McCowan’s layup at buzzer lifts Fever to win over Liberty

NEW YORK (AP) — Teaira McCowan’s layup at the buzzer lifted the Indiana Fever to an 81-80 win over the New York Liberty on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Trailing by one after Tina Charles made two free throws with seven seconds left, Candice Dupree drove the lane and dished it off to McCowan, who laid it in just before the buzzer sounded. The officials did a quick video review confirming the basket counted. Tiffany Mitchell led Indiana with 22 points. Her free throw with 2:16 left in the game gave Indiana a 79-78 lead. Neither team could score until the final seven seconds.
Tina Charles, who had 32 points and 12 rebounds, hit two free throws after she was fouled on a rebound with seven seconds remaining that gave New York a 1-point lead.
McCowan, who was the Fever’s first round pick, finished with 11 points.
Indiana got off to a rough start, missing its first eight shots before Shenise Johnson’s layup nearly 5 minutes into the game. Johnson sat out last year while recovering from an ACL tear suffered in 2017 and then a hamstring injury. Indiana built a 39-33 lead at the half despite 16 points by Charles. The lead grew to 54-42 with 3:19 left in the third before Reshanda Gray and Bria Hartley rallied New York, which scored 18 of the final 20 points to end the period. Gray’s putback with three seconds left capped the run and made it 60-56 for the Liberty.

Mets reach minor league deals with Kemp, Santana

By Mke Fitzpatrick
AP Baseball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Looking to replenish their depth, the banged-up New York Mets agreed to minor league contracts Friday with veteran outfielder Matt Kemp and pitcher Ervin Santana.
Each move is pending a successful physical, and both players are expected to report to the club’s spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
The 34-year-old Kemp, who made his third All-Star team last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was released May 4 by Cincinnati. He batted .200 with a home run and five RBIs for the Reds and had been sidelined since April 23 with a broken left rib.
The 36-year-old Santana, a two-time All-Star, became a free agent on April 29, three days after he was designated for assignment by the White Sox, who signed him for a $4.3 million salary this year. He was 0-2 with a 9.45 ERA in three starts for Chicago this season.
“It’s just another depth piece for us and one that has some upside to it, because when he gets rolling, he can be a pretty good pitcher,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “I’ve been around him a lot, and he can pitch. When he has that slider going, it’s pretty tough.”
New York has 11 players on the injured list, including four outfielders and five pitchers.
Missing from the outfield are regulars Michael Conforto (concussion), Brandon Nimmo (stiff neck) and Jeff McNeil (left hamstring tightness). Longtime big leaguers Carlos Gómez and Rajai Davis were called up from Triple-A Syracuse within the past week to help fill those holes.
New York also claimed outfielder Aaron Altherr off waivers from San Francisco on Thursday. He was added to the active roster and was on the bench for Friday night’s series opener against Detroit. Left-handed reliever Ryan O’Rourke was optioned to Syracuse.
Conforto was eligible to come off the seven-day concussion list Friday but was not reinstated. He took batting practice on the field and has been feeling good after going through baseball activities recently, Callaway said.
The Mets are just waiting for Conforto to be cleared by Major League Baseball and they hope that will happen this weekend. After that, he could be plugged right back into the lineup, Callaway said.
Another injured outfielder is Yoenis Céspedes, expected to miss the entire season after having ankle surgery Thursday. The team said Céspedes sustained multiple fractures to his right ankle in an accident on his Florida ranch. Céspedes hadn’t played this season while recovering from surgery on both heels.
Kemp is a .285 career hitter with 281 homers, 1,010 RBIs and an .822 OPS in 14 major league seasons with the Dodgers, Padres, Braves and Reds. He batted .290 with 21 homers and 85 RBIs in 146 games for Los Angeles last season.
Santana is 149-127 with a 4.09 ERA in 15 major league seasons with the Angels, Royals, Braves, Twins and White Sox. The right-hander went 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA in 211 1/3 innings for Minnesota in 2017, when he made the AL All-Star squad and led the league with five complete games and three shutouts. He had an 8.03 ERA in five starts with the Twins last year.
“We all know what Ervin Santana’s done in his career,” Callaway said. “Great clubhouse guy. I know him pretty well. He’s had a ton of success at the major league level. Having said that, we’ve got to evaluate where he’s at. So to say he’d be just a starter or a bullpen guy, we really can’t predict that at this moment.”

