighth. Cabrera greeted Bryan Shaw with a home run on a 1-2 pitch in the bottom half.

 

Cleveland, which trailed by six games before play on May 10, closed within a half-game of the AL Central-leading White Sox, who lost for the ninth time in 12 games. Chicago finished a 3-7 homestand in which it scored more than three runs just twice.

 

Miguel Gonzalez (0-1, 4.57 ERA) looks to keep the No. 5 spot in the rotation at Kansas City in the opener of a 10-game trip. LHP Danny Duffy (0-0, 2.13) is to start for the Royals.

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Sharks Eliminate Blues

Captain Joe Pavelski scored an early goal, Joel Ward added two more and the Sharks advanced to their first Stanley Cup final in franchise history by beating the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Wednesday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference final.

 

Joonas Donskoi also scored, Logan Couture had an empty-netter and Martin Jones made 24 saves as a Sharks team notorious for postseason letdowns will play for the championship that has eluded Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau since they entered the league as the top two picks in 1997.

 

With the loss, the Blues' postseason woes continue as the franchise still seeks its first championship and first trip to the Cup final since 1970. Coach Ken Hitchcock's second goalie change of the series did not work as Brian Elliott allowed four goals on 26 shots in his return to the net.

 

Vladimir Tarasenko, a 40-goal scorer in the regular season, got his first points of the series when he scored twice in the third period but it was too late for the Blues, who still trailed 4-2.

 

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final will be Monday night. The Sharks will either host Tampa Bay or visit Pittsburgh, depending on which team wins Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday night.

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Packers Still Not Thrilled With Lacy's Weight

The biggest pleasant surprise for the Packers this offseason was going to be how much weight Eddie Lacy lost and how good of shape he was going to be in.

 

Might want to put a hold on the optimism, though, because the initial reports out of Packers OTAs are less than exciting for Lacy's progress.

 

Asked about his running back, coach Mike McCarthy was less than complimentary (again).

"Eddie's like a lot of our team right now," McCarthy said. "We've got a lot of work to do."

McCarthy did add he thinks Lacy "will be fine" and will "hit the target that we're all looking for when the lights come on."

 

Lacy was listed at 235 pounds last season (OK, sure) but played much closer to 250 pounds. P90X creator Tony Horton -- who Lacy trained with this offseason -- told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel he thinks the back lost "between 15 and 20 pounds" but didn't actually weigh him before or after.

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Cavs Dominate Raptors For 3-2 Series Lead

LeBron James scored 23 points then sat the fourth quarter, Kevin Love scored 25, and Cleveland unleashed tenacious defense on Toronto to regain control of the Eastern Conference finals with a 116-78 rout of the Raptors in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

On their court in front of 20,000-plus screaming, towel-waving fans following two straight losses in Canada, the Cavs opened a 34-point lead in the first half, pushed it to 43 in the second half and took a 3-2 series lead.

 

James had eight assists and six rebounds in 31 minutes before checking out late in the third quarter with the Cavs up 37. He spent the fourth quarter resting on the bench while Cleveland's reserves finished the romp.

 

DeMar DeRozan scored 14 and Kyle Lowry 13 for the Raptors, who were overwhelmed from the start. Bismack Biyombo had just four rebounds after getting 40 the past two games. The only positive for Toronto was center Jonas Valanciunas, who returned after missing eight straight games with a sprained right ankle. He scored nine points in 18 minutes.

 

They can clinch their second straight conference title and trip to the NBA Finals with a win in Game 6 on Friday night in Toronto.

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UPDATED: Clinton Ends Baseball Season at Champaign Central RegionalA

As heard on WHOW and at dewittdailynews.com, early offense paced the Champaign Central Maroons past the Clinton Maroons 10-0 in 5 innings Wednesday afternoon from McKinley Field in Champaign in Class 3A boys baseball regional action.

 

Champaign Central capped a four run fourth inning with a three-run home run by Marshall Thompson and the Maroons added four more in the second.

 

Illinois State commit Joe Aielts hit a solo home run in the fourth inning.

 

Northern Illinois commit Alec Barger went 1-for-2 with a triple, two runs scored and a stolen base. Matt Brown, Tanner Gordon and Joe Bagger each had triples for Champaign Central, who will play for a Regional title Saturday morning.

 

The Stephen York Country Financial Player of the game, Jacob Overton led the game off with a double. He finished 1-for-3.

 

Mac Hickman, Tanner White and Cody Wheery each had base hits and Dylan Walsh was hit by a pitch.

 

Philip Swartz threw five complete innings as Clinton left four runners on base, three in scoring position.

 

Clinton finishes their 2016 season 7-20. 

 

Class 3A Regional results:

 

At Dunlap

 

Limestone3  F/12
Dunlap 2

 

Peoria Richwoods 2
Illinois Valley Central 1

 

At Galesburg

 

Rock Island Alleman 3 F-5
Peoria Notre Dame 14

 

At Mattoon

 

Champaign Centennial 3

Mattoon  1

 

Mahomet-Seymour 11
Charleston 3

 

At Metamora

 

Morton 3
East Peoria6

 

Washington 4
Bloomington 2

 

At Springfield Lanphier

 

Decatur Eisenhower 0
Springfield 11

 

Lincoln 4
Rochester 8

 

At Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin

 

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin  19 F-5
Taylorville   0

 

Chatham Glenwood 13 F-5
Jacksonville 3

 

Class 4A Regional results:

 

At Bradley-Bourbonnais

 

Normal Community 3
Joliet West 7

 

Class 2A Sectional results:

 

At Champaign St. Thomas More

 

St. Joseph-Ogden  6

Paxton-Buckley-Loda 2

 

At Pleasant Plains

 

Beardstown 2
Maroa-Forsyth 1

 

At Illinois Wesleyan

 

LeRoy  8
Henry-Senachwine 6

 

At Danville Schlarman

 

Central A & M 4
Catlin Salt Fork 9

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Maroons Take on Champaign Central Today

Following a 1-0 victory over the Urbana Tigers in Regional quarterfinal action Monday afternoon, the Clinton Maroons boys baseball team heads to a Regional semifinal to take on second-seeded Champaign Central.

It will be a match up of Maroons. The Maroons of Champaign Central had a first round bye headed into play today.

 

A sac-fly from Christian Hunt was the difference Monday as Nolan Hickman was brilliant on the mound for Clinton.

 

Action today is at 4:30 pm from Champaign. Hear it all live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Illini's Nunn Dismissed After Domestic Battery Guilty Plea

Illinois has dismissed junior guard Kendrick Nunn from the basketball team following his guilty plea to misdemeanor domestic battery.

 

Athletic director Josh Whitman and coach John Groce said Tuesday they decided to kick Nunn off the team "to reaffirm our core values of trust and respect, to send a strong message about what is acceptable behavior."

 

Nunn pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to 18 months of probation. He was arrested in March after being accused of striking a woman.

 

Nunn played in 96 games over three seasons at Illinois. The 20-year-old Chicago native missed some game time last season for the birth of his son.

 

A domestic battery charge against teammate Jaylon Tate was dismissed last week and he rejoined the team.

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Illini's Sedlock Named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year

Illinois starting pitcher Cody Sedlock was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, the conference office announced Tuesday.

 

Sedlock, the Big Ten leader in strikeouts and innings pitched, becomes the fifth Fighting Illini pitcher in history to earn the award.

 

He joins 2015 winner Tyler Jay to give Illinois back-to-back Big Ten Pitchers of the Year for the second time in program history.

 

Jason Anderson won in 2000, followed by Drew Dickinson, who is now the Illini's pitching coach, in 2001.

 

Sedlock, one of four unanimous first team selections, was the only pitcher in the conference to finish in the top five of innings (1st, 64.2), strikeouts (1st, 75), ERA (3rd, 1.67) and opponent batting average (3rd, .188) during conference games. He finished the year with a 5-3 record, 2.49 ERA and a program-record 116 strikeouts in 101.1 innings.

 

Senior catcher Jason Goldstein was named to the All-Big Ten third team, his third straight All-Big Ten selection, pitcher Cole Bellair earned All-Freshman Team recognition and senior reliever J.D. Nielsen was Illinois' Sportsmanship Award honoree.

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Cubs Win; Sox Lose

>>Cubs Crush Wacha, Cardinals

 

Jason Hammel pitched 7 1-3 stingy innings and had a two-run double in the Chicago's six-run first as the Cubs went on to rout the St. Louis Cardinals 12-3 on Tuesday night.

 

Michael Wacha (2-5) gave up a career-worst eight runs in four innings and has lost five consecutive decisions for the first time. The 24-year-old right-hander was a 17-game winner last season and the NL championship series MVP as a rookie in 2013, but this season has a 5.04 ERA.

 

Jorge Soler drew a bases-loaded walk in the first and hit a two-run home run in the fifth.

 

The six-run inning was a season-best for the NL Central leaders, who snapped their first three-game losing streak of the season. David Ross had an RBI double for his 500th career hit and Kris Bryant had an RBI single in the outburst.

 

Hammel (6-1) bounced back from his first loss in his previous start.

 

Chicago has won Jake Arrieta's last 22 starts, a franchise record. He's 19-0 since his last loss on July 25, 2015 against the Phillies. Arrieta leads the majors with a 1.29 ERA and .153 opponents' batting average.

 

Carlos Martinez (4-4, 3.56) has lost four consecutive starts for the first time in his career. But he's 3-0 for his career against the Cubs.

 

>>Indians' Tomlin Outduels Sale

 

Josh Tomlin beat Chris Sale in a one-sided matchup of unbeaten pitchers and Francisco Lindor had three hits, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 6-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.

Tomlin pitched eight innings of two-run ball to become the first Indians starter to reach 7-0 since Dennis Martinez won his first nine decisions in 1995. Sale was knocked out in the fourth, ending his bid to become the first pitcher to win his first 10 starts in a season since Andy Hawkins for San Diego in 1985.

 

It was baseball's first matchup of 6-0 or better pitchers since 1988, and only the fourth time in major league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

 

Chris Gimenez homered for Cleveland, which had lost three in a row before Monday's 5-1 victory at Chicago in the second game of a doubleheader. Jose Ramirez walked twice and scored twice, and Mike Napoli drove in two runs.

 

Corey Kluber (3-5, 4.10 ERA) and White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (5-3, 1.98 ERA) meet in the finale of the four-game series on Wednesday. Kluber is coming off seven innings of two-run ball in a victory at Boston. Quintana has dropped each of his last two starts, allowing four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings in a 4-1 loss to Kansas City on Friday night.

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Blues Hope To Force Game 7

Patrick Marleau has played more than 1,500 games with the San Jose Sharks since joining the NHL as an 18-year-old draft pick but never one quite like the next one.

 

All those past playoff disappointments that have seemed to define the career of players like Marleau and Joe Thornton could be put to the side temporarily with one more San Jose win.

 

For the first time in 25 seasons as an NHL franchise, the Sharks are just one win away from making the Stanley Cup final. San Jose takes a 3-2 lead over St. Louis in the Western Conference final into Game 6 on Wednesday night in what should be a frenzied Shark Tank.

 

After winning Game 5 in St. Louis 6-3 on Monday night, they returned home to the excitement of a possible clincher. While the Blues are making another goalie switch, putting Brian Elliott back in net after going with Jake Allen the past two games, and figuring out how to get top goal scorer Vladimir Tarasenko back on his game after being shut down for five games, the focus for the Sharks is simpler.

 

The Blues hope the move back to Elliott gives them a boost. Elliott started the first 17 games of the playoffs before coach Ken Hitchcock went to Allen in Game 4 in San Jose.

 

St. Louis won that game 6-3 to tie the series at two games apiece but Allen gave up four goals on 25 shots Monday night. That led to Hitchcock changing again to Elliott, who stopped 62 of 65 shots in St. Louis' Game 7 wins over Chicago and Dallas earlier in the playoffs.

 

More importantly, the Blues would like to get Tarasenko going. He scored 40 goals in the regular season and had 13 points in 14 games the first two rounds but has been completely shut down by Vlasic and San Jose's defense in the conference final.

 

Tarasenko has a -4 rating for the series and has managed only four shots on goal the past three games.

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Thunder Take Commanding 3-1 Lead Over Warriors

Russell Westbrook had 36 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Warriors 118-94 on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals. Golden State, which won a league record 73 games in the regular season, lost consecutive games for the first time this season.

The Warriors must win Game 5 on Thursday in Oakland to keep their season alive.

 

Klay Thompson led Golden State with 26 points, but two-time league MVP Stephen Curry was limited to 19 points on 6-for-20 shooting.

 

Andre Roberson, a player the Warriors have ignored at times during the series, scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

 

Kevin Durant added 26 points and 11 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and seven rebounds.

 

As for Westbrook, it was his first triple-double of the playoffs after posting 18 in the regular season. It was his fifth career playoff triple-double.

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Updated: Lady Maroons Advance in Class 3A Softball Regionals

As heard on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com, Alexis Estes shook off a slow start in the circle and found a rhythm for the Clinton Lady Maroons softball team as they topped Mahomet-Seymour 5-2 in girls Class 3A Regional semifinal action.

 

Estes was the Stephen York Country Financial Player of the Game and struggled to find the strike zone early issuing five walks and hit a batter in the first three innings; however she settled down after a leadoff walk in the third to retire 11 straight Lady Bulldog batters and retired 15 of the final 18 batters she faced.

 

Estes reached base all four times at the plate in a 2-for-2 afternoon with two walks. She doubled twice and drove in a pair.

 

Bayleigh Holmes scored three Lady Maroons runs and was 2-for-3 with a walk and two doubles.

 

Haley Steward had an RBI sac-fly in the third inning as the Lady Maroons scored in each of the first four frames.

 

Estes finished a complete game effort, allowing two runs, one earned, two hits and struck out 13 to six walks.

 

The Lady Maroons advance to the Regional title game Saturday morning. They will take on the winner of Wednesday afternoon's Regional Semifinal from Rantoul between Rantoul and Effingham.

 

Hear the action starting at 10 am on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

Class 3A Regional semifinal scores from Tuesday:

 

At Canton

 

East Peoria 17
Peoria (H.S.) 0

 

At Charleston

 

Mattoon 6
Lincoln 1

 

Charleston8

Paris 3

 

At Mt. Zion

 

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 15
Springfield Lanphier  0

 

Mt. Zion  15
Decatur MacArthur 1

 

At Taylorville

 

Chatham Glenwood10
Springfield 0

 

Rochester 2 F/8
Taylorville 4

 

At Washington

 

Washington 11
Bloomington 1

 

Peoria Notre Dame 11
Normal U-High 10

 

Class 2A Sectional semifinal scores from Tuesday:

 

At Shelbyville

 

Tuscola  7
Breese Central 2

 

At Shelbyville

 

Flora 10
Meridian 2

 

At St. Joseph-Ogden

 

Eureka  5
Tolono Unity 6

 

St. Joseph-Ogden  13 F-5
Bloomington Central Catholic 0

 

Class 1A Sectional semifinal scores:

 

At LeRoy

 

Fisher 10 F-5
Lexington 0

 

LeRoy  3
Catlin Salt Fork 2

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Maroons Edge Urbana in 3A Regional Quarters

The Clinton Maroons needed just one opportunity to strike and took advantage in getting by the Urbana Tigers 1-0 Monday afternoon from Evans Field at Clinton High School in Class 3A boys baseball quarter-final regional action.

 

A scoreless game through five and a half innings with almost zero breathing room for both squads was highlighted by a pair of terrific pitching performances.

 

Maroons senior right-hander Nolan Hickman was a defensive play better than Urbana sophomore starter Luke Stephens.

 

Hickman allowed the first two Urbana batters of the game to reach baseby issuing a walk and an early error. Follwing a pop out to shallow right-center, Hickman got the Tigers clean up hitter, Trey King, to ground to third and the Maroons turned an inning-ending double play.

 

From there the Urbana Tigers would do little to challenge the Maroons senior until the last inning as Hickman sat down 15 of the next 16 batters.

 

The Maroons also did little to challenge Stephens. The sophomore was brilliant through five innings, allowing just four base runners in five innings but ran into trouble in the sixth inning.

 

A lead off single by Nolan Hickman was followed by a passed ball that allowed Hickman to move up and an error allowed him to reach third, putting runners at the corners with no outs.

 

With runners at second and third, a Christian Hunt fly ball to center was deep enough to score Hickman from third for the go-ahead and the eventual winning run, but a base running blunder by a pinch runner at second cut down an insurance run for a double-play.

 

Leading 1-0, a leadoff two-base error for Caleb Ross was followed by a one-out throwing error by Hickman to second base, and Ross was at third with one away as the tying run.

 

Hickman struck the next two Urbana batters and wrapped up a complete game, 1-0 shutout.

Hickman finished the afternoon allowing one hit, issued a walk and struck out 12.

 

Stephens went six innings allowing an unearned run on five hits with no walks and four strike outs.

 

The Maroons are now 7-19 overall and take on Champaign Central at the Champaign Central Regional Wednesday at 4:30 pm.

 

Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Blue Ridge Loses Heartbreaker At Regional Final

The Blue Ridge Knights boys baseball squad had hopes of returning to a Sectional Final, and then some this spring, but the Knights hopes ended abruptly at the Roanoke-Benson Regional final Saturday morning in a 1-0 loss to Peoria Christian.

 

A single run in the top of the first inning off starter Ben Williamson was all Peoria Christian would need for the afternoon, mustering just two hits and and three base runners all day.

Williamson went all seven innings, walking one and striking out 16. He allowed two hits and hit a batter.

 

Williamson, Isaac Trotter, and Cory Jayne each had base hits for Blue Ridge.

 

The Knights end their season at 22-12.

 

Class 1A Regional final scores:

 

At Decatur (St. Teresa)

 

Okaw Valley 10
Windsor  0

 

At Iroquois West

 

Illinois Lutheran 5
Fisher  0

 

At LeRoy

 

LeRoy 8
Delavan 7

 

At Central A & M

 

Decatur Lutheran 0
Central A & M 5

 

Class 2A Regional Final scores:

 

At Bloomington Central Catholic

 

Bloomington Central Catholic 8
Bismarck-Henning  0

 

At Broadlands Heritage

 

Tuscola        11          F-8
Tolono Unity 10

 

At Paxton-Buckley-Loda

 

Tri-Valley   7
Paxton-Buckley-Loda 10

 

At Riverton

 

Williamsville 4
Argenta-Oreana 0

 

At St. Joseph-Ogden

 

St. Joseph-Ogden 7
Fithian Oakwood 0

 

At Warrensburg-Latham

 

Sullivan  1
Maroa-Forsyth 5

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Clinton Opens 3A Regional Play This Afternoon

The Clinton Maroons open their postseason play today as they host Urbana today in Class 3A Quarterfinal action.

 

The Maroons ended the regular season 6-19 overall. The Maroons finished 2-11 in the Central Illinois Conference. The Maroons won two of their final three games.

 

Game time today is 4:30 pm. Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Illinois Ends Season With Series Win Over Michigan

The Illinois baseball team's seniors won their 145th game in the last four years Saturday, a 6-3 series-clinching victory over Michigan at Illinois Field. The Fighting Illini finished the season 28-23 overall and 12-12 in the Big Ten, but missed the Big Ten Tournament for just the third time in head coach Dan Hartleb's 11 years at the helm.

 

Maryland beat Michigan State to secure a berth and create a three-way tie for the No. 8 seed. Illinois, Iowa and Penn State all finished 12-12 in conference play, but Iowa had the tiebreaker by beating the other two teams in three-game series, leaving Illinois and Penn State out of the tournament.

 

The seniors ended their careers with a 145-74-1 overall record and a 64-30 mark in Big Ten play. Their careers included over 36 victories per year, a Big Ten championship, Illinois' first ever NCAA Regional title and the program's first Super Regional appearance. Nick Blackburn, Jason Goldstein, Michael Hurwitz, Charlie Naso, J.D. Nielsen and Andrew Mamlic were all honored in a pregame ceremony, along with assistant coach and former Major Leaguer Kyle Hudson, who came back to Champaign to finish his degree over the past two seasons.

 

Mamlic (5-7) started on the mound and turned in one of his best performances of his career. He tied his career high with 7.0 innings, while allowing just one run on four hits. He struck out five before fellow seniors Naso (0.2 IP) and Nielsen (1.1 IP) finished the win. Nielsen earned his sixth save of the season in his 79th career appearance, the third-most in Illinois history.