Judge axes 3 of 4 lawyers in NFL concussion case

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The federal judge overseeing the $1 billion NFL concussion settlement has terminated three of four lawyers serving as class counsel.
The surprise order Friday afternoon comes just weeks after a hearing to air complaints about new rules that limit the doctors who can evaluate retired players for dementia and other brain injuries.
Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody says she imposed the 150-miles-from-home rule to thwart doctor shopping and potential fraud alleged by the NFL as the more than $1 billion settlement fund is disbursed.
She has named New York lawyer Christopher Seeger as the only attorney left who can handle issues on behalf of the 20,000-member class.
Outgoing class counsel Gene Locks tells The Associated Press the order Friday “extinguishes any remaining hope” that clients will be protected as they move through the contentious medical testing and award process.
He told Brody at a hearing this month that there aren’t enough qualified neurologists, neuropsychologists and subspecialists taking part in the program to meet the close-to-home rule.
“This court has been told, many times, in motions and in camera (chambers), factual arguments from the NFL that have been exaggerated and intended to limit their obligations to the players,” Locks said.
He said the order Friday is in keeping with Brody’s denial of repeated motions filed by anyone other than Seeger.
“At this point, (it) extinguishes any remaining hope that the individual interests of the class members will be adequately protected,” Locks told the AP.
Seeger, in a statement, vowed to “continue to fight on behalf of former players and their families to ensure that they receive every benefit they deserve under the settlement.”
Lawyers involved in the long-running case are meanwhile splitting more than $112 million in fees, with the lion’s share going to Seeger’s firm. He was not one of the first to bring suit against the NFL, but became a lead lawyer in the secret negotiations that led to a surprise 2013 settlement. The players’ lawsuits had alleged the NFL long hid what it knew about the neurological risks of playing after concussions.
The fund is meant to last for 65 years. The awards in the first two years of payouts alone reached $500 million this month, while another $160 million in awards have been approved but not yet paid.
The plan offers retired players baseline testing and compensation of up to $5 million for the most serious illnesses linked to football concussions, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and deaths involving chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
Of the 872 awards paid to date, the average is just under $575,000, according to a claims administrator’s report this month.

Bruins’ veteran quintet could be key in latest Stanley Cup bid

By Kyle Hightower
AP Sports Writer

BOSTON (AP) — When the Boston Bruins take the ice against the St. Louis Blues, they will do it with a core group of veterans who know what it’s like to hoist the Stanley Cup — and have it slip from their fingers.
Patrice Bergeron can still remember the instant euphoria and accompanying adoration from across New England that came after the Bruins outlasted the Vancouver Canucks in seven games to win the Cup in 2011.
He just as easily recalls the emptiness in 2013 when the Bruins lost the final in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.
“I think it makes you appreciate and makes you understand how hard it is to get to this point,” Bergeron said.
He is one of five current Bruins that were on both of those teams, along with Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask, David Krejci and Zdeno Chara. Apart from Chara, who was 33 in 2011, Bergeron, Krejci, Marchand and Rask were all in their 20s during both runs. Defenseman Torey Krug was as a member of the ’13 team that came up short, arriving the season after Boston won it in 2011.
Nine years later Chara is now 42 and the 20-somethings are now grizzled NHL veterans as they prepare to take on the Blues.
It’s cast them all in the leadership role for another youthful and hungry Bruins team, built with many players about to experience this stage for the first time with Game 1 coming up Monday night.
It’s a position they have all willingly accepted.
Chara said this season has been a great teaching tool for them.
“It takes a lot to just get into the playoffs,” Chara said. “We saw a lot of our games went to Game 7. First round. Second round. You have to realize how special it is to be in the final and what it takes. At the same time, you haven’t accomplished anything. You haven’t won anything.”
St. Louis coach Craig Berube knows the Bruins are deep and the veteran players are a key part of the team.
“Chara is still a good player, he’s a force out there, a big guy and he’s difficult to play against,” Berube said. “Overall, their team’s a skilled and fast team and their goalie has played extremely well so far in the playoffs.”
Boston coach Bruce Cassidy, who is in his second season leading the B’s. He struggled in his first go-around as a head coach in Washington, going 47-47-9 over two seasons from 2002 to 2004.
The past two seasons in Boston, Cassidy said, he has gone from being apprehensive about speaking up around his best players to setting an agenda and then leaning on his veterans in the locker room to help implement it.
“I think this leadership group is second to none,” Cassidy said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever have — wherever this career takes me — a group like this to work with. I said that since probably the second week of our job here. These guys are fantastic, and they sure make a coach’s job a lot easier.”
Though he has a reputation of letting his anger get the best of him at times, Marchand said he’s going into his third Cup final with Boston as even-keeled as ever.
“I think when you’re part of a team like that you expect it to last a long time,” he said. “You don’t realize how one change in a team can really drastically affect how things play out. One player change. One injury. One call. You don’t realize what it takes to get back to the finals and how fortunate you are to get there.
“And so this time around I think I’m more appreciative of being here and at the same time more calm, I guess, in a way.”