 

Pat McInerney led the Illini lineup with four hits, including two doubles, as Illinois produced back-to-back 10+ hit outings against Michigan. Dan Rowbottom, Anthony Drago and Doran Turchin each had two hits and Drago drove in three.

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Redbirds Swept By Missouri State; Head To MVC Tournament

The Illinois State baseball team registered 13 hits but only two runs against Missouri State in a 5-2 loss Saturday afternoon at Hammons Field. The loss pushed the Redbirds behind the Bears in the Missouri Valley Conference standings.

Missouri State took control of the game early with a four-run first inning. The Bears brought nine batters to the plate and scored four runs on six hits off of Illinois State starter Jacob Hendren in the inning.

 

The Redbirds had the lead-off man reach base in each of the first three innings but failed to score. The Redbirds broke through offensively in the fourth when Daniel Dwyer delivered an RBI single with two outs, making it a 4-1 deficit.

 

Jean Ramirez crushed the first pitch of the sixth inning over the left field wall for a home run, cutting the Missouri State lead in half, at 4-2.

 

Hendren went 5.2 innings while giving up 11 hits and five earned runs in the loss. Dwyer and Ryan Hutchinson led the way, offensively, with three hits apiece. Ramirez's sixth inning home run was his team-leading sixth long ball of the season.

 

The Redbirds will play next at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, starting Wednesday in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Redbirds face top-seeded Dallas Baptist.

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Blues Host Crucial Game 5 Tonight

Troy Brouwer and Kyle Brodziak each scored twice, Jake Allen stopped 31 shots in his first start of the postseason and the Blues bounced back from consecutive shutout losses to beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 in Game 4 on Saturday night.

Along with giving Allen the start, Coach Ken Hitchcock put the struggling Robby Fabbri and Vladimir Tarasenko on the same line with Lehtera and put defenseman Joel Edmundson back in the lineup after benching him in Game 3.

 

Brouwer and Jori Lehtera scored in the first period and the Blues rolled after getting dominated the previous two games when they were outscored 7-0. Alex Pietrangelo added an empty-netter to seal it.

 

Now it will be up to San Jose to reverse the momentum in Game 5 on Monday night in St. Louis.

 

Blues captain David Backes did not play in the final two periods and Fabbri also left with an injury in the third. Hitchcock said he expected both players to play in Game 5.

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Sox Win; Cubs, Cards Lose

>>Sox Salvage Series Finale Against Royals

 

Todd Frazier tied for the AL lead with his 13th home run, Melky Cabrera drove in two runs and the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 Sunday to avoid getting swept for the first time this season.

Carlos Rodon (2-4) allowed two runs and pitched into the seventh inning for his first victory since April 13. David Robertson got three outs for his 11th save in 13 chances, helping the AL Central leaders win for just the third time in 11 games.

 

Lorenzo Cain and Paulo Orlando had two hits apiece for the World Series champions, who had won six of their previous eight.

 

Yordano Ventura (4-3) gave up three runs and six hits in six innings for the Royals, who were trying for their first road series sweep. He is 3-0 in four home starts but 1-3 in five road games.

Mat Latos (5-1, 4.00) is to start a doubleheader opener Monday against Cleveland and RHP Mike Clevinger (0-0, 6.75). RHP Erik Johnson (0-1, 7.20) is to start the second game for Chicago against RHP Cody Anderson (0-3, 7.99).

 

>>Bumgarner Leads Giants Over Cubs

 

Madison Bumgarner pitched 7 2/3 dominant innings and doubled in a run in the fifth to lift the San Francisco Giants over the Chicago Cubs 1-0 on Sunday night.

The Giants won for the 11th time in 12 games and took two of three from a Cubs team with the best record in baseball.

 

Bumgarner (6-2) struck out six and allowed three hits and two walks while winning his fifth straight decision. The Giants have won each of the left-hander's last six starts.

 

The Giants won despite a persistent problem hitting with runners in scoring position. They were 0 for 7 in that department and have 16 hits in their last 98 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

 

Bumgarner's run-scoring double to left off Kyle Hendricks (2-4) followed Gregor Blanco's leadoff walk.

 

Giants closer Santiago Casilla pitched a scoreless ninth for his 12th save.

 

John Lackey (4-2) faces the Cardinals at Busch Stadium for the second time this year. He struck out a season-high 11 batters in seven shutout innings in a 5-0 Cubs victory against his former team on April 18.

 

>>Diamondbacks Sweep Cardinals

 

A new approach for Zack Greinke paid off and led to a strong eight-inning performance as the Diamondbacks rolled to a 7-2 win over the Cardinals.

Paul Goldschmidt drove in a pair of runs and Michael Bourn added three hits for Arizona, which has won four of six.

 

Brandon Moss homered for the Cardinals, who fell to 3-3 on their nine-game homestand.

Greinke (5-3), who has won five of his past six starts, allowed five hits and one run. He struck out seven and walked one. Greinke used his fastball and changeup effectively as well. That balance kept the St. Louis hitters guessing all game.

 

Arizona scored three runs in the first off Jaime Garcia (3-4), who gave up five runs and 10 hits in 2 1-3 innings. Garcia failed to complete three innings for just the third time in 126 starts.

Yasmany Tomas and Brandon Drury had run-scoring hits in the first. Goldschmidt pushed the lead to 4-0 with an RBI hit in the second.

 

Adam Wainwright (4-3, 5.92) takes on John Lackey (4-2, 3.31) in the first game of a three-game set on Monday.

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Thunder Dominate Warriors, Retake Series Lead

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder gave the Warriors as complete a beating as they experienced during their record-setting season.

Suddenly, a second straight title seems to be anything but a given for Golden State. Now the Warriors are just trying to survive.

 

Durant scored 33 points, Westbrook had 30 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, and Oklahoma City rolled to a 133-105 victory on Sunday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.

 

Durant made 10 of 15 shots and Westbrook was 10 of 19. It was the first time this postseason both players shot better than 50 percent from the field.

Serge Ibaka added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder, who matched a franchise record for most points scored in a playoff game.

 

Golden State's Draymond Green, who kicked Oklahoma City's Steven Adams in the groin and has become Thunder fans' No. 1 target because of some questionable tactics, struggled on both ends of the floor and finished with six points on 1-for-9 shooting.

 

Stephen Curry shot 4 for 13 in the first half, Klay Thompson went 5 for 14 and Green 1 for 8.

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Sergio Garcia Wins Byron Nelson; Rory Wins Irish Open

Sergio Garcia made a par on the first playoff hole at the Byron Nelson on Sunday to beat Brooks Koepka for his ninth career PGA Tour victory, matching the late Seve Ballesteros for the most by a Spanish-born player.

The 36-year-old Garcia shot 2-under 68, making six birdies and four bogeys, to get to 15-under 265. He was two groups ahead of the final pairing of hometown favorite Jordan Spieth and Koepka, who bogeyed the 14th and 15th holes and just missed a birdie chance at 18.

At the 413-yard 18th again in the playoff, Koepka drove into the water.

 

Garcia also won the 2004 Nelson and is the first two-time winner in the 34 tournaments since the event moved to TPC Four Seasons in 1983.

 

Koepka closed with a 71.

 

It could have pretty easily gone the other way on Sunday for Rory McIlroy. The four-time major winner was seeking a tournament he clearly coveted at the highest level. He went to the 70th hole of the Irish Open at the K Club trailing for what seemed like the first time in forever on the week after making an awful bogey at the par-4 11th. McIlroy was one shot back of Scotsman Russell Knox, who had birdied Nos. 14 and 15.

 

The tournament was teetering, and everybody (including both of these men) knew it. And that's when Rory McIlroy remembered that he was Rory McIlroy.

 

He hit a preposterous 270-yard approach shot to 30 feet on No. 16 -- a completely absurd approach given the circumstances (down by one, three holes left and, you know, being 270 yards away). McIlroy talked afterwards about how he wasn't sure he should go for it and didn't know if anyone all week had gone for the 570-yard par-5 in two shots.

 

It was two putts for birdie for McIlroy as Knox bogeyed it.

 

The lead was McIlroy's again by one. He made par at the par-4 17th after a birdie putt lipped out. Then, the master stroke on the final hole of the day and tournament.

 

After a perfect drive on the 18th, McIlroy hit a 253-yard approach to two feet -- eagle and a three-stroke win. 

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Big Sixth Inning Propels Maroa-Forsyth Past Shelbyville

Sophomore Will Horve was terrific over six plus innings and a seven-run sixth inning propeled the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans past Shelbyville 10-2 in Regional semifinal action Thursday afternoon from Warrensburg-Latham High School.

Entering the seventh inning, Horve had shut down Shelbyville, however, he would only record one out before leaving runners at first and second on consecutive walks and two relievers combined to finish off the Rams and wrap up a 10-2 win.

 

The two base runners Horve allowed in the seventh would come around and score, making his final line 6 1/3 innings, with two runs allowed on 3 hits with 3 walks and five strikeouts.

 

Braden Willoughby reached base three times with a single, double and a walk and also drove in a run for the Trojans, who are now 16-11.

 

Clayton Sprague was a home run shy of the cycle.

 

Logan Alsup finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and Jared Wisler, Peyton Morr, Colton Cavanaugh and Cooper Hitchens all recored RBIs for Maroa-Forsyth, as they move on to a Regional final Saturday morning at Warrensburg-Latham High School at 11 am.

 

Tyler Gottfried finished 1-for-2 with two walks for the Rams, who finishe their season 22-8.

Boys Class 2A Regional Semifinal Scores from Thursday:

 

At Broadlands Heritage

 

Tolono Unity 15 F-5
Marshall  4

 

At Paxton-Buckley-Loda

 

Champaign St. Thomas More 6
Tri-Valley   7

 

At St. Joseph-Ogden

 

Monticello 2
Fithian Oakwood 7

 

Class 1A Regional Semifinal Action from Thursday:

 

At Iroquois West

 

Fisher  10 F-5
Iroquois West 0

 

At LeRoy

 

Delavan 19
Heyworth 2

 

At Central A & M

 

Kansas  5
Decatur Lutheran 8

 

At Roanoke-Benson

 

Peoria Heights 12
Peoria Christian 2

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Sedlock Sharp But Illini Fall To Michigan in Series Opener

Cody Sedlock turned in another great pitching performance Thursday night but the Illinois baseball team was shutout, 1-0, by Michigan at Illinois Field. Johnny Slater's fifth-inning home run was the difference.

 

Sedlock (5-3) allowed just two runners to reach second base outside of Slater's home run. The junior right-hander never faced for than five batters in an inning and worked five 1-2-3 frames on his way to his second complete game.

 

Slater's first home run of the season was the first Sedlock had given up in over a month. The left-handed hitter took a fastball over the right field wall, giving enough support to Michigan starting pitcher Brett Adcock.

 

Adcock (7-4) went 8.1 innings in the longest outing of his season. He kept the Illini off balance and issued only four walks despite entering the game giving up nearly one walk per inning pitched. A leadoff walk in the ninth to Pat McInerney and a sac bunt from Dan Rowbottom ended Adcock's day in favor of Bryan Pall, who got two outs to earn his fourth save.

 

Doug Hayes (6-5, 3.12) is scheduled to get the start Friday night against Michigan left-hander Oliver Jaskie (7-3, 3.36). First pitch is at 6:02 p.m. CT.

 

Illinois (26-22, 10-12 Big Ten) put themselves in a must-win situation for its final two games of the regular season. In order to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament, the Fighting Illini must beat Michigan twice and have either Maryland sweep Michigan State or the Spartans take the next two games from the Terrapins.

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ISU Rally Fall Short Against Missouri State

The Illinois State baseball team tallied 13 hits but couldn't overcome 19 runners left on base and eight walks issued in a 9-2 loss to Missouri State Thursday afternoon at Hammons Field.

 

The difference in the game came in the seventh inning with the score tied at 2-2. Redbird pitchers walked five batters and hit another in the inning, which allowed Missouri State (32-19, 5-13 MVC) to break open the game with six runs in the inning. The big hit in the inning was a bases-clearing double off the bat of Jeremy Eierman.

 

Illinois State (17-33, 7-11) had plenty of chances throughout the game. The Redbirds left the bases loaded in the second, third, fourth, fifth and ninth innings.

 

Steve Heilenbach went five innings and gave up two runs on four hits. The senior right-hander also struck out five and walked one. Out of the bullpen, Jake Sale and Mitch Vogrin walked four batters and hit one more in the seventh as the Bears scored six runs to take an 8-2 lead.

 

Daniel Dwyer continued to be productive at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a walk on the day. Blake Molitor and Jared Hendren were the other two batters in the Redbirds' lineup with multiple hits, with three and two, respectively.

 

The Redbirds will look to bounce back tomorrow with David Meade on the mound. First pitch at Hammons Field is set for 6:30 p.m.

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Charges Against Illinois G Jaylon Tate Dropped

Prosecutors have dropped a misdemeanor domestic battery charge against Illinois basketball player Jaylon Tate after concluding there was not enough evidence to convict him.

Tate was arrested in March on suspicion of striking a woman. He pleaded not guilty.

 

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said Thursday that witnesses who were at a party with Tate and the alleged victim were going to testify that they did not see the two interact and saw her leave without injuries.

 

Tate is a 21-year-old junior. He was suspended from the team after his arrest.

 

He is one of three Illinois players arrested this spring. Leron Black was placed on probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor aggravated assault. Kendrick Nunn on Wednesday was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery.

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Cardinals, Sox Win; Cubs Lose

>>Sale Dominant Again As Sox End Slide

 

Chris Sale went the distance on a masterful four-hitter on Thursday night, becoming the first major league pitcher since 2008 to win his first nine starts, and the Chicago White Sox edged the Houston Astros 2-1 to snap their season-high four game losing streak.

Sale walked none and struck out a season-high nine en route to his second straight complete game. No other pitcher has more than seven victories in the big leagues this season.

 

The Arizona Diamondbacks' Brandon Webb had been the last to post a 9-0 record in his first nine starts. The last White Sox to accomplish the feat was Eddie Cicotte in 1919, when he won 12 in a row.

 

Houston broke the shutout bid in the eighth, when Evan Gattis clubbed Sale's first pitch for a home run.

 

Jose Quintana (5-2, 1.54) will get the start versus the Kansas City Royals in the first game of a three-game set on Friday.

 

>>Cardinals Win Slugfest With Rockies

 

Matt Carpenter homered and drove in a career-high six runs to lead the Cardinals to a 13-7 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night.

He smashed a three-run homer in the eighth inning and also had a bases-loaded double in the fourth.

 

St. Louis, which has won three of four, scored a season-high six runs in the fourth inning to take the lead for good.

 

Matt Adams drove in four runs with two-run singles in the first and fourth.

 

Stephen Piscotty added three hits and drove in two runs.

 

Trevor Story hit his 12th home run of the season for the Rockies, a solo shot in the seventh. He had three hits.

 

Tyler Lyons (1-0) allowed one run over three innings in relief of Michael Wacha, who gave up eight hits and six runs in four innings. Wacha came into the game on a career-high four-game losing streak.

 

Daniel Descalso had two hits and two RBIs for the Rockies, who have dropped 19 of their last 24 in St. Louis.

 

Colorado starter Jon Gray (1-2) gave up nine runs and eight hits over 3 1-3 innings.

 

Carlos Martinez (4-3, 3.14) will take on Arizona LHP Patrick Corbin (1-3, 4.14) in the first of a three-game set on Friday.

 

>>Guerra Strong As Brewers Stymie Cubs

 

Junior Guerra struck out a career-high 11, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Chris Carter homered and the Milwaukee Brewers slowed the Chicago Cubs with a 5-3 victory Thursday.

Jason Hammel (5-1) allowed four runs and five hits in six innings. He had been 8-0 with a 2.37 ERA in 11 career starts against the Brewers. Chicago, a big-league best 28-11, has lost three times in a four-game span for the first time this season. The Cubs scored seven runs in the three-game series.

 

Making his first start against Chicago, Guerra (3-0) gave up Dexter Fowler's 15th career leadoff homer but settled down to allow three runs and five hits in seven innings.

 

Jake Arrieta (7-0, 1.29 ERA) is to open a three-game series Friday at San Francisco and RHP Jake Peavy (1-4, 7.43). 

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Sharks Blank Blues, Take 2-1 Series Lead

Martin Jones made 22 saves in his second straight shutout and Tomas Hertl scored twice to give the Sharks a series lead for the first time in four trips to the Western Conference final with a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 on Thursday night.

 

Joonas Donskoi also scored to give the Sharks a 2-1 series advantage and move them as close as they have ever been to reaching their first Stanley Cup final. San Jose had won just three games in its first three trips to the conference final, part of a long history of playoff disappointment that is showing signs of coming to an end this season.

 

San Jose has controlled the play for much of this series, limiting St. Louis' chances and taking advantage of miscues by the Blues to generate enough offense. St. Louis has gone 150:45 without scoring since Jori Lehtera's second-period goal in Game 1 led to a 2-1 victory.

 

Brian Elliott allowed three goals on 14 shots before being pulled midway through the third. Coach Ken Hitchcock said he could give backup Jake Allen the start in Game 4, but St. Louis' problems are much bigger than their goalie.

 

The Blues now find themselves trailing a series for just the second time this postseason. Overcoming this deficit may be tougher than coming back last round after losing the opener to Dallas.

 

Game 4 is Saturday in San Jose, where the Sharks have won six straight playoff games.

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Cavs Dominate Raptors Again, Take 2-0 Series Lead

LeBron James recorded a triple-double and Cleveland improved to 10-0 in the playoffs with a 108-89 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

James had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as the Cavs became the fourth team to start the postseason with 10 straight wins, joining the Los Angeles Lakers (1989, 2001) and San Antonio Spurs (2012). Playing at a different level than the rest of the field, the Cavs are now two wins from appearing in their second straight NBA Finals and trying to end Cleveland's 52-year sports championship drought.

 

Kyrie Irving scored 26 and Kevin Love 19 for Cleveland, which swept Detroit and Atlanta and has beaten Toronto by a combined 50 points in two games.

 

DeMar DeRozan scored 22 for the Raptors, who have had a disastrous debut in the conference finals to this point.

 

Game 3 is Saturday in Toronto.

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Loaded Leaderboard At Byron Nelson

Jordan Spieth dropped a 6-under 64 in the first round at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

The 64 ties his all-time best first round on the PGA Tour. It also tied him for fourth with Dustin Johnson as play was suspended before everyone got through the first round in on Thursday. Those two trail Sergio Garcia, Danny Lee and Johnson Wagner by one shot.

 

Spieth, who has been under par in five of the first six rounds he's played at this tournament, made seven birdies, one bogey and didn't even putt all that well (38th in strokes gained putting). He got off to a hot start, though, by making birdie at the first hole of the tournament.

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Big Ten Team Payments In Line With SEC

The Big Ten generated $448.8 million in revenue during 2014-15, a 32-percent increase over one year for college sports' second-wealthiest conference behind the SEC.

 

In the first year with Maryland and Rutgers as members -- coinciding with the debut of the College Football Playoff -- the Big Ten took in $110 million more than in 2013-14, according to tax records provided Wednesday to CBS Sports. The league paid its 11 longstanding members about $32.4 million each.

 

That's on par with the SEC's payout of $32.7 million and considerably more than the Pac-12 ($25.1 million) and Big 12 ($23.3 million). The SEC generated $527.4 million in revenue last year. The ACC is the only major conference yet to release its tax records.

 

The money will only increase for the Big Ten, which is separating itself financially with the SEC from the other Power Five conferences. Last month, SportsBusiness Journal reported the Big Ten is close to signing a deal with Fox for half of its media rights at a value of $250 million a year over six years. The second half of the TV deal will show exactly how wealthy the Big Ten will be.

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Paris Blanks Clinton

The Clinton Maroons could only muster one hit on Wednesday afternoon against Paris in a 6-0 loss at Parkland College.

 

Nolan Hickman was one of three Maroons to reach base as Cam Elmore for Paris went the distance, allowing the one hit, a walk and struck out four. He also hit a batter.

 

Mac Hickman went two innings allowing three earned runs on four hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

 

Travis Osgood pitched four innings in relief and also allowed three earned runs on three hits with a walk and no strikeouts.

 

At 6-19, the Maroons will begin their preparations for Class 3A Regional action next week. The Maroons host Urbana Monday as part of the Champaign Central Regional.

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Blue Ridge Advances To Regional Title Saturday

Cory Jayne was brilliant on the mound Wednesday afternoon and Alec Lyle delivered two hits and an RBI, propelling the Blue Ridge Knights past Roanoke-Benson 3-1 in Regional semifinal action Wednesday at the Roanoke-Benson Regional.

Lyle paced the offense with his 2-for-3 afternoon that included a walk and a run scored. Thomas Hardesty and Caleb Trotter each drove in a run as well for the Blue Ridge, who will make their second straight Regional final appearance.

 

Damian Cordes, Ben Williamson, Isaac Trotter, Jayne and Dylan Lytel all provided hits for the Knights, who meet the winner of today's contest between Peoria Heights and Peoria Christian on Saturday morning.

 

Jayne went all seven innings on the mound. He allowed an earned run on four hits, issued two walks and struck out nine.

 

Class 1A Boys baseball regional scores from Wednesday:

 

At Decatur St. Teresa

 

Bethany Okaw Valley15
Arthur-Lovington
Atwood-Hammond 0

 

At LeRoy

 

LeRoy 9
Lexington 0

 

At Central A & M

 

Central A & M 12 F-5
Arcola  0

 

Class 2A Boys baseball regional semi-final scores:

 

At Bloomington Central Catholic

 

Bloomington Central Catholic 10
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 0

 

Bismarck-Henning 3
Olympia  2

 

At Broadlands-Heritage

 

Tuscola  3
Broadlands Heritage 2

 

At Riverton

 

Williamsville5
Athens 4

 

At Riverton

 

Argenta-Oreana 1
Riverton  0

 

At St. Joseph-Ogden

 

St. Joseph-Ogden 15
Westville  0

 

At Warrensburg-Latham

 

Warrensburg-Latham3
Sullivan  9

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Dee Brown Named To Illini Basketball Staff

Illinois has added former Illini star Dee Brown to coach John Groce's staff.

 

Groce said Wednesday that Brown will be the team's director of player development and alumni relations. In the newly created position Brown will provide what Groce calls off-court guidance for players and help with on-campus recruiting and other activities.

 

Groce praised Brown's role as a player mentor and said he has a future as a coach.

Brown spent the past year as a special assistant to the athletic director.

 

Brown was part of the 2005 Illini team that lost the national title game to North Carolina. He played as a professional for 10 seasons.

 

Groce did not link Brown's hire directly to off-court problems but three Illini players have been arrested this year.

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Former Chicago Prep Star, Kentucky Commit Charles Matthews To Transfer

Kentucky coach John Calipari says that freshman guard/forward Charles Matthews has been granted his full release and will transfer from the Wildcats.

The 6-foot-6 Chicago native averaged 1.7 points, 1.6 rebounds and 10.3 minutes in 36 games with three starts for the Wildcats last season. Matthews is recovering from a recent medical procedure for a hip issue, but Calipari said last week that he expected him to be fine and looked forward to him contributing more next season. He says in a release Wednesday that he was saddened to see him leave but supports his decision.

 

Matthews says he gained great experience at Kentucky and thanked Calipari and teammates but adds, "I felt like it was in my best interest to explore other options."

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Cubs, Cardinals Win; Sox Lose

>>Travis Wood Leads Cubs Over Brewers in Extra Innings

 

Pitcher Travis Wood drove in the go-ahead run when he walked with the bases loaded in the 13th inning after getting out of bases-loaded jam in the 12th to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 2-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.

With the Cubs out of position players, manager Joe Maddon had Wood hit with two outs after the Brewers intentionally walked Miguel Montero to load the bases. Wood drew the walk when Carlos Torres (0-1) missed on a 3-1 cutter, forcing Ben Zobrist home with the go-ahead run.

 

Wood (2-0) allowed a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar in the bottom of the 13th, and the Brewers later put runners on the corners with one out.

 

The Cubs' last eligible player, left-hander Clayton Richard came on in relief to get the last out, retiring lefty-hitting Kirk Nieuwenhuis on a groundout for his first career save.

 

Jason Hammel (5-0) is 8-0 with a 2.37 ERA in 11 career starts against Milwaukee. Opponents are batting .206 against RHP Junior Guerra (2-0) in three starts since he was called up on May 3 from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

 

>>Wainwright Sharp As Cardinals Blank Rockies

 

Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright threw six-hit ball into the seventh inning in his strongest start after a shaky beginning and Matt Holliday had a two-run double to end the Rockies' five-game winning streak with a 2-0 victory Wednesday night.

Stephen Piscotty had three hits and scored a run for the Cardinals, who had lost three of four.

Chris Rusin (1-2) allowed two runs in six innings for the Rockies, who averaged five runs a game during the winning streak.

 

Kevin Siegrist struck out Charlie Blackmon looking with two on to end the seventh and Trevor Rosenthal earned his eighth save in nine chances.

 

Jon Gray (1-1, 4.71) earned his first career victory his last time out, striking out eight in seven innings against the Mets. Michael Wacha (2-4, 3.23) has lost four consecutive starts for the first time in his career.

 

>>Astros Top White Sox

 

Jose Altuve had three hits and two runs batted in, Colby Rasmus and Jason Castro each had a solo home run and the Houston Astros beat Chicago 5-3 on Wednesday night despite the White Sox turning their second triple play of the season.

 

Altuve went 3 for 4 with a walk and Castro went 2 for 3 with a walk.

 

Jose Abreu went 2 for 4 with two RBIs for Chicago, which has dropped a season-high four straight and six of seven overall.

 

Doug Fister (4-3) allowed three runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings to get the win. Luke Gregerson, who had blown three of his last four save chances, got the final three outs for his ninth save.

 

Mat Latos (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season.

 

The White Sox turned a 5-4-3 around-the-horn triple play in the eighth inning.

 

Collin McHugh (4-3, 5.58 ERA) has a three-game winning streak and has gone 34-19 with a 3.61 ERA since joining Houston in 2014. Chris Sale (8-0, 1.67) looks to become the first nine-game winner in the majors this season.

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Blues, Sharks Shift Series To San Jose

One game after getting shut out on the man advantage, the Sharks struck twice following St. Louis penalties in a 4-0 win Tuesday night that tied the series at one game apiece heading into Game 3 on Thursday in San Jose.

The Sharks lead the NHL with 15 power-play goals this postseason and their 30 percent success rate is tops among all teams that have played more than one round. San Jose is 13-for-32 on the power play in nine playoff wins, compared to 2-for-18 in its five losses.

 

The Blues managed to neutralize the Sharks in Game 1 when they killed all three power plays in a 2-1 victory. They were short-handed five times in Game 2, including a slash behind the play by Troy Brouwer that led to the Sharks' second goal of the game and an interference call on Steve Ott for hitting Pavelski from behind when the puck was not in the area.

 

The other big difference in Game 2 was that the Blues failed to take advantage of their power-play chances. After getting a man-advantage goal from captain David Backes to open the scoring in Game 1, St. Louis went 0-for-6 on the power play Tuesday night, including a weak four-minute chance early in the third period when Marleau was called for a high-sticking penalty and the Sharks lead was only 2-0.

 

The Blues managed 12 shots on the power play but were unable to beat Martin Jones as the Sharks did a good job controlling rebounds and keeping St. Louis to the outside.

 

Ken Hitchcock said he plans to tinker with his lineup for Game 3 but gave no specifics.

 

DeBoer said Thornton looked fine Wednesday after taking a slash on his left hand from Jay Bouwmeester during the game.

 

>>Penguins Double Up Lightning, Take 2-1 Series Lead

 

Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Chris Kunitz scored third-period goals, helping the Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night.

 

Carl Hagelin snapped a scoreless tie late in the second period and Matt Murray had 26 saves for the Penguins, who took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and proving that they're far from a one-man show.

 

Crosby's power-play goal off a pass from Evgeni Malkin restored a two-goal lead midway through the final period. Kunitz also beat goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy from the right circle to make it 4-1.

 

Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat scored for the Lightning. They have lost two straight after winning the series opener in Pittsburgh. The defending Eastern Conference champions were outshot 48-28, including 38-16 over the last two periods.

 

Game 4 is Friday night at Amalie Arena.

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Warriors Rebound, Route Thunder

Stephen Curry scored 15 straight points in less than 2 minutes during one dazzling third-quarter stretch to lead the Golden State Warriors past the Oklahoma City Thunder 118-91 on Wednesday night to even the Western Conference finals at one game apiece.

The MVP scored 28 points, making 5 of 8 3-pointers and shooting 9 for 15 overall, while Klay Thompson added 15 points in a balanced performance by the defending champions to bounce back from just their third home defeat all season in the series opener two nights earlier.

 

Kevin Durant scored 29 points but just six after halftime. Russell Westbrook had 16 points and 12 assists for the Thunder, who were outrebounded for the first time in five meetings with the Warriors this season.

 

Game 3 is Sunday night in Oklahoma City.

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Cards, Cubs, Sox Lose

>>Rockies Dispense Cardinals

 

Chad Bettis did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, took a shutout into the seventh and also drove in a run to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

 

Nolan Arrenado and Dustin Garneau had RBI singles, and Bettis added a run-scoring grounder as the Rockies got their season-high fifth straight win and won for only the fifth time in 22 games at Busch Stadium since 2010.

 

Bettis (4-2) didn't give up a hit until Jeremy Hazelbaker beat out an infield single leading off the fifth. He allowed only two base runners in scoring position until tiring in the seventh, gave up five singles in 6 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out four.

 

Bettis worked at least six innings for the eighth consecutive start and got 11 outs on ground balls.

 

Jake McGee allowed two Cardinals to reach in the ninth but struck out Jedd Gyorko to end the game and pick up his fifth save in the past six days and 13th of the season.

 

Jaime Garcia (3-3) allowed three runs and five singles with four walks in five innings for St. Louis. He fell to 0-4 in his career against Colorado.

 

Chris Rusin (1-1, 4.85 ERA) will make his fourth start after working out of the bullpen until April 30.

 

Adam Wainwright (3-3, 6.80) allowed six earned runs and a season-high 11 hits in five innings against the Angels on Thursday.

 

>>Astros Down White Sox in Extra Innings

 

Evan Gattis celebrated his return to the majors with a two-run homer in the 11th inning that lifted the Houston Astros over the Chicago White Sox 6-5 on Tuesday night.

 

Astros rookie Tyler White hit a pair of solo shots for his first multihomer game and capped a three-hit night with a double. Jason Castro and Jose Altuve each drove in a run for Houston.

Gattis, who returned from Double-A Corpus Christi earlier in the day, lined an 0-2 pitch from reliever Matt Albers (1-3) into the left-field bullpen for his second homer this season.

 

Pat Neshek (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the win. Tony Sipp allowed Adam Eaton's RBI double in the 11th before earning his first save.

 

Doug Fister (3-3, 4.26 ERA) will make his 10th career start against the White Sox on Wednesday night. He'll try for his sixth straight quality start.

 

Mat Latos (5-0, 3.40) makes his eighth start of the season.

 

>>Brewers Beat Cubs

 

Chase Anderson took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and finished with 8 2/3 strong innings to lift the Milwaukee Brewers over the Chicago Cubs 4-2 on Tuesday night.

 

The Cubs entered averaging 5.94 runs per game, but Anderson (2-5) stopped them almost cold to snap a personal five-game skid.

 

Ben Zobrist ended Anderson's no-hit bid with a double to the wall in center on the first pitch of the eighth.

 

Anderson was perfect through 5 1/3 innings before walking Miguel Montero on a 3-2 pitch. Anderson regrouped by striking out Kyle Hendricks and Dexter Fowler.

 

Jason Heyward and Kris Bryant spoiled Anderson's shutout with solo homers in the ninth. Bryant drove Anderson's final pitch to the seats in left.

 

Cubs fans joined the hometown crowd with a standing ovation while Anderson walked off the field.

 

Jeremy Jeffress got the final out for his 11th save.

 

Hendricks (2-3) allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings.

 

John Lackey (4-2, 3.54) is 5-1 with a 3.11 ERA in eight career starts against the Brewers, including 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA in five starts last season.

 

Jimmy Nelson (4-3, 3.51) makes his second start this season against the Cubs. 

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Cubs Sign Injured Reliever Joe Nathan

The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a one-year contract with Joe Nathan, a six-time All-Star reliever recovering from Tommy John surgery.

 

The deal, announced Tuesday, is for the major league minimum $507,500 this year and gives the Cubs a $1.5 million option for next season. He has $100,000 in games bonuses for this year, $800,000 in games finished bonuses and $1.5 million in roster bonuses. In 2017, the bonus opportunities are $100,000 for games, $1.5 million for games finished and $2.5 million based on roster time.

 

Chicago put the 15-year veteran on the 60-day disabled list as he continues to recover from surgery in April 2015.

 

The 41-year-old Nathan has 377 career saves, eighth most in major league history. He last pitched on April 6, 2015, in his only appearance that season for the Tigers.

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Sharks Blank Blues, Even Series

Brent Burns scored San Jose's first two power-play goals of the Western Conference finals and Jones stopped 26 shots for his second shutout of the postseason as the San Jose Sharks blanked the St. Louis Blues 4-0 to even their best of seven Western Conference Finals series.

Jones wasn't happy about giving up the go-ahead goal in Game 1 to Jori Lehtera on a shot that slipped through his left armpit.

 

Tommy Wingels and Dainius Zubrus also scored and Logan Couture had two assists to help the Sharks bounce back from a tight loss. Couture leads the postseason with 19 points.

 

Brian Elliott made 20 saves for St. Louis, which is 4-5 at home and 5-2 on the road in the postseason. Elliott wasn't as sharp as he's been throughout the Blues' run to their first conference final since 2001, nor were players who leaned on him heavily in Game 1.

 

Game 3 is Thursday night in San Jose.

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Nolan Hickman Leads Maroons Past Rantoul

Nolan Hickman outdueled Adam Crites of Rantoul and provided the insurance base hit that would ensure a Clinton Maroons 3-1 victory over Rantoul in non-conference boys baseball action Monday afternoon.

A pair of 3A schools preparing for the IHSA postseason next week, the Maroons, who are in Class 3A for the 2016 postseason, answered the bell against the Eagles of the Okaw Valley Conference.

 

Hickman was brilliant on the mound, going the distance for seven innings allowing an earned run on three hits, issued three walks and struck out eight.

 

Rantoul's Crites was good enough but Hickman was better. Crites went six innings, allowing three runs, two earned on four hits with 10 strikeouts and just two walks.

 

Hickman also delivered a two-run single in the top of the sixth inning that would ultimately be the game winner, as his hit gave the Maroons a 3-1 cushion.

 

Trenton Fryman had the other Maroons RBI and Jacob Overton scored twice. Mac Hickman finished 1-for-3 for Clinton, who improves to 6-18, ahead of next week's Class 3A play-in game against Urbana at Clinton High School.

 

Hear next week's action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

Class 1A Regional quarter-final scores from Monday:

 

At Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

 

Arthur-Lovington-
Atwood-Hammond 4

Mt. Pulaski 1

 

At Heyworth

 

Heyworth 9
Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy 1

 

At Lexington

 

Lexington 12
Ridgeview 0

 

At Springfield Lutheran

 

Springfield Lutheran 8
Pawnee  0

 

Class 2A Regional Quarter-final scores:

 

At Westville

 

Cerro Gordo 2
Westville  8

 

At Maroa-Forsyth

 

Maroa-Forsyth 6
Meridian  0

 

At Deer Creek-Mackinaw

 

Dee-Mack 5
G.C.M.S 8

 

At Sullivan

 

Sullivan 4
Pana  1

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Cardinals, Cubs, White Sox Return to Action Tuesday

After an off day Monday, all the local professional teams return to action tonight.

 

The Major League leading Cubs open up a three game trip to Milwaukee. Kyle Hendricks puts his 2-2, 3.03 ERA on the line against Chase Anderson of the Brewers.

 

The Cubs took two out of three from the Pirates at Wrigley Field over the weekend.

 

The trip to Milwaukee is the start of nine straight games on the road.

 

The American League Central leading White Sox look to rebound after dropping a weekend series against the Yankees in the Bronx.

 

The Sox open a three game set against the struggling Astros. AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel looks to get on track, as he puts his 2-5, 5.58 on the line.

 

The Sox will send Carlos Rodon to the hill. Rodon is 1-4 with a 4.99 ERA.

 

The Cardinals open a three game set tonight against Colorado at Busch Stadium.

 

The Cardinals lost two of three to the Dodgers in Los Angeles over the weekend.

 

They send Jaime Garcia to the hill. Garcia has been brilliant so far this year with a 3-2 mark and a 2.58 ERA.

 

Chad Bettis goes for Colorado. The Rockies are coming off a three game sweep of the New York Mets at Coors Field over the weekend.

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Blues Look To Go Up 2-0 Tonight

The San Jose Sharks got just three power plays in their Game 1 loss to open the Western Conference finals, and no call when Joe Thornton's bushy beard got tugged on by St. Louis Blues captain David Backes in the first period.

 

The Blues were the ninth-most penalized team in the regular season and they've got the second-most minutes in the postseason, although they've played more games than anybody.

 

''Well, we were told not to whine for calls, so we're not going to whine for calls,'' Hitchcock said.

 

Five minor penalties were called, three on the Blues, and there were none in the second period when the Sharks were at their best, ringing up a 16-6 shots advantage but coming up empty and falling behind for good on Jori Lehtera's unassisted goal.

 

Blues players spent little time celebrating their hard-earned 2-1 victory, showing up to the rink to dissect areas in need of improvement before sitting down with Hitchcock.

 

Both teams seemed to sense they might be in for a long haul, perhaps a seven-game marathon.

 

The Blues have twice gone the distance, putting them in the conference final for the first time since 2001. The Sharks dispatched the Kings in five games in the first round but needed seven to eliminate the Predators and earn a first trip to the conference final in five years.

 

Entering Game 2, the Sharks trail in a series for the first time this postseason.

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Bears, Patriots To Hold Joint Practices

On Monday, the Bears and Patriots announced that they're teaming up for two days of joint practices in New England on Aug. 15-16 before they meet for a preseason game later that week. And that means a few awkward pairings might be on the horizon.

 

Remember 2008?

 

Jay Cutler was heading to his first Pro Bowl having been anointed the next great quarterback of the next great Broncos offense. Then the Broncos fired Mike Shanahan and replaced him with Josh McDaniels, the NFL's wunderkind and Patriots' offensive mastermind, which set off a series of events in the spring of 2009 that drastically altered the landscape of the NFL.

 

McDaniels allegedly attempted to trade Cutler away for Matt Cassel, who at the time was viewed as a legitimate starting quarterback, Cutler found out, and madness ensued. When the two met in Denver to clear up issues, the exact opposite transpired.

 

Long story short, the Bears traded for Cutler.

 

McDaniels lasted less than two seasons as a head coach.

 

The Bears traded away Martellus Bennett this offseason to the Patriots, which gives Bill Belichick the scariest tight end combination in the league. Bennett and the Bears clock in as the second-best reunion of the summer.

 

It might be strange.

 

While a member of the Bears this past season, Bennett never really outright complained about his role on the team, but he certainly provided hints of unhappiness.

 

According to the Chicago Tribune, he "had an outburst -- something just short of a tantrum," at practice before the Bears' Thanksgiving win over the Packers.


Bennett didn't travel with the team to that game and he admitted to reporters that he didn't even watch it on TV.

 

Bennett never shies away from providing an honest quote and he has a history of slamming players at practice, so something could be had here.

 

Kyle Long is one of the Bears' best offensive linemen. Chris Long is the Patriots' new defensive end.

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Thunder Stun Warriors in Game 1

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder dazzled in the fourth quarter the way the Golden State Warriors have done so many times during their record-setting season, rallying from 14 points down for a 108-102 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Monday night.

Durant scored 26 points and made a key 17-foot jumper with 30.7 seconds left, while Westbrook scored 24 of his 27 points in the second half. Westbrook also had 12 assists and seven steals in the opener of the Thunder's fourth West finals in six years.

 

Steven Adams made a pair of free throws for Oklahoma City with 1:01 remaining, and Klay Thompson missed a reverse lay-in moments later on the other end. Adams finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots.