Stakes are high as Bucks, Raptors meet in Game 6

By Ian Harrison
Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) — There’s no escaping the reality of what’s at stake when the Toronto Raptors host the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday night.
The surging Raptors have won three straight, putting them on the brink of the first NBA Finals berth in team history.
The Bucks, who finished as the NBA’s top team in the regular season and once led this series 2-0, have no more room for error after their first three-game losing streak all season.
These two teams have spent months trying to stay even-keeled, treating everything as just another game. That’s starting to get a lot tougher.
“It’s an elimination game,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said Friday. “It’s just a fact.”
Raptors coach Nick Nurse added to that, suggesting the outcome of the series could have franchise-altering implications.
“These are games that now have significance as far as one team’s going one direction, and one going the other, possibly,” Nurse said.
No doubt. Milwaukee starters Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Malcolm Brogdon are all headed for free agency, although the Bucks can match offers for Brogdon. Nikola Mirotic is also a free agent this summer.
The Raptors, meanwhile, have no bigger free agent than two-way star Kawhi Leonard, who can opt out of the final year of his deal. An NBA Finals berth, or better, in Leonard’s debut season north of the border would certainly be a boon to Toronto team President Masai Ujiri when free agency opens on June 30.
MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks need a win to prolong their hopes of reaching the finals for the first time since 1974. Then a Western Conference team, Milwaukee lost to Boston in seven games. One season later, star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left for the Lakers, and the Bucks haven’t played for a ring since.
Toronto won twice in its previous Eastern Conference finals appearance, taking Games 3 and 4 at home against Cleveland in 2016. After that, LeBron James and the Cavs showed their class in Games 5 and 6, outscoring the Raptors by a combined 64 points.
Cleveland swept the Raptors out of the second round in each of the past two seasons, but LeBron’s departure from the East and Leonard’s arrival in Canada have helped put Toronto in its best position ever.
With his team heading home in need of one more win to set up a finals showdown with Golden State, Nurse knows the Raptors still face a daunting task in Game 6.
“As hard-fought as all these have been, and believe me, they have been, I expect this one to be the hardest fought of them all,” Nurse said.
Here’s what to know before Game 6:
NO LIMITS
Nurse won’t be worrying about how much playing time his stars log on Saturday night.
“It’s a whatever-it-takes game,” he said. “It’s an unlimited-minutes night.”
BREATHER BENEFITS?
Budenholzer, on the other hand, said he sees value in keeping Antetokounmpo’s minutes below 40.
“You need to be able to produce and perform, including in the fourth quarter, so I don’t feel any different about how much we use him,” Budenholzer said.
Antetokounmpo played 39 minutes in Game 5. He played 45 minutes before fouling out in Toronto’s double-overtime win in Game 3, but hasn’t topped 39 in any other game this postseason. His regular-season high was 42, in an overtime loss to the Knicks on Dec. 1.
TURNOVER TURNAROUND
Toronto trailed 16-4 after making its fourth turnover of the game with 7:55 left in the first quarter of Game 5. The Raptors had just two more turnovers the rest of the game, one each in the second and third quarters.
MORE MIDDLETON?
Middleton shot 2 for 9 in Game 5, the second time this series he has taken fewer than 10 shots. MIddleton has had 11 or more attempts in Milwaukee’s other 12 postseason games. Budenholzer said he didn’t mind the low shot total in Game 5, pointing to Middleton’s 10 assists.
“The ball is in his hands, he’s making great decisions, he’s doing things that are really positive and really impactful,” Budenholzer said.
Middleton had one 10-assist game in the regular season, against Miami on March 22.