 

MVP Stephen Curry had 26 points and a playoff career-high 10 rebounds, but the Warriors missed too many shots down the stretch. The Warriors' 42 second-half points and 14 in the fourth both were lows for this postseason.

 

Thompson scored 19 of his 25 points in the first half, but shot 3 for 10 over the last two quarters.

Game 2 is Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.

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Redbirds Down Wichita State, Take Series

Illinois State (17-32, 7-10 MVC) won a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series by taking two of three from the Shockers with an 8-6 Sunday victory on Senior Day.

 

Senior Jacob Hendren turned in a quality start, allowing just three runs over six innings of work, while seniors Daniel Dwyer and Brian Rodemoyer drove in two runs apiece in support of Hendren. Freshman shortstop Owen Miller added a two-run home run in the victory.

 

Wichita State (19-33, 8-10) rallied late with three runs in the top of the eighth inning, cutting Illinois State's lead to just two, but closer Jack Landwehr got the final four outs for the Redbirds for his second save of the weekend.

 

Trailing 3-2, Illinois State took control with a four run third. Jean Ramirez drew a bases-loaded walk to chase Wichita State starter Codi Heuer. Jared Hendren followed with a sacrifice fly to bring in another run. Then, with two outs, Rodemoyer delivered a two-run double off the left-field wall to give the Redbirds a 6-3 lead.

 

The Redbirds return to action with a three-game series at Missouri State, beginning Thursday.

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Indiana Downs Illinois Sunday, Takes Weekend Series

Evan Bell threw a complete game three-hitter to give Indiana a 4-1 win over the Illinois baseball team Sunday at Bart Kaufman Field.

 

Pat McInerney hit a solo home run in the second inning that accounted for the Fighting Illini's only run.

 

Andrew Mamlic (4-7) was tagged for three runs in the first on four hits before settling down to put up five straight scoreless innings. He ended with 6.0 innings pitched, while allowing four runs on nine hits and striking out five without issuing a walk.

 

Mamlic retired 10 straight after allowing back-to-back run-scoring doubles in the first.

 

Illinois (26-22, 9-10) had three hits in the game and scored four runs in the 2-1 series loss. Jason Goldstein, who hit .417 (5-12) in the series, had a single and Trent Hammond doubled to make up the rest of the Illini's offense outside of McInerney's homer.

 

Michael Hurwitz snapped his career-best reached base streak at 26 games.

 

The Illini took game one, 2-1 then lost Saturday, 3-1.

 

Illinois hosts Michigan for a three-game series Thursday-Saturday at Illinois Field.

 

Information courtesy of FightingIllini.com

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Cards Win; Cubs, Sox Lose

>>Molina Leads Cardinals Past Dodgers

 

Matt Carpenter homered for the fifth time in eight games, Yadier Molina had a tiebreaking two-run double in the top of the seventh inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Dodgers 5-2 on Sunday night to avoid being swept in the three-game series.

 

Molina pinch hit for starting pitcher Mike Leake and put the Cardinals up 3-1 when he lined reliever Joe Blanton's pitch into the left field corner with two outs. Stephen Piscotty followed with an RBI single off Blanton two batters later to bring Molina home.

 

Molina, who was scheduled for a day off, entered a career .301 hitter against the Dodgers and has a .300 average against them in three postseason series.

 

His clutch hit made a winner of Leake (2-3), who gave up four hits and one run in six innings to win his second straight start. It also helped the Cardinals finish their six-game trip 4-2.

 

Trevor Rosenthal pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

 

Corey Seager homered twice for the Dodgers, the first multihomer game of his career.

Jaime Garcia (3-2, 2.58) opens a three-game home series against Colorado on Tuesday.

 

>>Cole Outduels Lester Despite No Hit Bid

 

Starling Marte singled with one out in the seventh inning to end Jon Lester's no-hit bid, then scored on Jung Ho Kang's double to put Gerrit Cole and the Pittsburgh Pirates ahead to stay in a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

 

Kang added an eighth-inning home run to help the Pirates beat the major league-leading Cubs for the first time in six tries this season.

 

Cole (4-3) allowed three hits in eight shutout innings. Mark Melancon gave up a run in a shaky ninth but held on for his 11th save in 12 chances.

 

Lester (4-2), who threw a no-hitter with Boston in 2008, had permitted only two walks and retired 16 straight batters before Marte's opposite-field liner to right on a changeup.

 

Marte stole second and scored on Kang's drive to the gap in right-center, chasing Lester after 109 pitches. He struck out nine.

 

Monday marks the Cubs second day off in five days. RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-2, 3.03) starts Tuesday against RHP Chase Anderson (1-5, 6.11) and Milwaukee to begin a nine-game trip.

 

>>Yankees Down White Sox

 

Pinch-hitter Chase Headley lined a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning, Carlos Beltran launched his 400th career home run and the New York Yankees wrapped up a successful homestand by beating the Chicago White Sox 7-5 Sunday.

 

The Yankees overcame a hiccup by reliever Dellin Betances to finish 7-3 against the White Sox, Kansas City and Boston, a much-needed boost for the last-place team.

 

The AL Central-leading White Sox have dropped four of five overall, and lost for the 13th time in their last 15 games at Yankee Stadium.

 

Off Monday, the White Sox open a 10-game homestand when LHP Carlos Rodon 1-4, 4.99 ERA) faces reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel (2-5, 5.58) and the Astros.

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Blues Edge Sharks For Game 1 Victory

Brian Elliott had another standout game in net, David Backes and Jori Lehtera had goals and the St. Louis Blues opened their first Western Conference final in 15 years with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.

Tomas Hertl scored on a first-period deflection for the Sharks, who outshot St. Louis 32-23 but couldn't quite solve Elliott.

 

The Sharks were the best road team in the NHL in the regular season at 28-10-3, but have dropped four in a row on the road in these playoffs, including all three in the second round against Nashville.

 

They had seven goals in three road losses to the Predators and were 0 for 3 on the power play, which had been a major plus. San Jose had been converting on 33 percent of its power plays in the postseason.

 

Game 2 is on Tuesday night.

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Bears Want First Pick To Eat Anything, Often

Leonard Floyd's alarm clock is better than most alarm clocks, because Floyd's alarm isn't used to only wake him up in the morning -- it's also used to remind him to eat whatever the heck he wants in large quantities.

 

This happens multiple times a day for the No. 9 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

 

Flody CSN Chicago, quote-"I've got prompts set up on my phone of times in the day that I'm supposed to eat, making sure I eat at those time when I get the alarm."

 

As CSN Chicago reported, he can eat pretty much anything on one condition. "As long as I eat a lot of it," Floyd explained.

 

The reason the Bears traded up to snag Floyd in the draft is entirely due to his ability to rush the passer. At Georgia, Floyd racked up 17 sacks in three seasons. He's a blur and features an array of moves.

 

He is, however, lean. He weighed in at 244 pounds at the combine, but according to Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, he's expected to play roughly 10 pounds lighter than that.

Fangio isn't concerned and expects Floyd to weight between 230 and 235. 

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Jason Day Goes Wire To Wire at Players Championship

Jason Day won his first Players Championship this week by four strokes over Kevin Chappell. Day shot a 71 on Sunday to seal the deal at 15 under (right where he started the third round). It wasn't easy, though. Day had to overcome a 38 on the front nine to nab his seventh win in his last 17 events.

He did so in style on the back nine with a 33 that was tied for the second-best on the day. It completed a perfect 36 holes of golf on the back nine at Sawgrass on the week for Day. Not a single bogey on 10-18, the first time any golfer has ever done that.

 

The wire-to-wire win hasn't happened at this tournament since 2000 when Hal Sutton did it. And Day joins Adam Scott, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Martin Kaymer as the only golfers with a Players, a major and a WGC win in their careers.

 

Chappell played very well on Sunday with a 69, including one of the best shots of the day on No. 17 to move into second alone. It's the second time this season Chappell's come up just shy of a win due to Jason Day -- the first coming at the Arnold Palmer Invitational -- but he has to be building confidence with his play this year.

 

Justin Thomas posted the low round of the day with a 65 on Sunday and, for a little while, appeared to have a chance at a playoff as Day was coming back to the field on his front nine. Instead, Thomas will have to settle for a really nice paycheck and some serious confidence leaving TPC Sawgrass.

 

Matt Kuchar missed some opportunities on the greens coming in, most notably a short eagle putt on No. 16, but a very nice 68 on Sunday pushed him to a T3 finish.

 

He almost did it again. Rory McIlroy has become the master of the backdoor top 10 finish but came up just short of a top 10 performance this week after a Sunday 70. McIlroy looked like he might make a charge on the back nine, but after rinsing his tee shot on the par-3 13th, he was never able to find his rhythm on the closing holes.

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UCLA, Michigan Agree To Home-And-Home Series

College basketball just got another nice home-and-home series -- and the sport can use as many as it can get. UCLA and Michigan have announced a two-year agreement, effective next season. UCLA gets first crack, hosting on Dec. 10.

Michigan will bring in the Bruins for the 2017-18 season, with the date to-be-determined. Next season's meeting will be the first between the teams since 2011, but the first true road environment for either team in the series since 2007.

 

UCLA failed to reach the NCAA Tournament last season after reaching the Sweet 16 in Alford's first two years in Westwood.

 

And Michigan will be an interesting watch, given they'll be in a transition year after making the most of their talent (and reaching the NCAA Tournament) last season. 

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Cardinals Outslug Angels

Matt Holliday homered twice in two innings off Jered Weaver, Matt Carpenter homered as well and the Cardinals held off a late rally to beat the Los Angeles Angels 12-10 to complete a three-game sweep.

 

Weaver (3-2) retired the first 11 batters of the game before Holliday ended the streak with his first homer. Eight of the next nine Cardinals reached base, capped by a two-run homer from Holliday to end Weaver's night in the fifth.

 

Holliday matched his career high with four hits to pace an 18-hit outburst by the Cardinals. Matt Adams and Yadier Molina added three hits apiece, and every Cardinals starter had a hit.

 

Adam Wainwright (3-3) got the win despite allowing 11 hits and seven runs, six earned, in five innings.

 

Weaver gave up nine hits and eight runs allowed in four-plus innings for the Angels, who have lost six straight and 10 of their last 12.

 

Carpenter launched a three-run homer down the right field line in the fifth to make it 6-5 and put St. Louis up for good. Holliday followed two batters later with a two-run drive to center to chase Weaver from the game.

 

Michael Wacha (2-3, 3.12) tries to snap a three-game winless streak when he starts the opener of a three-game series at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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White Sox Trade Fro Rangers RHP Anthony Ranaudo

The White Sox have acquired Anthony Ranaudo from Texas, two days after the right-hander walked five Chicago hitters in one inning with the Rangers.

 

Texas obtained minor league pitching prospect Matt Ball in the deal announced Thursday. The right-hander will report to Class A Hickory.

 

Chicago is sending Ranaudo to Triple-A Charlotte along with right-hander Scott Carroll. The White Sox will make a roster move to fill Carroll's spot before Friday night's game at the Yankees.

 

Ranaudo gave up five of his seven runs over two relief appearances in Tuesday's outing against the White Sox. Texas rallied for a 13-11 victory. He is 5-4 with a 6.33 ERA in 13 career appearances, including nine starts, with Boston and Texas.

 

The 21-year-old Ball had 24 strikeouts in 16 innings in 10 relief outings at Class A Kannapolis. He was an 11th-round pick by the White Sox in 2013.

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Thunder Eliminate Spurs

Kevin Durant scored 37 points, Russell Westbrook added 28, and Oklahoma City beat San Antonio 113-99 on Thursday night to win the Western Conference semifinal series 4-2.

 

Oklahoma City lost 124-92 in Game 1, but first-year coach Billy Donovan led the Thunder to victory in four of the next five. Oklahoma City controlled Game 6, leading by as many as 28 points.

 

Steven Adams had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Andre Roberson added 14 points for the Thunder. Oklahoma City now will face defending NBA champion Golden State, starting Monday in Oakland, California.

 

Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 for the Spurs. San Antonio lost just once at home during the regular season, but the Thunder beat the Spurs twice in San Antonio during the series.

 

Oklahoma City opened up a 47-29 lead late in the second quarter after a 3-pointer by Westbrook. Durant's 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left in the half pushed the lead to 55-31 at the break.

 

Oklahoma City kept the pressure on and led 91-65 at the end of the third quarter.

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Blues To Face Sharks in Western Conference Finals

Joe Pavelski got the San Jose Sharks off to a fast start in Game 7 with his franchise record-tying ninth goal of the playoffs to send the Sharks to their first Western Conference final in five years with a 5-0 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

 

Joel Ward, Logan Couture, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau also scored as San Jose shook off an overtime loss in Game 6 to reach the conference final for the fourth time in franchise history.

 

Martin Jones made 20 saves for San Jose's first playoff shutout in six years. The home team won all seven games in this series.

 

San Jose will open the conference final on the road Sunday against the St. Louis Blues.

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Jason Day Sets Record Pace At Day 1 of Players Championship

Jason Day put another exclamation point on the board on Thursday at The Players Championship with a 63 in the first round. He slid into a five-way tie for the course record.

Day made nine birdies (no bogeys), hit 15 greens and averaged 319 yards off the tee. He said he was thinking about the course record.

 

Justin Rose is in a tie for second at seven under par. He was sniffing around that 61-62 mark after he made eagle-birdie-birdie to turn in 31. A bogey on his second nine derailed it.

 

Zach Jonshon is tied for 13th at 5-under par.

 

Phil Mickelson shot a 70 and sits at 2-under par, tied for 41st.

 

Jordan Speith, Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy all shot even par Thursay, and are a shot back of the projected cut of 1-under.

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Clinton Lady Maroons Defeat Tuscola

The Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Tuscola Lady Warriors by a score of 3-0 on Thursday evening. The Lady Maroons were led by the Country Finanical representative Maroons Player of the Game Tori Wilson who was 1-3, and threw out two base runners. Senior Alexis Estes pitched for six innings with three hits, no runs, two walks, and twelve strikeouts. Estes is 20-5 in the season.

Junior Maddie Meinhold pitched for the Lady Warriors. She had four hits, three runs, three walks, and nine strikeouts.

With the win the Lady Maroons improve to 25-8 overall and 12-1 in conference action. Tuscola falls to 26-4 and 13-1. 

The Lady Maroons wrap up their season Saturday at Central A&M. With the win they share the conference crown.

Tune in Monday, May 23, as the Maroons take on Urbana and Tuesday, May 24, as the Lady Maroons take on either Urbana or Mahomet at Rantoul in regional action. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Lady Maroons Thursday Softball Game Start Time Modified

The Clinton Lady Maroons softball game today against Tuscola at Clinton High School has had the start time moved back an hour.

The game originally scheduled for a first pitch of 4:30 pm will now start at 5:30 pm. You can still hear the game on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

Today's boys baseball game at Central A&M has been postponed and will be made up Saturday afternoon at 12:30 pm.

 

WHOW will have full coverage of the Clinton boys and girls postseason, starting the final week of May. 

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Clinton Baseball & Softball Postseason Schedule Announced; WHOW To Broadcast

The IHSA has released the Class 3A postseason schedule for boys baseball and girls softball, and the Clinton Maroons now know where they are headed the last week of May.

 

The Clinton Maroons baseball team won't have far to travel for their opening round game in the Class 3A Regional.  Clinton will host Urbana on Monday, May 23rd, at 4:30p at Evans Field as part of the Champaign Central Regional.  The winner of the that game will then play host Champaign Central at McKinley Field in Champaign on Wednesday, May 25th, at 4:30p in Champaign.  

 

The Clinton Lady Maroons drew a number 2-seed in the Class 3A Mattoon Sectional.  They are the top seeded team in the Rantoul Regional, and will await the winner of Urbana/Mahomet-Seymour.  The Lady Maroons first post season action is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24th, at 4:30p at Wabash Park in Rantoul.  A win there would move the Lady Maroons into the Regional Championship on Saturday, May 28th, at 10a in Rantoul. 

 

The BIG 1520AM/92.3FM WHOW will broadcast all of the Lady Maroons and Maroons post season games this spring.  They can also be heard streamed live online here at DewittDailyNews.com.

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Redbirds Fall Short At Milwaukee-Wisconsin

The Illinois State baseball put the tying runner in scoring position in the ninth inning but couldn't bring him in as they lost to Milwaukee, 4-3, Wednesday afternoon at Henry Aaron Field.

 

Trailing 4-1 in the ninth inning, Illinois State (15-31) put runners at second and third with one out. Jared Hendren lined a single up the middle to score two runs, but was thrown out trying to take second. Brian Rodemoyer came in to pinch hit with two outs and worked a walk. Representing the tying run, Rodemoyer then made it to second on a wild pitch. But the next batter, Daniel Dwyer, grounded out to second base to end the game.

 

Sean Beesley continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-4 performance, including a double and a run scored. Dwyer worked three walks in his first three trips to the plate and finished the day 1-for-2 with a run scored.

 

The Redbirds will host their final home series at Duffy Bass Field, starting, Friday when Wichita State comes to town.

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Blues Dominate Stars in Game 7

The St. Louis Blues routed the top-seeded Dallas Stars 6-1 on Wednesday night to advance to their first Western Conference finals since 2001.

 

Robby Fabbri, their 20-year-old rookie center, became the youngest player in NHL history to score three points in a Game 7, with a goal and two assists, and captain David Backes added a goal and an assist.

 

Backes' linemates Fabbri, Paul Stastny and Troy Brouwer each had a goal and two assists.

 

Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Tarasenko also had goals to help the Blues win for the third time on the road in the. Tarasenko' seventh goal of the playoffs was an empty-netter with 4:40 left.

 

Patrick Eaves had the lone goal for Dallas, which matched its most lopsided playoff loss. The Stars also lost 6-1 in Game 3 of the series.

 

It was the fourth straight game in the series, and fifth overall, won by the visiting team, and a lopsided finish to a second-round series matching the Western Conference's top two teams in the regular season.

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Cardinals Win; Padres Sweep Twin Bill With Cubs; Sox Lose to Rangers

>>Cards Down Angels

 

JaimeGarcia allowed just four hits in seven innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals past the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 on Wednesday night.

 

The left-hander gave up two unearned runs and struck out eight to win his second straight start. He has yet to allow an earned run in 14 innings this month.

 

Kevin Siegrist pitched a perfect eighth and Trevor Rosenthal retired the side in the ninth to complete the four-hitter.

 

Garcia (3-2) was dominant from the outset. He retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced, sat down six of seven after C.J Cron's two-run home run in the fourth ended his no-bit bid, and pitched out of his lone jam with a pair of clutch strikeouts in the seventh.

 

The Cardinals scored four times in the second inning against Matt Shoemaker (1-5) to jump out to an early lead and never trailed. Stephen Piscotty, Yadier Molina and Randal Grichuk had two hits apiece to lead the offense.

 

Shoemaker, recalled from Triple-A earlier in the day, got tagged for seven hits and four runs in four-plus innings, the second straight game an Angels starter failed to get out of the fifth inning.

The Angels have dropped five straight and nine of their last 11. The four hits were the fewest they've managed during the skid.

 

Adam Wainwright (2-3, 6.30) is unbeaten in his last three starts after dropping his first three decisions of the season.

 

The Angels counter today with Jered Weaver (3-1, 4.72), who goes for his first win of the month after a no-decision in his last start despite allowing only one earned run in six innings.

 

>>Padres Sweep Double-Header With Cubs

 

Brett Wallace hit a three-run homer in San Diego's four-run seventh inning, and the Padres stopped the Chicago Cubs' eight-game win streak with a 7-4 victory on Wednesday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

 

Wil Myers had two hits and scored two runs for San Diego, which had lost three in a row. Carlos Villanueva (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the win, and Fernando Rodney got three outs for his ninth save.

 

Pedro Strop (1-1) failed to retire any of the five batters he faced in the seventh and was charged with three runs and three hits.

 

Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell each had two hits and drove in a run, but Chicago wasted a solid start by Kyle Hendricks.

 

-----GAME 2------

 

Drew Pomeranz tied a career high with 10 strikeouts in six scoreless innings and Christian Bethancourt hit a long solo home run to give the San Diego Padres a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night and a sweep of a day-night doubleheader.

 

Pomeranz (4-3) allowed just three hits and walked three in lowering his ERA to 1.80. No Chicago runner advanced past second base while the left-hander was on the mound.