Schwartz, Tarasenko have Blues close to Cup Final

By JOE HARRIS Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jaden Schwartz is on a scoring run that has the St. Louis Blues dreaming big.
Schwartz’s hat trick in Game 5 on Sunday helped give the Blues a 3-2 series lead against the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference final and set the single-season franchise record for playoff wins.
The Blues could advance to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1970 when they host Game 6 Tuesday night.
“It’s probably tough to put into words,” Schwartz said. “It’s something that everyone’s worked for and dreamed about. You don’t want to look too far ahead. We all know how important and how hard that last win’s going to be. It would be a dream come true.”
Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko have played huge roles in the Blues’ playoff success. Just not necessarily in the way that was expected.
Tarasenko has come up with more big assists than goals against the Sharks.
Meanwhile, Schwartz has found a scoring touch that eluded him during the regular season. After scoring 11 goals in 69 regular-season games, Schwartz has 12 goals in 18 playoff games.
“He’s obviously a tenacious player, a hard-working player,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “I know, goal-wise, he didn’t have a good regular season, but the work ethic was there and other things besides not producing with the goals.
“He’s a 200-foot player for us and he’s around the net for us, that’s where he scores. His hard work, being relentless and staying with it is paying off.”
Schwartz’s scoring run began on a quick pass from Tyler Bozak with 15 seconds left in regulation to snap a 2-2 tie in Game 5 in the first round against Winnipeg. He followed that up with a hat trick in Game 6 to send the Blues to the second round.
Schwartz is the first player to have two hat tricks in the same playoffs since Johan Franzen did it for Detroit in 2008 and he is the first to do it for the Blues.
Not bad for a guy who went 23 games without a goal during the regular season.
“He’s obviously been kind of our engine and a guy that’s scored huge goals for us throughout every series,” Bozak said.
“Pucks weren’t going in as much as he probably wanted in the regular season, but he was still playing really good hockey I thought and getting a lot of chances. And obviously what he’s done in this playoffs so far has been incredible. We’re pretty lucky to have him and we know he’s just going to keep getting better and keep doing those things for us.”
Tarasenko is the only player to get a point in every game of the Western Conference final. But just two of his seven points in the series are goals.
Instead he has become a potent playmaker, setting up Bozak’s eventual game-winning goal in Game 4 and assisting on two of Schwartz’s goals in Game 5.
“Every time he gets the puck he puts them on edge,” Blues center Ryan O’Reilly said. “Having such a shot like he does, teams are scared when he gets the puck and obviously they maybe will overcompensate for that and other things come available. Having played with him throughout the year, you see how dangerous he is whether it’s taking that shot or just being that threat that opens so much up.”
Tarasenko’s unselfish play was evident on Schwartz’s third goal. Carrying the puck on the power play, he could have taken a shot. But with San Jose playing the shot, he found Schwartz cutting towards the net for a one-timer into a wide-open net.
“Vlady is a good passer, he makes plays,” Berube said. “He’s got his head up a lot, sees the ice well. His hard work is paying off. He’s working hard without the puck, and he’s a powerful guy.”
Tarasenko has led the Blues in goals in each of the past five seasons. Though he has taken a back seat to Schwartz in goal-scoring, the Blues are thriving in the postseason as never before from his playmaking ability.
And they are one win away from playing for the Stanley Cup, which many thought would have been impossible on Jan. 3 when the Blues were at the bottom of the NHL standings.
“Everyone knows we have a lot of work to do and we’re going to get their best game,” Schwartz said. “They’re going to have the most desperation they’ve had in this series. We’ll enjoy it tonight, but we know there’s a lot of work yet.”
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A break, then NBA Finals: Warriors eager for some time off

By TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer
And now, they wait.
Again.
The Golden State Warriors have gotten used to going to the NBA Finals, and their win in Portland on Monday night clinched their fifth consecutive trip. They’ve also gotten used to waiting for those finals to begin, with long layoffs after the Western Conference finals having become their norm.
By the time Game 1 of the NBA Finals arrives in either Milwaukee or Toronto on May 30, it’ll be a 10-day gap — nine full off days — between games for the Warriors. That matches the length of the break that the Warriors handled in 2017, and this marks the third time in this five-year run of finals trips that they’ve had at least a week off.
“Happy to get a little rest before we have to play again,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
It is much-needed rest, too.
The Warriors clinched the series in Portland without Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala — all sidelined by injuries. There’s no way of knowing yet if Durant and Cousins will be back in time for the finals, either. Plenty of other Warriors are dealing with bumps and bruises as well.
Accruing rust is always a major concern during these days without games, but the Warriors surely feel the obvious advantage — rest — outweighs any drawbacks right now — especially after they were stretched to seven games by Houston last year in the West finals and only had two days off before the NBA Finals.
“We definitely want to get our guys healthy,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “We need to get Andre back healthy, DeMarcus and Kevin. We need those guys going into the finals. That’s our hope, that we can get all three of those guys back moving forward.”
Down by 17 with less than two minutes to play in the third quarter, the easiest thing for the Warriors would have been to let off the gas and try to clinch the series at Oracle Arena on Wednesday night.
That wouldn’t be their style.
They turned a 95-78 deficit into a 119-117 overtime win — outscoring the Blazers 41-22 in the final 19 minutes of the game.
“We could have said Game 5 was our game,” Warriors star Stephen Curry said. “But we saw how long that break was going to be and we wanted to take advantage of it.”
It’s a long break, for certain. But it’s not a record-setting one.
The longest gap between the conference finals and NBA Finals came in 1982, when the Los Angeles Lakers sat around for 12 days before beginning their series against Philadelphia.
“The players are bored and just want to play,” then-Lakers coach Pat Riley said on the eve of that series. “It’s been so long since we played, I just hope we remember how.”
They did remember: The Lakers won Game 1, and ultimately prevailed in six games.
The Warriors’ layoff this season marks the 26th time that a team will have at least a week before the end of the conference finals and the start of the NBA Finals — and if Milwaukee wins the next two games of the East title matchup, the Bucks would get added to the list as well. The earliest that the Bucks could oust Toronto and win the East is Thursday; the finals start the following Thursday.
Teams with at least a one-week gap before Game 1 of the NBA Finals are 14-11 in the series.
“The NBA Finals have an experience with it — it’s such an emotional roller-coaster,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. “It’s nice to get away from the game a little bit before it starts, because emotions run high and it takes a lot out of you.”
The long break between games may not be ideal for Golden State, but it beats the alternative — no days off at all.
In 1960 and 1961, the St. Louis Hawks earned their trip to the NBA Finals with home wins in Game 7 of what was then called the Western Division finals. The Hawks would play the Boston Celtics in both of those title series — and got zero days rest before the finals. They’d win Game 7 at home, get on a plane and get to Boston to start the NBA Finals the very next day.
Both times, they got blown out in Game 1.
Both times, they would lose the series as well.
“Tiredness was St. Louis’ ‘out’ in this one,” Celtics coach Red Auerbach said after the Game 1 win in 1961.
For the Warriors, at least that won’t be an issue this year.
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Sanchez homers in 9th, helps rally Yankees past Orioles 10-7