 

Brad Hand worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning, and Fernando Rodney got the final three outs for his 10th save in as many chances. He also picked up the save in Game 1.

 

The lack of offense for the Cubs wasted a strong start from John Lackey (4-2), who allowed just one run on three hits in eight innings.

 

Chicago batters struck out 14 times in the game.

 

Lackey retired the first 14 batters before Bethancourt, who went 2 for 3, broke up the perfect game with a majestic blast over the left-field bleachers and onto to Waveland Avenue.

 

Chicago's best scoring chance came in the eighth inning. With two outs, Jason Heyward walked. Hand appeared to end the inning by getting Kris Bryant to pop up on the infield. But shortstop Alexei Ramirez dropped the ball for an error, putting runners on first and third.

 

Hand then walked Anthony Rizzo on four pitches to load the bases, but regrouped to strike out Jorge Soler to end the threat. It was Soler's fourth strikeout of the game.

 

Following a day off on today, the Cubs open a three-game home series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. RHP Jason Hammel (4-0, 1.85 ERA) takes on LHP Francisco Liriano (3-1, 3.60).

 

>>Rangers Rally Past White Sox Again

 

Adrian Beltre had the tiebreaking RBI single soon after his long errorless streak ended and his team fell behind, and the Rangers overcame three deficits for the second consecutive game in less than 24 hours against the American League's top team, beating the Chicago White Sox 6-5 on Wednesday.

 

In an eventful game for third basemen, Beltre had a throwing error in top of the sixth to end his streak of 44 games without an error that dated back to last September and was the second longest in the career for the four-time Gold Glove winner - he had a 53-game streak in 2006.

 

That error led to an unearned run that put the White Sox ahead 5-4. But the Rangers got even in the bottom of the inning on Desmond's second RBI single before Beltre had the go-ahead hit.

 

White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier got his 10th RBI in the three-game series with his homer leading off the fourth. But he left the game in the bottom of that inning when he cut his lower lip and needed five stitches after falling hard face-first into one of the arm rests attached to the seats in the first row while chasing Prince Fielder's foul pop.

 

After Frazier's third homer in the series, and 11th of the season, tied the game, Melky Cabrera followed with a single and Lawrie homered into the White Sox bullpen in left field for a 4-2 lead. Bullpen catcher Adam Ricks caught Lawrie's deep fly, reaching up with his bare hand to make the grab.

 

Hamels struck out nine with no walks in 5 2/3 innings but also gave up nine hits, the most the ace left-hander has allowed in his 19 starts for the Rangers since they acquired him in a trade last summer. He ended up with a no decision and his career-best 11-game winning streak stayed intact though not extended.

 

Chicago has a day off Thursday before a three-game series at the New York Yankees starting Friday night.

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Former Colts Top Pick Signs With Jacksonville

After struggling with the Colts for three years, former first-round pick Bjoern Werner is going to get a chance to turn his career around in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars announced on Wednesday that they've signed Werner to a one-year deal
Werner, the 24th overall pick in the 2013 draft, had been a free agent since March 8, when he was released by the Colts after an unimpressive career in Indy.

 

The Colts had high hopes for the Werner, but he never lived up to expectations. The German-born defensive end actually seemed to struggle more and more as his career went on.

 

In Jacksonville, the 2012 ACC Defensive Player of the Year is expected to compete against 2016 third-round pick Yannick Ngakoue for playing time as a pass-rusher in the Jags' 3-4 defense

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Warriors Eliminate Blazers

Klay Thompson's sweet shooting touch carried the Warriors while Steph Curry was down, and together again in the starting lineup they guided Golden State another step closer to a repeat title with a 125-121 win over the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

 

Thompson scored 33 points with six 3-pointers, while Curry added 29 and sealed it with a 3 with 24.9 seconds left. He finished with five 3s a day after becoming the first unanimous MVP in NBA history, also adding 11 assists after returning to the starting lineup for the first time all series because of a knee injury.

 

Draymond Green, who had his left ankle re-taped in the fourth quarter, had 13 points, 11 rebounds and six assists after guaranteeing Golden State would advance from this game.

 

Damian Lillard scored 28 points and CJ McCollum had 27 for the young Trail Blazers, who overcame an 0-2 deficit to the Clippers in the first round to get this far.

 

Thompson shot 13 for 17 and became the first player to have at least five 3s in seven straight games, also recording his fourth 30-point game this postseason.

 

Golden State will appear in back-to-back Western Conference finals for the second time in franchise history, also done in 1975-76. 

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Sages Fall Short to Mattoon

The Monticello Sages scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but a rally against Mattoon fell short as the Sages dropped a non-conference boys baseball game, 4-3, Tuesday afternoon from Monticello High School.

 

Logan Hislope paced the Sages offense finishing 2-for-3 with a pair of runs, a double and a walk.

 

Luke Stokowski and Konner Bundy each drove in a run and Austin Wiggins scored the other Sages run.

 

Garrett Myers got the start for Monticello, going all seven innings, allowing four runs, three earned, eight hits and issued three walks with two strikeouts.

 

The Sages are 14-10 overall and will play a non-conference game today against Clinton.

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ISU Senior OF Beesley MVC Scholar Athlete of the Week

Illinois State's Sean Beesley has been named the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week, MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin announced Tuesday.

 

One week after being named the Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Player of the Week, Beesley continued his streak of stellar play. The senior outfielder batted .333 with a .455 on-base percentage over the weekend in a three-game series against Bradley. The native of Darien, Illinois, hit safely in all three games in the series, and also walked twice. He additionally played perfect defense in center field.

 

A standout in the classroom as well, Beesley owns a 3.33 cumulative grade-point average as a technology and engineering education major.

 

Illinois State's baseball game Tuesday at Wisconsin-Milwaukee was postponed due to inclement weather. The teams will play Wednesday at Milwaukee's Henry Aaron Field at 2 p.m.

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Illini P Sedlock Wins Big Ten Pitcher of the Week Again

Cody Sedlock was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, the conference office announced Tuesday. Sedlock threw his first career complete game May 7 and forced Maryland's final 22 batters to go 0 for 22 in a 4-2 win for the Fighting Illini. 

 

It is Sedlock's second Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honor in the last three weeks and Illinois' third straight award. The Illini became the first team to win three straight Pitcher of the Week honors against three Big Ten opponents since Purdue from March 26-April 9, 2012.

 

Sedlock shut out Ohio State over 10.2 innings, while striking out 14, to win two weeks ago and Doug Hayes threw a shutout against No. 19 Minnesota last week to claim Pitcher of the Week.

 

Sedlock was dominant against Maryland in a battle of Super Regional teams from a year ago. He worked seven straight 1-2-3 innings to finish the game in 103 pitches, while striking out seven and allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits. The right-hander moved within 11 strikeouts of Illinois' single-season record (108) with two weeks left in the season.

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Cards, Cubs Win; Sox Lose

>>Holliday, Carpenter Send Cardinals Past Angels

 

Matt Carpenter homered twice, including his drive on the fifth pitch of the night, and St. Louis had nine extra-base hits Tuesday in an 8-1 rout of the Los Angeles Angels.

 

Randal Grichuk and Matt Holliday also homered for the Cardinals, who finished one shy of their season high for extra-base hits.

 

Holliday finished 3 for 5 with two doubles, a homer, two runs and two RBIs.

 

Backed by that offensive support, Mike Leake (1-3) took a shutout into the eighth inning for his first win with St. Louis after signing an $80 million, five-year contract in the offseason. He allowed six hits and one run in eight innings overall.

 

Hector Santiago (2-2) lasted 4 1/3 innings for the struggling Angels, who have lost four straight and eight of 10. He permitted seven hits - five for extra bases - and four runs in his shortest outing of the season.

 

Kole Calhoun drove in Cliff Pennington with a sacrifice fly in the eighth for the Angels' run.

 

Jaime Garcia (2-2, 3.05 ERA) pitched seven shutout innings with only two hits allowed in his previous start against Philadelphia last Thursday.

 

Angels' right-hander Matt Shoemaker (1-4, 9.15) is being called up from Triple-A for his first start since being demoted May 1.

 

>>Zobrist Leads Cubs Past Padres for 8th Straight Win

 

Ben Zobrist went 4 for 4, Addison Russell had three RBIs and the Chicago Cubs beat the San Diego Padres 8-7 on Tuesday night for their eighth straight win.

Jon Lester (4-1) pitched six innings of three-run ball as Chicago improved to 25-6 for the best start by a major league team since the 1984 Detroit Tigers won 26 of their first 31 games. Kris Bryant drove in two runs and Jason Heyward scored twice, helping the Cubs open an 8 1/2-game lead over second-place Pittsburgh in the NL Central.

 

Zobrist had run-scoring singles in the third and fourth against rookie Cesar Vargas (0-2). Zobrist also singled in the second and seventh, and scored in each inning on a hit by Russell.

 

The Cubs and Padres make up Monday's rainout when they play a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday. RHPs Kyle Hendricks (2-2, 3.10 ERA) and John Lackey (4-1, 4.02 ERA) go for Chicago, and San Diego sends RHP Colin Rea (3-1, 3.82 ERA) and LHP Drew Pomeranz (3-3, 2.12 ERA) to the mound.

 

The Cubs haven't won a home series against San Diego since they swept a three-game set in 2012.

 

>>Rangers Outlast White Sox in Slugfest

 

Ryan Rua hit a three-run homer to cap a seven-run rally in the eighth inning, and the Texas Rangers beat the Chicago White Sox 13-11 on Tuesday night.

 

Chicago led 11-6 before Elvis Andrus led off the bottom of the eighth with a single. Pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland singled home a run, Adrian Beltre drove in another with a sacrifice fly and Ian Desmond hit a two-run triple before Rua's homer against Matt Albers (1-1).

 

Winning pitcher Alex Claudio (1-0) went a career-high 4 1/3 innings. Shawn Tolleson pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 13 opportunities.

 

Rua had his second homer, two singles and four runs batted in. Desmond and Bryan Holaday each homered and drove in three runs.

 

Avisail Garcia and Todd Frazier each had three RBIs for Chicago.

 

Mat Latos (5-0, 2.62) will start today opposite Cole Hamels for Texas. 

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Stars, Blues Game 7 Tonight

The Dallas Dallas hosts Game 7 on Wednesday night after avoiding elimination with a 3-2 win at St. Louis on Monday. The Stars led 3-0 in the first period and held on for the third consecutive victory in the series by the visiting team - and fourth overall.

The Blues, who finished only two points behind Dallas in the regular-season standings for the Western Conference's top seed, are 4-2 on the road this postseason and have already played a seven-game series. St. Louis won its first-round clincher at home, when Brouwer scored the Game 7 winner against defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago.

 

Blues right winger Troy Brouwer is playing in his NHL-record eighth consecutive playoff series to go seven games. He also had Games 7s with Washington and Chicago the previous five seasons.

 

The Blues won 4-1 in Game 5 at Dallas on Saturday to go home with a chance to clinch the series. But now they need a third win this month at the American Airlines Center, which hadn't even opened the last time the Stars hosted a Game 7 - on May 27, 2000, when St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock was still coaching the Stars, and they beat Colorado at Reunion Arena in the Western Conference finals.

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OKC Pushes San Antonio To Brink of Elimination

Russell Westbrook had 35 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Spurs 95-91 on Tuesday night and take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

 

Kevin Durant added 23 points as the Thunder won for the second time in San Antonio in the series. Oklahoma City can close out the series Thursday in Game 6 at home.

 

San Antonio led 88-82 with 4 minutes remaining when Westbrook took over. He had seven points, two rebounds and an assist in the final 4 minutes.

 

There were a couple calls the Spurs felt did not go their way in the final minutes Tuesday, but it was Westbrook who left no question of the outcome.

 

He sealed the victory with a three-point play with 6.3 seconds remaining, scoring after Kawhi Leonard was not able to foul intentionally, enabling him to drive for a layup while being fouled by LaMarcus Aldridge. Leonard said he ''definitely fouled him'' on the initial attempt, but Westbrook continued turning the corner and attacking the rim.

 

The Thunder took a 92-90 lead with 54 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws by Durant after Green fell into his legs when he appeared to be tripped by Steven Adams on an attempted screen.

 

Oklahoma City outrebounded San Antonio 54-36.

 

Enes Kanter added eight points and 13 rebounds, and Steven Adams had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder.

 

Leonard had 26 points and Danny Green added 20 points, going 6 for 9 shooting on 3-pointers. LeMarcus Aldridge added 20 points but shot just 6 for 21.

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Maroons Boys Baseball, Girls Softball Games Canceled Today

Today's Clinton Maroons boys baseball game has been canceled.

 

The game had been scheduled to be broadcast on WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

Our next Clinton Maroons broadcast will be Thursday, as the Lady Maroons softball team hosts St. Joseph-Ogden at 4:30 pm.

 

Today's girls softball game at Central A&M has been canceled as well. 

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Frazier Slam Lifts White Sox Over Rangers; Cubs Rained Out Again; Cardinals in Los Angeles

>>Frazier's Grand Slam Lifts White Sox Over Rangers

 

Todd Frazier hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the 12th inning for his second homer of the game, powering the Chicago White Sox to an 8-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.

Frazier had four hits and a career-high six RBIs to help the White Sox win after the bullpen blew leads in the eighth and ninth innings despite a majors-leading 1.82 ERA coming in.

 

Last year's All-Star home run derby winner in front of the home crowd in Cincinnati, Frazier has 10 homers with Chicago after an offseason trade. His go-ahead blast to left came off left-hander Cesar Ramos (0-2).

 

Dan Jennings (1-0) pitched a scoreless 10th and 11th as the White Sox won their fourth straight in a series opener between teams coming off three-game sweeps.

 

Carlos Rodon (1-4, 4.36) gets the ball tonight for the Sox, he allowed one run on five hits with 10 strikeouts in six innings in his only previous start at Texas in 2015. It was a no-decision.

 

Texas counters with Derek Holland (3-2, 5.40), who makes his first start since allowing 11 hits and 11 runs in 2 2/3 innings at Toronto, raising his ERA from 2.48 through his first five appearances.

 

>>Cubs, Padres Rained Out; Twin Bill Set For Tuesday

 

The Cubs' series opener against the San Diego Padres was rained out Monday night, putting on hold Chicago's 24-6 start.

 

The game will be made up as part of a split doubleheader on Wednesday, with games at 12:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. CDT.

 

It was the third home rainout of the season for the Cubs, who are off to the best start in the majors since the 1984 Detroit Tigers started 35-5 and went on to win the World Series.

 

The last time the Cubs had a record this good: 1907 when they were also 24-6. The Cubs won the World Series that year and then again in 1908, after which the current 108-year championship drought began.

 

>>White Sox Activate Alex Avila

 

The White Sox have activated Alex Avila from the 15-day disabled list, clearing the way for the veteran catcher to return from a right hamstring strain for the series opener at Texas.

 

Chicago also recalled right-hander Miguel Gonzalez from Triple-A Charlotte to start Monday night against the Rangers.

 

Avila, a free-agent addition in the offseason, got hurt running the bases on April 23. He appeared in three rehab games with Charlotte.

 

Gonzalez didn't get a decision in his only start for the White Sox on April 25 at Toronto, allowing five runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings.

 

The White Sox designated catcher Hector Sanchez for assignment to make room for Avila.

 

They optioned right-hander Tommy Kahnle to Charlotte on Sunday to clear a spot for Gonzalez.

 

>>Cardinals Open Three Game Series Against Angels

 

Albert Pujols' former team has yet to perform to its usual expectations, and his current one is literally in a world of hurt.

The St. Louis Cardinals and the injury-plagued Los Angeles Angels both attempt to regroup from disappointing weekends in Tuesday night's opener of a three-game series.

 

As the Cardinals (16-16) head west off a frustrating 4-6 homestand, the Angels' season is beginning to go south with losses in seven of the last nine games and staff ace Garrett Richards headed for Tommy John surgery.

 

Los Angeles, hitting .222 and averaging 3.1 runs at home, could be dealing with another extended absence from a key player after shortstop Andrelton Simmons exited Sunday's game with a sprained left thumb.

 

The Angels get to face a struggling Mike Leake (0-3, 6.03 ERA) in the opener. The free-agent addition remained winless in six starts after allowing four runs on a pair of homers in Wednesday's five-inning no-decision against Philadelphia.

 

Leake has served up six home runs in his last four outings, though Los Angeles ranks near the bottom of the AL with 25 homers. He also hasn't done well in interleague play of late, compiling a 1-5 record and 7.44 ERA in his past eight starts that includes an 0-4 mark on the road.

 

Counterpart Hector Santiago (2-1, 3.58) is 0-3 with a 5.47 ERA in his last five interleague starts and wasn't sharp in Wednesday's outing in Milwaukee, surrendering three runs and eight hits while walking four in 5 1/3 innings in a 7-3 Angels' win.

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Stars Best Blues, Force Game 7 in Dallas Wednesday

Kari Lehtonen made 35 saves to bring the series home to Dallas for Game 7 with a 3-2 victory over St. Louis on Monday night.

 

Brian Elliott, a standout throughout the postseason, was pulled in the first period.

Vernon Fiddler and Jason Spezza also scored for Dallas, which reclaimed home ice for the deciding game.

 

Alexander Steen and Patrik Berglund scored for St. Louis.

 

Elliott entered with a 1.92 goals-against average in the series, but was replaced with the Stars leading 3-0 on just seven shots at 16:49 of the first.

 

Jake Allen finished in his first appearance of this postseason, facing just seven more shots in the final two-plus periods.

 

Game 7 is Wednesday night in Dallas.

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Steph Curry Returns, Warriors Push Blazers To Brink; Curry NBA MVP

Steph Curry returned from a sprained right knee to score an NBA-record 17 points in overtime, finishing with 40 as the Warriors rallied to take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals with a 132-125 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

 

Playing for the first time since he was injured in Game 4 of the first-round series against Houston, Curry was rusty for three quarters and sensational down the stretch after the Warriors trailed by as much as 16 points.

Originally expected to play about 25 minutes off the bench, Curry picked up a heavier workload in the second half after Shaun Livingston, who had been starting in his absence, was ejected in the second quarter after arguing a call and picking up two technical fouls.

 

Damian Lillard finished with 36 points and 10 assists for Portland.

 

The Warriors can win the series Wednesday night at home in Game 5.

 

>>Curry Named MVP For 2nd Straight Year

 

For the second straight year, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry will win the NBA's Most Valuable Player award, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. Curry led the Warriors to an NBA record 73-win season and amazingly elevated his game from last season by averaging more points (league-leading 30.1 ppg), rebounds, steals while shooting better from the field and from 3-point range.

 

Overall, Curry averaged 30.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2.1 steals in 34.2 minutes a game. He also racked up plenty of accolades.

 

Curry also broke the 3-point record he set last season, by draining 402 3-pointers, smashing his previous mark by 116. He also tied the NBA' single-game record for 3s, making 12 against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 27. He also joined the elite 50/40/90 club by shooting 50 percent, 45 percent from 3 and 91 percent from the free-throw line.

 

Curry is only the 13th player in NBA history to win back-to-back MVPs. Since 2000, the only players to do so are LeBron James, Steve Nash and Tim Duncan.

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Sages Go 0-3 Friday, Saturday

>>Warrensburg-Latham Rallies For Win Over the Sages

 

The Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals rallied for five unanswered runs on Friday afternoon for a 5-4 victory over Monticello in non-conference boys baseball action from Warrensburg-Latham High School.

 

Trailing 4-0 after four, the Cardinals touched up sophomore starter Alex Marquardt for two runs before his exit in the fifth, then got Nick Hopper for two more runs before a seventh inning rally off Luke Stokowski ended the game in walk off fashion for Warrensburg-Latham.

 

Logan Hislope and Nathan Graham each tallied a pair of hits apiece. Hislope had two RBIs and Graham scored twice to pace the Sages offense.

 

Jacob Burton reached base three times with a 1-for-2 effort and a pair of walks with a run scored.

 

Stokowski and Konner Bundy each added a hit apiece as well.

 

>>Sages Drop Two In Saturday Double Header

 

The Monticello Sages dropped a pair of games to Mahomet-Seymour in Saturday, non-conference double-header action from Monticello High School.

 

The Sages started the opener of the twin-bill with a 3-1 advantage, but a four-run fourth inning  was enough for the Bulldogs to pull away for a 6-4 final.