By The Associated Press undefined
BALTIMORE (AP) — Gary Sánchez hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to cap a New York rally fueled by Baltimore gaffes, and the Yankees pulled out a 10-7 victory Monday night.
Gleyber Torres homered twice for the Yankees, who trailed 6-1 after four innings and 7-3 after six.
At that point, the Orioles fulfilled their stature as the team with the worst record in the AL. They threw to the wrong base, missed popups and were outscored 7-0 over the final three innings.
New York scored in the seventh on an overthrow by left fielder Dwight Smith Jr., who fell for a fake tag-up on third base. In the ninth, right fielder Joey Rickard threw to the wrong base on a single, Smith heaved the ball past the plate on Aaron Hicks’ tying sacrifice fly, catcher Pedro Severino misjudged a foul pop that preceded a two-out walk to Luke Voit and Sánchez connected off Mychal Givens (0-1).
Zach Britton (2-0) worked the eighth and Aroldis Chapman got three outs for his 12th save.
Hanser Alberto and Renato Núñez homered for the Orioles.
Yankees starter J.A. Happ allowed six runs and a pair of solo homers in 3 2/3 innings, but New York’s comeback got him a no-decision.
ASTROS 3, WHITE SOX 0
HOUSTON (AP) — Jake Marisnick and Tyler White homered and Brad Peacock struck out nine in his third straight win to lead Houston over Chicago.
Playing without George Springer, who leads the American League with 17 homers, the Astros got pop from the bottom of the lineup to give them at least one homer in 17 straight games. They’ve won 11 of 12 overall and eight in a row against the White Sox.
Peacock (5-2) allowed two hits in five innings. Ryan Pressly pitched a scoreless eighth to extend his MLB-record streak of appearances without allowing a run to 40, and Roberto Osuna gave up a hit in the ninth, preserving the shutout and earning his 12th save.
The White Sox used five pitchers on a bullpen day which began with Ryan Burr (1-1). He allowed one hit and one run — which was unearned, in two innings.
METS 5, NATIONALS 3
NEW YORK (AP) — Amed Rosario and Pete Alonso homered in the first inning as New York, after learning embattled manager Mickey Callaway is staying around, broke out of its offensive funk a bit to beat Washington.
Carlos Gómez cracked an RBI double off the wall for his first Mets hit in 12 years, and slumping Todd Frazier had a run-scoring single to help New York (21-25) stop a five-game losing streak. After the Mets built a 4-0 lead in the third, fill-in starter Wilmer Font and five relievers held off the rival Nationals.
Anthony Rendon homered and Yan Gomes had three hits for Washington, including an RBI single.
Patrick Corbin (4-2) was tagged for four runs and six hits over five innings.
Pinch-hitter Dominic Smith delivered a two-out RBI single in the eighth on the first pitch from left-hander Tony Sipp, who came off the injured list earlier in the day.
Font, starting in place of injured Jason Vargas, lasted four innings before Drew Gagnon (2-0) tossed two hitless innings. Edwin Díaz pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save.
PHILLIES 5, CUBS 4, 10 INNINGS
CHICAGO (AP) — J.T. Realmuto hit a solo homer in the 10th, Jake Arrieta allowed one run over six innings in his return to Wrigley Field and Philadelphia beat Chicago.
Realmuto connected with two outs against Kyle Ryan (0-1), driving a 1-2 fastball a few rows into the left-field seats to decide the opener of a four-game series between the NL East and Central leaders.
Héctor Neris (1-1) worked a scoreless ninth. Adam Morgan struck out Jason Heyward leading off the 10th, and Juan Nicasio gave up a single to Albert Almora Jr. before Daniel Descalso grounded into a double play, giving Nicasio his first save since last June 28.
Yu Darvish gave up three runs, four hits and three walks in innings while striking out seven. Anthony Rizzo had three hits, including an RBI single.
BRAVES 4, GIANTS 1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mike Soroka carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, Ronald Acuña Jr. homered twice and Atlanta topped San Francisco.
Austin Riley also homered for the Braves, who won the opener of a seven-game trip and have won eight of 11.
Soroka (5-1) struck out seven and allowed one run and two hits in eight innings. The 21-year-old Braves rookie retired the first 15 batters before Brandon Crawford led off the sixth inning with a homer to straightaway center field.
Atlanta second baseman Ozzie Albies helped preserve Soroka’s gem, making a running catch with his back to the infield on a fly ball to short center field by Kevin Pillar that ended the fifth inning.
Sean Newcomb retired three batters for his first major league save.
Acuña homered leading off the game against San Francisco starter Andrew Suarez (0-1). It’s the 10th leadoff home run of Acuña’s career and second in as many games this season.
ATHLETICS 6, INDIANS 4
CLEVELAND (AP) — Brett Anderson left in the sixth inning with a cervical strain, and Oakland hung on to beat Cleveland.
Anderson (5-3) allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings. The 31-year-old left-hander was injured in the fifth inning when he ducked to avoid a ball hit up the middle by Roberto Pérez. Both pieces of Pérez’s broken bat also sailed close to the pitcher.
Anderson finished the inning, then was removed in the sixth with a 3-1 lead and a runner on second.
Jurickson Profar, Matt Olson and Matt Chapman homered as Oakland extended its winning streak to four, matching its season high.
José Ramirez hit an RBI single in the eighth off Lou Trivino that pulled Cleveland to 4-3, and Blake Treinen retired Carlos González on an inning-ending groundout with the bases loaded. Treinen picked up his eighth save in 10 chances.
Carlos Carrasco (4-4) allowed three runs, seven hits and two walks, throwing 100 pitches in five innings.
PADRES 2, DIAMONDBACKS 1
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Franmil Reyes hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to lift rookie Chris Paddack and San Diego past Arizona.
The Padres snapped a three-game losing streak that had dropped them one game below .500 for the first time this season.
Luke Weaver (3-3) had outdueled Paddack (4-2) and got the first two outs in the sixth before allowing Greg Garcia’s two-out single to right and Reyes’ homer to center, his 15th.
Paddack allowed one run and five hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked one. Weaver allowed two runs and four hits in six innings and also had seven strikeouts and no walks.
Kirby Yates pitched the ninth for his 18th save.
RED SOX 12, BLUE JAYS 2
TORONTO (AP) — David Price did not allow any earned runs over five innings in his return from the injured list, and Boston hit four home runs in a rout of Toronto.
Price (2-2), who had not pitched since May 2 because of left elbow tendinitis, allowed three hits, struck out four and walked none, throwing 67 pitches.
Toronto scored twice in the second to tie the game, including Luke Maile’s second homer this year. Price then retired his final 10 batters.
Chavis, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers homered for the Red Sox.
Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, Ryan Brasier and Hector Velázquez combined for hitless relief.
RANGERS 10, MARINERS 9
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Asdrúbal Cabrera hit two of the five Texas homers and Mike Minor struck out 11 over six innings in a win over Seattle.
Hunter Pence, Joey Gallo and Rougned Odor also homered. The Rangers twice had back-to-back homers while winning for the fifth time in six games since losing five in a row.
Minor (5-3) had pitched 29 innings in a row at home without giving up a run before Seattle, down 7-0 at the time, scored twice in the sixth.
Tim Beckham had five RBIs for the Mariners, including his first career grand slam in the eighth to chase Shelby Miller. Seattle added three runs in the ninth, including Daniel Vogelbach’s two-run homer with two outs.
Texas went ahead to stay with a five-run first inning off Mike Leake (3-5).
TWINS 3, ANGELS 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Miguel Sano’s two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the Twins over the Angels.
Sano has homered twice in the past three games. He missed the first 41 games due to a right heel laceration before making his season debut last Thursday.
Eddie Rosario singled with one out in the eighth before Sano hit Ty Buttrey’s fastball over the wall in right-center. It is the first home run Buttrey (2-2) has allowed in 38 relief appearances over two seasons.
Sano’s go-ahead shot came after the Angels tied it in the seventh on Tommy La Stella’s two-out single to score Brian Goodwin.
Taylor Rogers (1-0) allowed one hit in 1 2/3 innings and Blake Parker got his eighth save.
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Realmuto homers in 10th, Phillies beat Cubs 5-4

By ANDREW SELIGMAN AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — The memories came flooding back to Jake Arrieta as the fans showered him with cheers when he stepped to the plate for the first time.
His 4½ seasons in Chicago included an NL Cy Young Award in 2015, a drought-busting World Series championship in 2016, two no-hitters and an All-Star selection. There were plenty of ovations, just none quite like this.
Arrieta allowed one run over six innings in his return to Wrigley Field, J.T. Realmuto hit a solo homer in the 10th and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 on Monday.
Realmuto connected with two outs against Kyle Ryan (0-1), driving a 1-2 fastball a few rows into the left-field seats to decide the opener of a four-game series between the NL East and Central leaders. But the night belonged to Arrieta.
He got a warm welcome on a chilly evening during the pregame introductions and was greeted with a standing ovation when he came to the plate in the third inning. He responded by tipping his helmet toward the crowd while Yu Darvish stepped away from the mound.
“It felt great,” Arrieta said. “Kind of something that I experienced pretty much from Day 1 here with the fan base. Cubs fans all across the country, all across the world, they really respect and appreciate what guys are able to do here for them. It means a lot. It really does. I’ll never forget this city, the fan base, the organization and everything that they did for me. It was 4 1/2 incredible years of my career.”
It was a fitting reception for a pitcher who played such a huge role in turning those “Lovable Losers” into drought-busting champions. Arrieta left to sign with Philadelphia before the 2018 season. But the mark he left in Chicago won’t fade anytime soon.
“I loved it,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I absolutely loved it. Very happy that our fans — which you would expect from our fans — would acknowledge him like that. … Jake deserved it. Absolutely.”
Arrieta gave up eight hits in his first appearance at Wrigley Field since beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the 2017 NL Championship Series.
“It brings back a lot of memories of what we were able to do as a team, from beginning in ’13 all the way through ’17,” Arrieta said.
Héctor Neris (1-1) worked a scoreless ninth. Adam Morgan struck out Jason Heyward leading off the 10th, and Juan Nicasio earned his first save since last June 28 when he got Daniel Descalso to ground into a double play after giving up a single to Albert Almora Jr.
Philadelphia scored three runs with two outs in the sixth against Darvish for a 3-1 lead. Realmuto hit an RBI single, and César Hernández followed with a two-run triple to right that ricocheted off the side wall and bounced over Heyward’s head.
The Cubs scored three in the eighth against Seranthony Domínguez. Descalso drove in two with a triple to left-center, then was rewarded home when the relay from shortstop Jean Segura ricocheted off his right foot and into Chicago’s dugout.
Philadelphia tied the game in the ninth against Brad Brach when Maikel Franco doubled and came home on a two-out bloop single to right by Segura.
Darvish gave up three runs, four hits and three walks in six innings while striking out seven.
Anthony Rizzo had three hits, including an RBI single.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Phillies: Manager Gabe Kapler said RHP Vince Velasquez (right forearm strain) threw on the side Monday and will throw a bullpen session Wednesday. … RHP Victor Arano (right elbow inflammation) will seek a second opinion after experiencing discomfort following a recent bullpen session. Kapler said Tommy John surgery “doesn’t seem like the concern right now.”
Cubs: SS Javier Báez (jammed right heel) sat out his first game after starting the first 44. He was hurt fielding a grounder in the third inning and exited in the sixth. … Closer Brandon Morrow has started throwing again after experiencing a setback in his recovery from offseason elbow surgery. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Morrow threw from 45 to 60 feet Monday in Arizona. The Cubs shut down Morrow’s rehab last month after he didn’t recover well from a bullpen session. … Epstein also said reliever Pedro Strop (strained left hamstring) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Monday.
UP NEXT
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (5-4, 2.89 ERA) tries for his fourth win in five starts.
Cubs: LHP José Quintana (4-3, 3.68) has lost two straight starts after going 4-0 in his previous five.
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Hamilton into Rangers hall, hasn’t really thought about game