 

Luke Stokowski bounced back after taking the loss in a walk-off decision to Warrensburg-Latham Friday for a 3-for-4 day at the plate with a double and run scored.

 

Jacob Burton was 2-for-4 with a run scored and run batted in. Logan Hislope was 1-for- with a pair of walks and a run scored. Garret Myers drove in a run and Mitch Rhoades walked twice.

In the second game, Mahomet-Seymour rallied for three runs in the sixth inning, propeling them past Monticello 7-5.

 

Each team opened with a 3-run first inning, trailing 7-3, the Sages put two runs up in the sixth inning, cutting the deficit to 7-5, but that would be all the closer Monticello would get as they dropped their third straight of the week.

 

Logan Hislope finished 2-for-4 with a run and walk. Jacob Burton was 1-for-3 with an RBI double and walked as well. Konner Bundy scored twice and drew a walk, finishing 1-for-3.

Tim Rudolph and Luke Stokowski each added base hits.

 

After a tough finish to the week, the Sages drop to 14-9 overall.

 

Their scheduled game today with Urbana has been canceled. Monticello is in action next tomorrow at home, hosting Matoon.

 

Their Friday game with Mt. Zion has also been canceled.

 

Announced last week by the IHSA, Monticello is in the St. Joseph-Ogden Regional. As the 4th seed, they will take on Fithian-Oakwood next Thursday at 4:30 pm. 

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Jayne's Big Day Lifts Blue Ridge Past Fieldcrest

The Blue Ridge Knights scored five insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning Friday afternoon as they took down Fieldcrest 10-7 in Heart of Illinois boys baseball action.

 

The Knights were led by Cory Jayne who went 3-for-5 with five RBIs and two runs scored.

 

Thomas Hardesty, Isaac Trotter, Calvin Florey and Dylan Lytel added RBIs for the Knights, who finish their regular season schedule 20-9 overall and 13-1 in Heart of Illinois action.

 

Ben Williamson drew three walks for Blue Ridge and was dominant on the mound as well, allowing three unearned runs on four hits, issuing two walks and striking out 11.

 

The Knights will play this week in the Heart of Illinois tournament before opening up regional play next week. Announced Friday by the IHSA, the Knights are the second seed in the Illinois Wesleyan Sectional and will play at the Roanoke-Benson Regional, starting next Wednesday. 

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Goldstein's 9th Inning RBI Lifts Illini Past Maryland For Series Win

Jason Goldstein's go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning Sunday gave the Illinois baseball team a 5-4 win over Maryland to clinch the three-game series at Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium.

Illinois rallied to take a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning, but Maryland tied it up in the bottom half of the inning to set up Goldstein's heroics.

 

Jack Yalowitz singled with two outs in the ninth and Trent Hammond followed with his third hit of the day, tying a career high. Yalowitz then made a heads up base running play, swiping third on a throw back to the pitcher while the third baseman wondered with his head down, and trotted home on Goldstein's sharp single to right field.

 

Pat McInerney had given the Illini the lead with a two-RBI single in the eighth. That scored Hurwitz and Hammond, after Hurwitz extended his reached base to 24 games with a walk.

 

Nick Blackburn (1-3) picked up the win by throwing the final 1.2 innings, allowing the tying run in the eighth before shutting down Maryland in a 1-2-3 ninth.

 

Blackburn relieved Andrew Mamlic, who went 4.0 innings in relief while allowing only one run on four hits.

 

Mamlic worked 10.1 consecutive innings without an earned run this week, before being tagged with a run in the eighth.

 

Cole Bellair started and allowed two runs (one earned) in 3.1 innings.

 

It was an important win for Illinois, which moved within a game of Maryland in the Big Ten standings. Illinois (25-20, 9-9 Big Ten) is back to .500 in conference play and is one game out of eighth place, the cutoff line for the Big Ten Tournament, at the end of the day.

 

The Illini own the head-to-head tiebreaker over three of the other four teams that rank No. 6-10 – Penn State, Ohio State and Maryland.

 

The Fighting Illini and Terrapins split a doubleheader Saturday.

 

The Illini are on the road again next weekend at Indiana. Illinois finishes the season May 19-21 with a three-game series against Michigan at Illinois Field. 

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Bizarre Play Sends Redbirds To Walk Off Over Bradley

Owen Miller had to avoid not one, but two tag attempts at the plate to score the game-winning run in Illinois State's 4-3 walk-off win over visiting Bradley Sunday at Duffy Bass Field.

 

In a tied game in the bottom of the ninth, Blake Molitor singled to left field with one out. Miller, who started at second base, rounded third and headed home. The throw from left beat Miller to the plate, but the freshman shortstop got around the initial tag attempt, leaving him past the plate. Miller then shot past Bradley's catcher and stretched his hand out to touch home plate, beating a second tag attempt to secure the Illinois State win.

 

The win helped Illinois State (15-30, 5-9 MVC) avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of Bradley (23-17, 7-7).

 

Redbird starter Jacob Hendren turned in a quality start, allowing just two runs on five hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out four. Jake Sale followed with two innings of relief work, allowing just one hit, one walk and Gaa's sacrifice fly in the seventh. Jack Landwehr pitched a scoreless top of the ninth to earn his fourth win of the season.

 

Miller was Illinois State's only player to collect multiple hits, as he went 2-for-4 with a double, walk, RBI and run scored.

 

Illinois State returns to action Tuesday at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The 3 p.m. game will be played at Henry Aaron Field in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

 

Information courtesy of GoRedbirds.com.

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Cubs, Sox Sweep Respective Series'; Cardinals Fall to Pirates

>>Baez 13th Inning Homer Sends Cubs To Series Sweep of Nationals

 

The Chicago Cubs walked Washington star Bryce Harper a record-tying six times, then beat the Nationals 4-3 when Javier Baez homered in the 13th inning Sunday for a four-game sweep.

 

The Cubs won their seventh in a row and improved the best record in the majors to 24-6. Washington lost its fourth straight.

 

Manager Joe Maddon and the Cubs simply showed no interest in pitching to Harper. The NL MVP walked 13 times in this series.

 

Harper matched the major league record for walks in a game, last done by Jeff Bagwell in 1999. Harper was hit by a pitch the other time he came to the plate.

 

Things almost became almost comical when Harper reached the batter's box. In the 10th inning and again in the 12th, the Cubs intentionally walked him with runners on first and second and two outs. Both times, Ryan Zimmerman made the last out.

 

Baez homered with one out off Blake Treinen (2-1). Travis Wood (1-0) got the win.

 

The Cubs send LHP Jon Lester to the mound as they open a three-game series at home against the Padres. RHP Cesar Vargas pitches for San Diego.

 

>>Quintana Sharp Again As White Sox Complete Sweep of Twins

 

Jose Quintana pitched seven innings of one-run ball and Austin Jackson hit a go-ahead double in the fifth to lead the White Sox over the Minnesota Twins 3-1 Sunday for Chicago's fourth series sweep this season.

 

Quintana (5-1) gave up six hits, struck out five and lowered his ERA to 1.38. David Robertson pitched a hitless ninth for his 10th save in 11 tries as the White Sox (22-10) completed a three-game sweep and moved 12 games above .500 for the first time since September 2012.

 

Tyler Duffey became the first Twins pitcher in nearly four years to strike out four batters in an inning, but Avisail Garcia reached on a wild pitch during the seventh and scored on Dioner Navarro's double.

 

Miguel Gonzalez (0-0, 8.44) will be recalled from Triple-A and start Monday night at Texas, becoming the latest to audition for the No. 5 rotation spot following John Danks' departure.

The White Sox optioned RHP Tommy Kahnle to Charlotte after the game to open a roster spot.

RHP Colby Lewis (2-0, 3.32) starts for the Rangers.

 

>>Pirates Pound Cardinals

 

Gregory Polanco went the opposite way for a three-run homer and John Jaso added a two-run drive, leading Gerrit Cole and the Pirates over the St. Louis Cardinals 10-5 Sunday.

 

Cole (3-3) gave up two runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

Mark Melancon relieved with the bases loaded in the ninth and got Yadier Molina to ground into a game-ending double play for his ninth save.

 

Michael Wacha (2-3) lost his third consecutive decision for only the second time in his career, the first coming in 2014. He allowed four runs on six hits and two walks in six innings.

 

Rookie Jeremy Hazelbaker hit his sixth homer for St. Louis. Stephen Piscotty added four hits.

Molina had a two-run, two-out single in a three-run eighth for the Cardinals.

 

The Pirates took two of three at Busch Stadium and have won five of six from St. Louis this season.

 

The Cardinals open a three game set on Tuesday in Los Angeles against the Angels. Mike Leake (0-3, 6.03) will make his seventh start as he looks to earn his first win of the season as a member of the Cardinals.

 

He has allowed four or more runs in his first six starts. In his last four starts, Leake has given up six home runs.

 

>>Cubs' Ramirez Activated From Bereavement List

 

The Chicago Cubs have activated reliever Neil Ramirez from the bereavement list and optioned right-hander Spencer Patton to Triple-A Iowa.

 

The Cubs announced the moves before Sunday's game against the Washington Nationals.

The right-handed Ramirez began the day with a 4.50 ERA in six appearances.

 

Patton made one appearance for the Cubs.

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Blues Look To Close Out Series With Stars

After taking a 3-2 series lead on the road Saturday afternoon, the St. Louis Blues will look to close out their series with the Dallas Stars tonight from the Scott Trade Center and send St. Louis to the Conference Finals.

 

Brian Elliott turned away a strong push from the Stars in the final period, rookie playoff points leader Robby Fabbri had a goal and assist, and the Blues beat the Stars 4-1 Saturday for a 3-2 series lead.

 

Dmitrij Jaskin's first career playoff goal in his first postseason game this year put the Blues ahead for good at 2-1 in the second period, and St. Louis protected a 3-1 lead in the third for a second straight road victory in the series.

 

The road team has won two straight and three of five in the series.

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James Hahn Wins Wells Fargo Championship

The final two rounds of the Wells Fargo Championship featured perfect weather in Charlotte -- a nice respite from the rain that washed out the Zurich Classic in New Orleans a week before and followed the PGA Tour to Charlotte on Thursday.

 

As the weather improved, so did the scoring and the fans at Quail Hollow were treated to some spectacular golf on the weekend as big names charged towards the top of the leaderboard.

However, despite those big names lurking, it was James Hahn that came out on top for a win with a final round 69 and a par on 18 in a playoff against Roberto Castro.

Castro's 66 on Friday was one of the best rounds of the week and his second-place performance will earn him a very nice paycheck, but he fell short of the win by one stroke in the playoff.

 

He hit his drive into the creek left of 18 in the playoff and then, after a drop, found a way to hit the ball into a spectator's shoe.

 

Despite finding water and a shoe in consecutive shots, he still found a way to scramble for bogey and apply pressure to Hahn, who made a terrific par. Even though he fell short of the win, it's still a great performance for a player that had only three top-25 finishes this season.

 

Rory McIlroy was hoping to defend his 2015 win at this event, but struggles on the 18th hole cost him that chance as he went 4 over on the very difficult closing hole this week. A T4 finish isn't anything to scoff at, especially after a long layoff after the Masters, but every time he comes here, he expects a win.

 

Phil Mickelson also finished T4 and, like McIlroy, the 18th hole is the one he'll look back on thinking "what if?" A quadruple-bogey 8 on the 18th on Saturday effectively took him out of the running for his first win at the Wells Fargo. Instead, he notches his 7th top-5 finish at Quail Hollow.

 

Rickie Fowler played tremendous golf on Friday and Saturday and held a one-stroke lead heading into the final round, but never got anything positive going on Sunday, shooting a 74 to fall back into T4.

 

He found the water twice on par 5s -- the 7th and 15th -- on Sunday and never factored into the competition down the stretch. Sunday was expected to be a chance to pick up some serious momentum ahead of his Player's Championship defense next week, but instead he'll head to TPC Sawgrass thinking about what should have been.

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Thunder Even Series With San Antonio

Kevin Durant matched his career playoff high with 41 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 111-97 on Sunday night to tie the Western Conference semifinal series 2-2.

 

Durant had 29 points on 10-for-13 shooting in the second half. He scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, one more than the Spurs, and did it on 6-for-6 shooting.

 

Russell Westbrook finished with 14 points and 15 assists, Dion Waiters added 17 points, and Steven Adams had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City. The Thunder shot 50.6 percent overall and 57 percent in the second half to avoid going back to San Antonio down 3-1 for Game 5 on Tuesday night.

 

Tony Parker led San Antonio with 22 points, Leonard had 21, and LaMarcus Aldridge 20.

 

San Antonio led by 11 early in the second quarter, but the Thunder rallied and took a 45-44 lead on a 3-pointer by Durant with 1:47 left in the first half. The Spurs closed the quarter on a 9-0 run, with all the points coming from Leonard and Aldridge, to take a 53-45 lead at the break. Durant and Westbrook were a combined 6 for 21 from the field in the first half.

 

Durant took over early in the final quarter. His back-to-back 3s gave the Thunder a 93-87 lead. Enes Kanter's fast-break dunk pushed the lead to 100-93.

 

San Antonio hung tough, but a baseline floater, a layup and a corner 3 by Durant made it 108-97.

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Three-Run 7th Inning Lifts Maroons Past Sullivan

Trailing 3-2 headed to the final frame, the Clinton Maroons scored three runs and Nolan Hickman secured the win in the bottom half of the fram and the Maroons beat Sullivan 5-3 in Central Illinois Conference boys baseball action Thursday.

Wesley Conn was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning then Jacob Overton walked. After a sac-bunt by Travis Osgood moved runners to second and third, Mac Hickman tied the game with a sac fly RBI that scored Conn. 

 

Travis Fryman walked to put runners at first and second then Christian Hunt came on to hit for Dalton Smith and got a base hit to left, scoring Overton, putting Clinton up 4-3. 

 

Dylan Walsh added to the lead with a double to right, soring Fryman and Clinton led 5-3. 

Walsh finished 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and Fryman was 1-for-2.

 

Nolan Hickman got the win on the mound, pitching three scoreless innings in relief of starter Osgood. Hickman allowed a hit and struck out four to zero walks.

 

Osgood pitched the first four innings, allowing three runs, two earned on four hits with a walk and eight strikeouts.

 

The Maroons move to 5-18 on the year and 2-11 in the CIC.

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Sages Hold Off Tolono Unity Thursday

Logan Hislope was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Garrett Myers was strong over five innings on the mound Thursday as the Monticello Sages downed Tolono Unity 9-5 in Okaw Valley Boys baseball action.

 

Hislope had a triple among his three hits and also scored.

 

Nathan Graham and Myers were each 2-for-3. Mitch Rhoades, Konnor Bundy, and Graham tallied RBIs for the Sages.

 

Jacob Burton was 1-for-3 with a run scored.

 

Over five innings, Myers allowed two unearned runs, issued no walks and struck out six.

Bundy closed the door, allowing three runs, two earned on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

 

Unity scored three runs in the seventh to pull within four, but that would be the closest the Rockets would get on the afternoon at Monticello High School.

 

The Sages are 14-6 overall on the season.

 

Monticello takes on Warrensburg-Latham this afternoon at Warrensburg-Latham High School. 

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Cardinals, Cubs Win; Sox Lose

>>Garcia Sharp Once Again as Cardinals Blank Phillies

 

Jaime Garcia pitched seven sharp innings Thursday as the St. Louis Cardinals blanked the Philadelphia Phillies.

Later, Garcia wanted to rave about the 462-foot drive by Brandon Moss. It was the longest home run by a left-handed hitter in the history of new Busch Stadium, which opened in 2006.

Garcia also was impressive. The left-hander gave up just two hits, walked none and struck out five.

 

Garcia (2-2) threw 82 pitches, 61 for strikes.

 

Moss unloaded off Jerad Eickhoff (1-4) for a solo homer in the first inning.

 

Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal took over to pitch the ninth and gave up two quick singles.

Andres Blanco followed with a foul flyball to right and Piscotty ran a long way, then made a hard, headfirst dive onto the dirt for the catch.

 

St. Louis scored three times in the seventh. Ruben Tejada hit a sacrifice fly and Piscotty delivered a bases-loaded double with two outs.

 

The Phillies scored just eight runs in the four-game series and lost three times. They were shut out twice.

 

1B Matt Adams exited the game in the fourth because of a bruised left knee. He collided with Rupp on a play at first base in the first inning. He is listed as day-to-day.

 

Carlos Martinez (4-1, 2.60) faces Pittsburgh LHP Francisco Liriano (2-1, 3.86) in the opener of a three-game series on Friday. Martinez had pitched at least six innings in all five starts this season.

 

>>Cubs Beat Nationals

 

Kyle Hendricks pitched six scoreless innings, Ben Zobrist drove in four runs and the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 5-2 on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series between two of baseball's hottest teams.

Hendricks (2-2) allowed two hits, struck out four and walked two as Chicago began a 10-game homestand with its fourth consecutive win and eighth in nine games.

 

Zobrist hit a two-run single in the fourth and a two-run homer in the eighth, helping the Cubs improve their major league-best record to 21-6 for their best start since they were 23-4 in 1907.

Jayson Werth hit a long two-run homer in the ninth for Washington, which had won five of six, including a 13-2 victory at World Series champion Kansas City on Wednesday. The Nationals began the day with baseball's second-best record at 19-8.

 

Joe Ross (3-1) matched Hendricks for much of the chilly night, striking out nine in 6 2/3 innings. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed five hits and walked two.

 

Washington ace Max Scherzer (3-1, 3.35 ERA) takes on John Lackey (3-1, 4.32 ERA) in a matchup of veteran right-handers on Friday afternoon. Scherzer is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in three career starts at Wrigley. Lackey needs six strikeouts to become the fifth active pitcher with at least 2,000 Ks, joining CC Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, Felix Hernandez and Jake Peavy.

 

>>Homers Lead Red Sox Over White Sox

 

Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and Jackie Bradley Jr. homered to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 7-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.

The Red Sox won for the ninth time in 11 games and took two of three in this series between AL division leaders, although this was anything but a thing of beauty.

 

The teams combined to strand 21 runners and draw 16 walks. But the East-leading Red Sox came up with enough big hits to prevail in a game that lasted 3 hours, 57 minutes.

 

Pedroia had three hits, starting with a solo homer in the first. Ramirez connected leading off a two-run third against Erik Johnson (0-1).

 

Reliever Matt Barnes (2-1) worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

 

Mat Latos (4-0, 1.84) looks to remain unbeaten as the White Sox open a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins.

 

>>Cubs' Heyward Returns From Wrist Injury

 

Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward returned from a wrist injury after center fielder Dexter Fowler was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

 

Heyward was held out of the starting lineup against Washington on Thursday night for the fourth straight game, but he tested his ailing wrist during batting practice. He had planned to return on Friday, but trotted out to center after Fowler was tossed for arguing with home plate umpire Vic Carpazza after he struck out looking to end the third.

 

Heyward got hurt while working on his swing in the batting cage during Chicago's series at Arizona about a month ago. He is batting .211 with no homers and 13 RBIs in his first season with the Cubs after agreeing to a $184 million, eight-year contract during free agency.

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Stars Outlast Blues in Overtime, Even Series

Cody Eakin scored at 2:58 of overtime and the Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on Thursday night, bouncing back smartly from a blowout loss two days earlier to tie the second-round series at two games apiece.

Patrick Sharp set up the winner and also scored for the Stars, coming off a 6-1 loss in Game 3. Rookie Radek Faksa had the other goal, his third of the postseason.

 

Vladimir Tarasenko scored his sixth goal of the playoffs on a first-period breakaway and added an assist for St. Louis, giving him five points in the last two games. Paul Stastny had his first of the postseason off a deflection from Tarasenko.

 

Dallas is 5-1 with Kari Lehtonen, who made 24 saves, in the playoffs. Ruff also has used Antti Niemi extensively, and joked about the daily controversy.

 

Brian Elliott stopped 25 shots for St. Louis.

 

Game five is Saturday in Dallas. 

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McIlroy Starts Slow at Wells Fargo Championship, Wheatcroft, Loupe Lead

Defending champion Rory McIlroy rarely struggles at Quail Hollow, with two wins and five total top-10 finishes at the Wells Fargo Championship since 2010, but he stumbled out of the gate on Thursday with a 4-over 40 on his first nine.

 

McIlroy, grouped with Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama, started on the back nine and a three-putt double bogey on the 18th dropped the defending champ to 4-over, making him look out of sorts. On a course where scoring has not been a problem for McIlroy, nothing seemed to come easy for Rory on Thursday in Charlotte.

 

His struggles wouldn't last long as he fired a 3-under 33 on his second nine to post a 1-over 73. The par 5s were important in shooting that 33, as he was able to reach both par 5s in 2 shots, leaving himself two-putt birdies on a day when he was struggling to find the cup with one putt -- on his 10 greens hit in regulation, he had only two one-putts.

 

Steve Wheatcroft and Andrew Loupe lead at seven-under-par.

 

Phil Mickelson is tied for ninth at 3-under par.

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Illini Baseball Keeps Rolling, Beats Southern Illinois

Dan Rowbottom drove in a career-high four runs Wednesday, including a three-RBI double in the eighth, to propel the Illinois baseball team to a 6-3 win over Southern Illinois at Illinois Field. Rowbottom also scored a run to play a part in five of the Illini's six runs.

 

Illinois (23-19) won its second game in as many days after beating Missouri, 6-4, Tuesday night.

 

Neither team led by more than one run, until Rowbottom broke a 2-2 tie with his eighth-inning double. Once he reached second, Southern Illinois shortstop and cutoff man Will Farmer tried to hold a throw, but the ball flew out of his hand and into the ground, bouncing all the way to Southern Illinois' dugout and allowing Rowbottom to score. Rowbottom previously singled home Anthony Drago in the sixth to tie the game.

 

Brendan Meissner (1-0) earned his first career win in relief of Quinten Sefcik (4.2 IP) and Charlie Naso (2.1 IP). Sefcik started and allowed two runs, before Naso came in to shut out SIU in 2.1 innings and dropped his season ERA to a team-best 1.99. J.D. Nielsen followed Meissner's one-inning, one-run effort with three straight outs to lock up his fifth save of the season.

 

Southern Illinois (25-19-1) was led by Connor Kopach and Greg Lambert, who each had two hits and a RBI.

 

Monticello High School graduate, Jacob Williams (1-3) allowed the first three batters to reach in the eighth, then Austin Covers gave up Rowbottom's double. Williams was tagged with his third loss of the year.

 

Rowbottom was joined by Antony Drago and Pat McInerney with two hits for Illinois. Michael Hurwitz extended his career-best reached base streak to 21 games with a double to the right center gap in the second inning. Hurwitz scored the Illini's first run on a double play ball off the bat of Drago.

 

Illinois travels to Maryland this weekend for a three-game set Friday-Sunday. All nine of the Fighting Illini's remaining games are Big Ten matchups.

 

Information Courtesy of FightingIllini.com. 

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Cardinals, Cubs Win; Sox Lose

>>Cardinals Rally Past Phillies

 

The Cardinals scored twice in the bottom of the ninth and Matt Holliday's RBI single with two outs was the difference in a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

 

The Cardinals had lost five of their last six while the Phillies had won seven of eight and 10 of 12.

 

St. Louis rallied in the ninth against Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez, who had converted his first nine save opportunities this season.

 

Pinch-hitter Kolten Wong led off with a walk. With one out, pinch-hitter Matt Adams doubled off the wall in right-center, a play that was reviewed to see whether it went over the fence.

 

After an intentional walk to load the bases with one out, Stephen Piscotty delivered an RBI infield single to tie the game and pitcher Carlos Martinez, pinch running for Adams, was out after rounding third.

 

Holliday then smacked a single through the left side of the infield to drive home the winning run.

Ryan Howard's seventh home run of the season, a three-run shot to center field in the fourth inning, gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead. That was the St. Louis native's 23rd homer in 67 career games against the Cardinals.

 

Odubel Herrera added a solo home run in the fifth, his third, to make it 4-0.

 

Cardinals starter Mike Leake, the team's big free agent addition of the offseason, entered the game with an 0-3 record and 5.83 ERA. He allowed four runs and four hits in five innings, his ERA rising to 6.03 after six starts.

 

Jerad Eickhoff (1-3, 4.15) has never faced the Cardinals. He is coming off a no-decision against Cleveland after allowing three runs and six hits over six innings.

 

Jaime Garcia (1-2, 3.73) will make his eighth start and 10th career appearance against Philadelphia. He is 2-4 with a 3.27 ERA in his previous nine appearances against the Phillies.

 

>>Zobrist, Rizzo Homers Pace Cubs to Series Sweep of Pittsburgh

 

Ben Zobrist hit a three-run home run, Anthony Rizzo also connected and Jon Lester worked out of a pair of jams to lead the Chicago Cubs over the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 Wednesday for a three-game sweep.

 

Zobrist's third-inning homer put Chicago ahead after center fielder Andrew McCutchen dropped Rizzo's two-out liner for an error.

 

With its seventh win in eight games, Chicago improved to a major league-best 20-6. The Cubs has won seven straight road games and completed their first sweep in Pittsburgh since Sept. 7-9, 2012. They lead second-place Pittsburgh by six games in the NL Central.

 

Lester (3-1) scattered eight hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings, struck out five and walked two. The left-hander has allowed one run or none in five of six starts this season.

 

The Cubs open a four-game series Thursday night against Washington with RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 3.52 ERA) pitching on eight days' rest against RHP Joe Ross (3-0, 0.79).

 

>>Ortiz's 509th HR Sends Red Sox Past White Sox

 

David Ortiz hit his 509th home run to put the Boston Red Sox ahead to stay in a 5-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

 

Ortiz's two-run shot to right field off Carlos Rodon in the fifth inning tied him with Gary Sheffield for 25th all-time. It was his sixth homer of the season and 451st with Boston, one off Carl Yastrzemski's club mark.

 

Ortiz added an RBI single in the seventh against Zach Duke, and embattled Clay Buchholz (1-3) was sharp over seven innings in Boston's fourth win in five games.

 

Jose Abreu's two-run homer in the first was the only blemish for Buchholz, who allowed three hits and struck out six.

 

Erik Johnson arrives from Triple-A Charlotte and gets the first chance Thursday night to fill the hole in Chicago's rotation following Danks' departure. LHP Henry Owens (0-0, 4.82 ERA) makes his third start for Boston to close the three-game series.

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MLB Set To Announce Another Round of PED Suspensions

T.J. Quinn of ESPN's Outside the Lines reports that MLB is expected to announce soon that another player has been suspended for failing a PED test. Quinn writes:

Major League Baseball is expected to announce in the next few days that another player has tested positive for the steroid Turinabol, a drug that was commonly used by East German athletes in the 1970s. The positive test is one of a handful being processed, two sources familiar with the cases told Outside the Lines, meaning it's all but certain that more announcements will follow.


Quinn's story has more, including how improved testing procedures may have led to this recent spate of suspensions.

 

This report of course comes not long after MLB suspended Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon for 80 games as a result of his testing positive for two banned substances. Dodgers reliever Josh Ravin recently became the sixth big-leaguer to be suspended in 2016.

 

In the spring of 2014, players and owners agreed to revisions to the punitive phase of the Joint Drug Agreement. Now, first time offenders are suspended 80 games, second-timers for 162 games, and third-timers receive a lifetime ban. In February, reliever Jenrry Mejia became the first player to receive a lifetime ban for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement.

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Blues, Stars Meet For Game 4 Tonight

It's not clear which goalie will start for the Dallas Stars in a pivotal Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

 

It's also not clear if it will matter the way the St. Louis Blues are playing.

 

The Blues have been tough to handle for Antii Niemi and Kari Lehtonen, and one of those players will be in the crosshairs Thursday night in St. Louis.

 

The Blues took a 2-1 series lead with Tuesday's 6-1 rout in their first home game in this series. Niemi got his first start of the series after he was effective in Game 2 by stopping 19 of 20 shots in relief of Lehtonen.

 

Alexander Steen and David Backes had two goals apiece for St. Louis. Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and two assists after going three straight games without a point, and Troy Brouwer had a goal and an assist in the Blues' first win this postseason by more than one goal.

 

Brian Elliott was sharp Tuesday for St. Louis with 25 saves. The Blues have killed off all 11 Dallas power plays in the series while scoring four times in the last two games with the man advantage.

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Cavs Steamroll Hawks For 2-0 Series Lead

Dropping jumpers from every corner and angle, the Cleveland Cavaliers drained an NBA record 25 3-pointers - the most in any regular season or playoff game - during a 123-98 runaway win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night in Game 2 of their second-round series.

J.R. Smith made seven 3s as the Cavs, looking like an Eastern Conference version of Golden State's Splash Brothers, had the most prolific outside shooting game of any team in league history.

 

James made four 3s and scored 27 points for the defending conference champions, who were able to rest their starters for the entire fourth quarter. Their arms were tired.

 

Cleveland finished 25 of 45 behind the arc and had 10 players make at least one 3.

 

By halftime, the Hawks were down 74-38 and finished. The team posted on its official Twitter account, ''If you take away their 3s, we're right in this.''

 

Kevin Love wasn't slowed from injuring his right shoulder in Game 1 and finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Cavs.

 

Paul Millsap scored 16 points and Jeff Teague added 14 for the Hawks, who need to regroup quickly or they'll get swept by the Cavs for the second straight year.

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PGA Tour Notes

>>Spieth Says He Isn't Taking Augusta Collapse Very Hard

 

You are probably taking Jordan Spieth's Masters loss harder than Jordan Spieth is taking it. Spieth is in Oakmont this week and spoke on Tuesday about the most famous meltdown of his career.

 

Spieth said quote-"The good news is that I've got a lot of great memories there. I'm not taking it very hard. I've got ladies at the grocery stores putting their hand on me and going, "Really praying for you; how are you doing.' I'm like, 'My dog didn't die.' I'll be OK. I'll survive. It happens. It was unfortunate timing."

 

Jack Nicklaus thinks the Masters disaster might end up being a good thing for Spieth's career.

 

>>Rory Heavy Favorite This Weekend At Wells Fargo Championship

 

After last week's mini-disaster at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans (rain, short tournament, bad field), this week's Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow feels like a major. Fourteen of the top 30 golfers in the world will be contending in Charlotte.

 

Rory McIlroy turned 27 on Wednesday, the day before the tournament. This tournament was the site of his first (and to date, last) PGA Tour win. He's won two of his seven non-majors on the PGA Tour here, holds the tournament and course scoring record and generally owns this week (he's only finished outside the top 10 one time).

 

If McIlroy is going to win this year, this is probably the most likely place for him to do it.

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Unity Blanks Monticello 2-0; Final Week's Games Canceled

The Monticello Sages offense just could not get going Tuesday afternoon, as the Sages fell 2-0 to Tolono Unity in Okaw Valley Boys baseball action.

 

Mitch Rhoades finished 1-for-3 with a walk and was the only Sages hitter to reach base twice. Jacob Burton, Logan Hislope, Konnor Bundy, Nathan Graham, Garrett Myers and Tyler Jones all recorded singles for Monticello.

 

Tyler Jones allowed two runs on five hits, issuing four walks and struck out six.

 

Bundy pitched a scoreless inning of relief, allowing a hit and a walk and struck out two.

 

The Sages are now 13-6 overall.

 

They'll be back in action Thursday hosting Unity.

 

Yesterday, Coach Chris Jones announced next week's games against Urbana and Mt. Zion have been canceled. 

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Big Fourth Inning Leads Illinois Over Missouri in Braggin' Rights Game

Jack Yalowitz and Pat McInerney homered in the fourth inning, Andrew Mamlic tied his career high with 7.0 innings pitched Tuesday to help the Illinois baseball team win 6-4 over Missouri at GCS Ballpark.

 

Mamlic struck out a career-best seven batters while allowing one earned run on four hits. The right-hander retired eight of the last 10 batters he faced, after Illinois grabbed a 4-2 lead with four runs on five hits in the bottom of the fourth. Mamlic pounded the zone with 76 strikes in 109 pitches.

 

Yalowitz led off the four-run fourth with an opposite field solo homer, the first of his career. McInerney followed four batters later with a two-run blast that easily cleared the left field wall. Anthony Drago singled after McInerney's fourth homer of the year, then advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Dan Rowbottom's single to right field.

 

McInerney, Yalowitz, Rowbottom and Jason Goldstein all had two hits. Yalowitz smacked a RBI double to the right field corner in the ninth to give the Illini an insurance run. 

 

Nick Blackburn threw eight pitches in a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up the save. Blackburn moved into a tie for third on Illinois' single-season saves list with his 10th of the year.

 

Illinois (22-19) evened the all-time series against Mizzou, 13-13-1, with its third win over the Tigers in the last four meetings.

 

Illinois has a quick turnaround when Southern Illinois visits Champaign tomorrow for a 3:30 p.m. CT matchup. It will be Star Wars Day at Illinois Field. 

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Arrieta, Quintana Brilliant As Chicago Team's Keep Pace as Best in Baseball; Cards Blanked by Phillies Prospect

>>Arrieta Dazzles Once Again, Cubs Win Again

 

Jake Arrieta dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates yet again, scattering two hits in seven shutout innings as the Chicago Cubs defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1 on Tuesday night.

 

Seven months after shutting the Pirates down in the NL wild card playoff, Arrieta allowed only singles to Sean Rodriguez in the second and Francisco Cervelli in the seventh. Arrieta (6-0) struck out five and walked two while lowering his ERA to 0.84. He became the second six-game winner in the major leagues after Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox.

 

Kris Bryant had three hits for the Cubs, who have won seven of eight and moved five games ahead of Pittsburgh in the NL Central.

 

Jon Niese (3-1) gave up six runs and nine hits over five innings while losing for the first time since the Pirates acquired him from the New York Mets in an offseason trade.

 

Chicago will look for the sweep when Jon Lester (2-1, 1.83) faces Pittsburgh's Juan Nicasio (3-2, 3.33.) Lester is 2-2 with a 1.86 ERA in four starts against the Pirates. Nicasio is coming off seven shutout innings against Cincinnati last Friday.

 

>>Quintana Brilliant As Sox Get Past Red Sox

 

Jose Quintana pitched eight crisp innings for his third straight win, and the AL-leading Chicago White Sox cooled off the Boston Red Sox with a 4-1 victory on Tuesday night.

Jose Abreu had two hits and three RBIs as Chicago ran its record to 19-8 with its third straight win. It has won nine of 11 overall to keep up with the major league-leading Cubs, revving up the anticipation for an intriguing summer in the Windy City.

 

Hanley Ramirez's one-out homer in the fifth halted Quintana's scoreless streak at 20 1/3 innings, but the left-hander bounced back by retiring Travis Shaw and Chris Young on a pair of grounders.

 

Quintana (4-1) allowed four hits, struck out five and walked none while lowering his ERA to 1.40. David Robertson finished for his ninth save in 10 chances.

 

Clay Buchholz (0-3, 6.51 ERA) tries for his first win of the season on Wednesday night, and Chicago sends LHP Carlos Rodon (1-3, 4.33 ERA) to the mound.

 

>>Nola Brilliant As Phillies Blank Cardinals

 

St. Louis-native Ryan Howard homered and Aaron Nola threw seven innings to lead the Phillies to a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

 

Philadelphia has won seven of eight while St. Louis has lost five of six.

 

Howard, a St. Louis native, has 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 36 games in Busch Stadium.

 

Nola (2-2) allowed two hits and struck out seven in a career-high 111-pitch stint. He has a string of 20 consecutive scoreless innings dating to April 22. Nola, who retired the last 10 batters, has given up one run or fewer in four of six starts this season.

 

Wacha gave up one run and five hits in eight innings. He struck out eight and walked three.

Jeanmar Gomez picked up his ninth save in as many opportunities. Hector Neris struck out the side in the eighth.

 

The Cardinals  threatened in the first inning. Matt Carpenter led off with a double, but Nola retired the next three hitters in order.

 

Adam Morgan (0-0, 5.40) will make his second start of the season in the third game of the four-game series on Wednesday.

 

Mike Leake (0-3, 5.83) will start for the Cardinals. 

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White Sox To Cut Danks; Cubs Place OF Szczur on DL

>>White Sox Cut John Danks

 

The AL-leading Chicago White Sox plan to cut John Danks on Thursday, ending the left-hander's 10-year run with the team.

Danks has never been the same since he had shoulder surgery in 2012. He dropped his first four starts this season, prompting the White Sox to make a move.

 

Erik Johnson will be promoted on Thursday to pitch against the Red Sox, but Chicago general manager Rick Hahn says the fifth starter role is "going to be a bit of a fluid situation." He mentioned Miguel Gonzalez and Jacob Turner as two other possibilities, and played it coy when asked about Tim Lincecum's upcoming showcase in Arizona.

 

The White Sox are responsible for the remaining portion of Danks' $14.25 million salary this year, a little more than $11.9 million. If Danks signs a major league contract with another club, the amount owed by the White Sox would be reduced by a prorated share of $507,500 minimum.

 

>>Cubs Place OF Szczur on DL

 

The Chicago Cubs have placed outfielder Matt Szczur on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring and brought up OF Ryan Kalish from Triple-A Iowa.

 

Szczur injured the hamstring during a rundown between third and home in the fifth inning Monday night.

 

Kalish hit .368 in 70 plate appearances at Triple-A. The Cubs also transferred INF Christian Villanueva to the 60-day DL.

 

Jason Heyward was given a second straight day off while nursing a sore right wrist.

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Blues Blast Stars for 2-1 Series Lead; Blackhawks' Anisimov Recovering From Shoulder Surgery

Alexander Steen and David Backes had two goals apiece and the defense put the clamps on the Dallas Stars in a 6-1 victory that put them up 2-1 in the second-round series Tuesday night.

 

Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and two assists, Troy Brouwer had a goal and assist and Brian Elliott was strong when he needed to be for the Blues in their first lopsided triumph of the postseason. Their other five wins were decided by one goal, including 4-3 in overtime in Game 3 after the Stars came from two goals down.

 

St. Louis scored six unanswered goals after Colton Sceviour gave Dallas the early advantage, three coming in a breakaway second period. Steen capped the big second period with a power-play goal, matching his postseason career high for goals in a game.

 

The third period turned nasty when Stephen Johns boarded Alex Pietrangelo with 3:01 to go, leading to a pummeling of Curtis McKenzie by Blues regulator Ryan Reaves. Backes scored his fifth of the postseason during the 4-on-4, giving the captain his first career multi-goal game.

 

Tarasenko also had a three-point game in the first round against Chicago. He's the first St. Louis player with multiple three-point games in the postseason since Doug Weight also had two in 2003. He has 15 goals in 23 career playoff games and relished the chance for some open ice.

 

Backes, who got the winning goal on an overtime power play in Game 2, put St. Louis ahead on another power play on a deflection at 16:10.

 

Counting the postseason, Blue D Kevin Shattenkirk has 25 points in 25 games against Dallas.

 

>>Blackhawks' Anisimov Has Right Shoulder Surgery

 

Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov is on the mend after undergoing right wrist surgery.

Team physician Dr. Michael Terry says Anisimov should be able to return to "full hockey activities" in six to eight weeks. He had the operation on Tuesday.

 

The 27-year-old Anisimov, who was acquired in a trade with Columbus on June 30, had 20 goals and 22 assists in 77 games in his first season with the Blackhawks.

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Bears' DL Houston Calls Aaron Rodgers 'Arrogant'

One current member of the Bears' defense doesn't like Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers -- probably because Rodgers boasts a 150-2 overall record against Chicago (not really, but you get the point).

The actual reason why Bears pass-rusher Lamarr Houston dislikes Rodgers is due to his alleged arrogance. Well, that and Rodgers' belt celebration.

 

"He's a little arrogant for me. He's a little too arrogant. He's a cheesehead. I'm a Bear," Houston told ESPN's SportsNation on Monday.

 

Shortly after the Bears beat the Packers at Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving and Brett Favre night, Houston said something similar.

"I didn't really look at him after [the sack], because I don't give two flying [expletive] about him," Houston said after a one-sack, seven-tackle performance, per ESPN. "I really don't like that guy."

 

Houston recorded eight sacks last season, even though he was coming off a torn ACL. So, despite the Bears' upgrades this offseason, Houston should factor into their plans moving forward. Perhaps, if he sacks Rodgers this year, Houston should steal Rodgers' belt move, which hasn't led to a torn ACL -- unlike Houston's own celebration.