By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Baseball Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Josh Hamilton hasn’t really thought much about baseball since knee issues ended his career, though he does miss playing at times. The 2010 AL MVP’s moments on the diamond these days are watching and sometimes coaching his daughters playing softball.
“I’ve been making up for lost time with my girls, being Dad. Got a ranch towards College Station, spending time there,” Hamilton said Monday, after the Texas Rangers said he would be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame. “Hadn’t really thought much of baseball. It’s one of things where I never cared too much about watching the game, but I loved playing it more than anything.”
Hamilton, who turns 38 on Tuesday, hasn’t been to a Rangers game since playing in their 2015 regular season finale, though he went to spring training with the team the next two years after that.
Former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene, who during his tenure from 1987-97 played a major role in a getting the team a new stadium then and keeping the Rangers in Arlington, will join Hamilton in being inducted into the Texas hall in ceremony before an Aug. 17 against Minnesota.
“It’s a great honor. If I were to think about, 15 or 20 years ago, if I’d be in any Hall of Fame at this point in my life, I’d have said no,” Hamilton said. “So obviously, I gotta thank the good Lord above, and the Rangers where I had the best years of my career. And all the fans. It’s just very humbling … Thinking about good memories, good times in my life, and times where the Rangers stuck with me through some things and took a chance on me in other areas.”
After Hamilton was the first overall pick out of high school in the 1999 amateur draft by Tampa Bay, his career was nearly destroyed by cocaine and alcohol addiction. He returned to baseball with Cincinnati and made his big league debut in 2007, when he hit 19 homers in 90 games before getting traded to the Rangers. He was part of their only two World Series teams (2010 and 2011) and was an All-Star five seasons in a row.
There was that awe-inspiring display in the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium in 2008, when the first-time All-Star led the American League with 130 RBIs while hitting .304 with 32 homers in his first full season.
Hamilton left the Rangers in free agency, signing a $125 million, five-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels before the 2013 season. He was recovering from shoulder surgery when the Angels traded him back to Texas in 2015 after his two injury-plagued seasons with Los Angeles. He played 50 games for Texas in 2015, but never again after surgery on his left knee at least three times after that.
“The only thing I regret is not being able to be healthy when I came back to Texas,” he said. “If I look back and could wish something, it was that right there, if I could have been healthy in ’16 and ’17 and finish playing like I wanted to play.”
The former slugger said there are times if he sees a game that he gets a feeling that he could probably still play, at least as a designated hitter.
“There’s a feeling still inside of me that comes boiling up,” he said.
Hamilton hit .290 over his eight big league seasons, with 200 homers and 701 RBIs in 1,027 games.
He never officially announced his retirement, saying he wanted to “just slip off into the background” once he was ready to get to the ranch, get on a tractor and be a dad. He said he is enjoying life.
“I’d be lying to you if I said I still didn’t feel like I could get out there and play,” he said. “Then I remember why I quit. Just to be there for my girls.”
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