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Warriors Rally For 2-0 Series Lead

The defending champions mounted a remarkable comeback without MVP Stephen Curry.

Next game, they might have him back and really get rolling.

 

Klay Thompson scored 27 points and gave Golden State its first lead of the game on a 3-pointer with 5:33 left, and the Warriors rallied to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99 on Tuesday night for a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.

The Warriors won their sixth straight at home against Portland, all by double figures for a total margin of victory of 89 points.

 

Draymond Green added 17 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and four blocked shots in another win without Curry, sidelined with a sprained MCL in his right knee and relished to coaching to help any way he could.

 

Shaun Livingston scored 14 points for his fifth double-digit performance during these playoffs filling in for Curry. Little-used Festus Ezeli contributed eight points and six rebounds down the stretch.

 

Damian Lillard's 3 to beat the third-quarter buzzer put Portland ahead 87-76 entering the final 12 minutes - Golden State's largest deficit going into the fourth all playoffs.

 

Lillard had 25 points and six assists, and CJ McCollum added 22 points as Portland hit 13 3-pointers. The Blazers were also down 2-0 in the first round to the Clippers.

 

Game 3 is Saturday in Portland, and Curry could be in uniform.

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Wichita State Considering Football

Individuals representing Wichita State's athletic interests have approached the Mountain West Conference about membership, multiple sources told CBS Sports.

 

Led by president John Bardo, Wichita State has been exploring its conference options in basketball and football. Last year, Bardo commissioned an ongoing feasibility study to bring football back to the athletic program. The school dropped the sport in 1986.

 

The 12-member Mountain West has only 11 basketball-playing members; Hawaii plays basketball in the Big West. Wichita State might value its basketball on a larger stage with momentum created by highly successful coach Gregg Marshall.

 

Through a spokesman, Bardo declined comment.

 

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said he did not have direct contact with Bardo or Wichita State officials. He added that if Wichita State plans to park its basketball program in a new conference, “It ain't going to be us."

 

The Missouri Valley Conference is aware of Wichita State's desire for upward mobility. Marshall's success has helped brand the program and the MVC as high mid-major entities -- at least. The Shockers have advanced to a school-record five consecutive NCAA Tournaments, reaching the Final Four in 2013 and going 35-1 in 2013-14.

 

Wichita State has played in the Missouri Valley since 1946.

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Maroons Pick Up Conference Win On Senior Night

The Clinton Maroons used a one hit shutout performance to pick up their first conference win on Senior Night, 8-0, against the Meridian Hawks. 

 

In a game heard Tuesday afternoon on WHOW, Clinton's Mac Hickman led the Maroons efforts by throwing a complete game one hit shutout.  The sophomore righty went all seven innings only allowing one hit, striking out 9, and walking 5. Hickman picked up his second win of the season with the effort.

Several Maroons had a good day at the plate. They were led by Senior Nolan Hickman, who was named the Stephan York Country Financial Player Of The Game. He was 2 for 4 with 3 RBI.  Senior Christian Hunt was 1 for 2 with 2 RBI. Senior Dillan Walsh was 1 for 2 with a double. 

 

Senior Hayden Damery took the loss for the Hawks. He went 5 1/3 innings giving up 7 runs on 8 hits while walking four and striking out five. 

 

The Maroons improve to 4-18 with the win, and 1-11 in the Central Illinois Conference. Meridian falls to 7-14 on the year, and 3-6 in the CIC. 

 

Tune into WHOW next Tuesday for our next Maroons Game of the week as Clinton hosts Maroa-Forsyth in varsity baseball action. The Clinton Lady Maroons host St. Joe-Ogden next Thursday on WHOW as well. 

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Jayne, Trotter Lead Blue Ridge Over El Paso-Gridley

The Blue Ridge Knights opened their final week fo the season with a thrilling win Monday afternoon at El Paso-Gridley High School.

 

Cory Jayne threw six shutout innings and a fifth inning RBI single by Caleb Trotter lifted the Blue Ridge Knights past El Paso-Gridley 1-0 in boys Heart of Illinois baseball action Monday.

Trotter singled home Thomas Hardesty in the fifth inning and provided Jayne with all the run support he needed.

 

Ben Williamson closed it out in the seventh for the save.

 

Jayne went shutout innings, allowing three hits, three walks and struck out two. Williamson had two strikeouts in a perfect frame.

 

Trotter finished with a pair of hits and the game's lone RBI.

 

Damien Cords and Hardesty each had a hit.

 

The Knights are 19-8 overall and 11-1 in Heart of Illinois action.

 

Blue Ridge will host Paxton-Buckley-Loda Wednesday and finish up the regular season Friday at Fieldcrest.

 

The Knights will play the Heart of Illinois Conference tournament next week at Illinois Wesleyan.

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Cubs, Cards Win Monday

>>Cubs Beat Pirates

 

Jason Hammel raised his record to 4-0 and Anthony Rizzo hit two doubles as the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 on Monday night.

Hammel's ERA rose to 1.24 after entering the game with a National League-leading 0.75 mark. He gave up two runs and five hits in five-plus innings with three strikeouts and one walk. His streak of five straight starts of allowing one run or fewer ended.

 

Rizzo hit an RBI double and scored in the third inning as the Cubs went ahead 2-1, then doubled again during a four-run fifth that pushed the lead to 6-1.

 

The Cubs improved to 18-6, tops in the major leagues, and avoided losing consecutive games for the first time this season while winning for the fifth time in six games.

 

>>Cardinals Pound Phillies

 

Adam Wainwright pitched six innings and hit a three-run home run - the first of five for St. Louis - as the Cardinals snapped a four-game losing streak with a 10-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Matt Adams, rookie Aledmys Diaz and Randal Grichuk added solo homers and Kolten Wong hit a two-run homer to help St. Louis overcome a 3-0 deficit and avoid its first five-game slide since losing seven straight from July 26-31, 2013.

 

Wainwright allowed three runs and five hits. He improved to 6-2 in 11 career starts against the Phillies.

 

Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson (2-2) got chased after 5 1/3 innings. In his first outing against St. Louis since 2011, Hellickson gave up six runs, seven hits and four walks as the Phillies had a six-game winning streak end.

 

The Cardinals tied the game 3-3 in the fourth inning when Wainwright walloped a three-run homer 408 feet into the second deck in left field.

St. Louis made it 5-3 on back-to-back home runs by Adams and Diaz to start the sixth.

Wong hit his first homer of the season with two outs in the eighth and Grichuk followed with a solo shot, giving St. Louis a 9-3 lead.

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Blues Host Game 3 Tonight

Alex Pietrangelo is used to playing a lot - especially this time of year. The St. Louis Blues linchpin defenseman plays with a high motor and appears to have no issues piling up the ice time.

 

Pietrangelo is fourth overall in the playoffs averaging 30 minutes, 34 seconds, including more than 35 minutes in the Blues' overtime victory in Game 2 in Dallas on Sunday. Among the surviving eight teams, he's at the top of the list.

 

Several teammates believe Pietrangelo, the fourth overall pick in 2008, was the Blues' MVP in the first round. He was instrumental in holding down Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

 

The odds of Pietrangelo getting more extremely heavy duty would seem to be high, given the Stars and Blues have met seven times with four going to overtime and one decided in a shootout. He can be a calming influence, although inside he's going 100 mph.

 

Dallas has a bit of goalie intrigue. Coach Lindy Ruff yanked Kari Lehtonen after the Blues' three-goal first period in Game 2, and Antti Niemi finished strong, stopping 19 consecutive shots before Backes got the winner in overtime.

 

'I'll let you guys know (who's starting) about five minutes after warmup tomorrow,'' Ruff told reporters.

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Thunder Avoid 2-0 Deficit, Beat Spurs

Russell Westbrook had 29 points and 10 assists, and the Thunder held on to beat San Antonio 98-97 on Monday night, evening the series at one game apiece when the Spurs failed to score in the final seconds.

 

Kevin Durant added 28 points as the Thunder handed the Spurs just their second home loss of the season, rebounding from a 32-point beating in Game 1.

 

With San Antonio trailing 98-97 with 13.5 seconds remaining and Oklahoma City out of timeouts, Thunder guard Dion Waiters elbowed Manu Ginobili to get the space needed to inbound the ball.

 

Waiters inbounded to Durant, who was immediately stripped by Danny Green. Patty Mills missed an open 3-pointer, LaMarcus Aldridge lost the ball after grabbing the airball and Kawhi Leonard was unable to gather the ball before the buzzer sounded.

 

Aldridge had 41 points, but the Spurs shot 43 percent as a team after shooting 61 percent in the series opener.

 

Leonard was held to 14 points on 7-for-18 shooting. Ginobili was the only other San Antonio player in double figures, scoring 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting.

 

San Antonio missed 12 of its first 13 shots, struggling to even hit the rim after seemingly making every shot it took in the opening quarter of Game 1. The Spurs missed six layups and Green awkwardly tossed a hard runner that ricocheted off the backboard.

 

Game 3 is Friday at Oklahoma City.

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Stuard Wins Playoff For Zurich Classic Title

Brian Stuard beat Jamie Lovemark on the second hole of a playoff Monday to capture his first PGA Tour win at the waterlogged Zurich Classic.

 

Stuard never bogeyed a hole throughout the tournament on the long (7,425-yard), par-72 TPC Louisiana course, which was drenched with more than 4 1/2 inches of rain during the tournament. Weather delays on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday not only forced a Monday finish but also led officials to shorten the tournament to 54 holes.

 

Lovemark, Stuard and Byeong-Hun An entered the playoff at 15 under par.

 

An unraveled on the first playoff hole and Lovemark on the second while Stuard remained steady, virtually clinching the win with a 160-yard approach to within 2 1/2 of the pin for an easy birdie putt.

 

Stuard's best previous PGA Tour finishes were a pair of second places in Mexico, one in 2010 and the other in 2014.

 

Lovemark came in with only five career top-10 finishes but four of those had come this season for the Californian.

 

Jason Day, the world's top-ranked player, wound up tied for fifth with Chris Kirk at 13 under.

Bobby Wyatt, a 23-year-old making his ninth PGA Tour start on a sponsor invitation, had a highlight-filled final round split between Sunday and Monday to nearly take his first victory.

 

He briefly surged into the lead with an eagle and six birdies on his first 13 holes. He made every green in regulation in his final round, but three-putts for bogeys on the par-3 14th and par-4 15th cost him.

 

The slow, waterlogged course rewarded players most adept at hitting long in the air off the tee and aiming right for the pin on approach shots. On many shots, balls hardly moved upon landing.

 

A PGA Tour event hadn't been shortened to three rounds since the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua Golf Club.

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From Friday: Warrensburg-Latham Tops Clinton

The Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals solved Nolan Hickman to the tune of five unanswered runs Friday afternoon as Warrensburg-Latham topped Clinton, 5-1 in Central Illinois Conference boys baseball action from Warrensburg-Latham High School.

Hickman went seven innings, allowing five runs, four earned on seven hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.

 

Collin Swallow went the distance for the Cardinals, allowing a run on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts.

 

Levi Nettles and Mac Hickman each had a hit for the Maroons.

 

Austin Hardin tallied a two-RBI double and Garrett Shea hit a solo home run to lead Warrensburg-Latham.

 

The Cardinals improve to 17-5 overall and 6-2 in CIC play while Clinton drops to 3-17 overall and 0-10 in CIC play.

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Raiders Select Illini DL Jihad Ward

The Oakland Raiders selected Illinois defensive end Jihad Ward with the 44th overall pick in the NFL draft on Friday.

 

Ward had 104 tackles with 4 ½ sacks and 12 tackles for losses during two seasons with the Illini.

The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Ward suffered a knee injury during the first week of practice in August and was expected to miss time recovering but wound up playing in all 12 games.

 

The Raiders' decision to draft Ward comes amid uncertainty over the health of second-year defensive end Mario Edwards Jr., a second-round pick last year who suffered a neck injury late during his rookie season.

 

Oakland has used its first two picks on defense after finishing 22nd overall under first-year coach Jack Del Rio. The Raiders drafted West Virginia safety Karl Joseph with their first-round pick.

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Redbirds Rally Past Evansville in Extra Innings

Owen Miller matched a career high with four hits – none bigger than a two-run, go-ahead single in the top of the 10th inning – as the Illinois State baseball team scored an 8-6 Missouri Valley Conference win over host Evansville Sunday at Charles H. Braun Stadium.

 

Miller was one of six Redbirds to record multiple hits Sunday. Daniel Dwyer, Joe Kelch, Sean Beesley, Brian Rodemoyer and Derek Parola all notched two hits each. Miller set a career high with five RBIs in the game.

 

Illinois State (14-28, 4-7 MVC) won the rubber game in the series after splitting a doubleheader with the Purple Aces Friday. Saturday's game was rained out.

 

The Redbirds snapped a nine-game losing streak in extra-inning games, which dated back to the beginning of the 2015 season.

 

Illinois State will return to action next weekend with a three-game series against Bradley at Duffy Bass Field. 

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Illini Split Weekend Set With Minnesota

After opening up a 6-1 lead early, the Minnesota Golden Gophers answered a late Illinois rally with seven runs, breaking open a 7-5 lead en route to a 14-6 Big Ten Conference win against Illinois Sunday from Illinois Field.

 

The two teams were rained out Saturday, shortening the series to just two games.

 

Austin Athmann, Alex Boxwell and Micah Coffey homered for Minnesota. Coffey drove in four and Boxwell, Athmann, Dan Mtol and Riley Smith drove in a pair for Minnesota, who improved to 27-13 overall and 11-3 in Big Ten action.

 

Doran Turchin paced the Illini bats with a home run and tallied three RBIs.

 

Jason Goldstein finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and Turchin, Jack Yalowtiz and Trent Hammond each had a pair of hits for Illinois.

 

The Illini drop to 12-19 overall and are 7-8 in Big Ten action.

 

They'll play Missouri Tuesday at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Illinois. 

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Sale Wins 6th Game; Cubs, Cards Lose

>>Nationals Sweep Cardinals

 

Clint Robinson and Danny Espinosa hit back-to-back home runs, providing the power for Washington on a day when NL MVP Bryce Harper struck out all four times up as they completed a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 6-1 victory.

 

Max Scherzer (3-1), who grew up in suburban St. Louis, struck out nine and scattered four singles. He didn't allow a runner past first base, earning his first win in five career starts against the Cardinals.

 

Carlos Martinez (4-1) needed only 63 pitches to get through his first five innings but was charged with four runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He walked none and struck out eight, including Harper three times.

 

The Cardinals have lost four straight and dropped to 5-7 at home this season. St. Louis went 55-26 at home in 2015.

 

Adam Wainwright (1-3, 7.16 ERA) starts the opener of a four-game series against the visiting Phillies on Monday night.

 

>>Salle Moves to 6-0 After Win Over Orioles

 

Chris Sale took a shutout into the sixth inning, Brett Lawrie homered for the third straight day and the Chicago White Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-1 Sunday for a split of the four-game series.

 

Jerry Sands had two RBIs for the White Sox, who took a control with a five-run fifth inning against Ubaldo Jimenez (1-3).

 

Off to the best start of his career, Sale (6-0) allowed one run, five hits and four walks over 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander is the first White Sox pitcher to win his first six starts in a season since Jon Garland went 8-0 in 2005.

 

Sale did not have a perfect inning, and the four walks were only one less than he totaled in his first five starts. But the Orioles didn't get a runner to third base until after he left.

 

>>Braves Rally Past Cubs

 

Daniel Castro singled and scored on Nick Markakis' sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, and the short-handed Atlanta Braves picked up a rare victory by beating the major league-leading Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Sunday.

Jason Grilli pitched a scoreless 10th for his second save and the Braves won for just the sixth time in 24 games despite blowing a 3-0 after Julio Teheran threw seven scoreless innings.

 

Atlanta's morning transaction snafu - Major League Baseball voided Emilio Bonifacio's promotion from the minors because he wasn't eligible for the 25-man roster - left the Braves down a player.

 

Addison Russell's one-out single in the ninth off Arodys Vizcaino (1-0) tied it for the Cubs, who scored two in the eighth.

 

Hector Rondon (0-1) allowed two hits in the 10th as the Cubs' four-game winning streak was snapped.

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Blues Beat Stars, Even Series at 1-Game Apiece

David Backes gave the St. Louis Blues a big gift on his 32nd birthday, with another overtime goal to go home even.

 

Backes scored off a rebound during a power play 10:58 into overtime of Game 2 on Sunday for a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars.

 

After blowing a two-goal lead while getting outshot 13-2 in the third period, the Blues took advantage of their second power-play chance in overtime. Backes followed up Alexander Steen's shot 17 seconds after Antoine Roussel was called for interference, his third penalty in the game.

 

Blues goalie Brian Elliott had 31 saves, including big shots by Jason Spezza and Stars captain Jamie Benn about a minute apart in overtime.

 

St. Louis had a quick extra-man chance in overtime when John Klingberg was whistled for holding as Vladimir Tarasenko, who scored 40 goals in the regular season and four in the first-round series, was charging toward the net. But Niemi stopped three shots in that 2-minute span.

 

Spezza and Benn, who scored the OT-forcing goal with 2:36 left in regulation, then had their shots before the game-deciding penalty.

 

Troy Brouwer had a power-play goal and an assist in the first period to help the Blues take a 3-1 lead.

 

Benn knocked a loose puck past Elliott to tie the game at 3-all late in the third period, when Cody Eakin got his third assist of the game.

 

Stars rookie center Mattias Janmark had a breakaway goal 4 1/2 minutes into the third period, and Dallas was almost immediately on the power play after the ensuing faceoff. But the Stars were 0 for 4 with the extra man, and are now 1 for 20 on power plays at home this postseason.

 

Instead of a 0-2 hole, the Blues go home 1-1 in the best-of-seven series matching the Western Conference's top two teams. Game 3 is Tuesday night, with Game 4 also in St. Louis on Thursday before the series returns to Dallas for Game 5 on Saturday.

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Raptors Hold On To Eliminate Pacers in Game 7

DeMar DeRozan pushed the Toronto Raptors into the second round - finally.

 

DeRozan scored 30 points and Toronto beat the Indiana Pacers 89-84 on Sunday night in Game 7 to advance to face Miami in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

 

The Raptors won a best-of-seven series for the first time in franchise history.

 

Jonas Valanciunas had 15 rebounds and 10 points, Rookie Norman Powell added 13 points, and Kyle Lowry had 11 for Toronto, set to open at home against the Heat on Tuesday night.

DeRozan, who struggled with his shooting throughout the series, was 10 of 32 in Game 7.

 

Paul George led Indiana with 26 points and 12 rebounds, George Hill added 19 points, and Monta Ellis had 15.

 

 

Toronto nearly ran out of gas, scoring just 11 points in the final quarter and watching as the Pacers whittled a 16-point deficit down to three in the final few minutes.

 

Up 78-64 after three, the Raptors didn't make their first basket of the fourth until a 3 by Powell at 8:19. Joseph followed with a pullup jumper to make it 81-67, leading to an Indiana timeout.

 

The Pacers responded by scoring 12 of the next 14 points, cutting it to 85-79 with 3:23 remaining. Indiana cut it to three at 85-82 on Ellis' 3-pointer with 2:37 left, but Lowry answered with a driving layup.

 

George made a pair of free throws with 52 seconds left to pull Indiana within three again at 87-84. After DeRozan missed a 3-pointer, Solomon Hill grabbed the rebound and Indiana called a timeout to draw up a play for George, but he turned the ball over. DeRozan made the steal, then got fouled at the other end and made both with 6.5 seconds left, giving the Raptors an 89-84 lead.

 

George missed a 3 with 3.9 seconds left, Biyombo grabbed the rebound and Lowry heaved the ball to the other end of the court as time expired, sending Toronto into the second round.

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Bears Release Safety Rolle

The Chicago Bears have parted ways with veteran safety Antrel Rolle.

 

Rolle said Sunday on Twitter that he appreciated the opportunity the Bears gave him and that he is "looking forward to what is next." The move comes after the Bears drafted two safeties - Deon Bush of Miami in the fourth round and William & Mary's DeAndre Houston-Carson in the sixth.

 

Rolle, a three-time Pro Bowl pick, appeared in just seven games for Chicago last season after signing a three-year deal. He had one pass breakup and no interceptions before being placed on injured reserve in December because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

 

Rolle had 26 interceptions over 10 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants before joining the Bears.

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