Update on the latest sports
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NHL-STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
Capitals have home-ice disadvantage for Game 4 vs. Lightning
WASHINGTON (AP) – The NHL Eastern Conference finals continue Thursday night in Washington.
The good news for the Capitals is that they lead their series against Tampa Bay 2-1. The bad news is that Game 4 is on their home ice, where they are 3-4 this postseason, compared with 7-1 on the road.
The Caps are coming off a 4-2 home loss to the Lightning on Tuesday, after victories at Tampa Bay by a combined score of 10-4 in the first two games of the series.
Baby Braves wrap up series with Cubs
UNDATED (AP) – Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna Jr. and the baby Braves play their series finale against the visiting Chicago Cubs Thursday night.
Rookie right-hander Mike Soroka makes his fourth start for surprising Atlanta, which boasts the best record in the National League at 26-16. It will be his first start against the Cubs. He has failed to last as long as five innings in his last two starts.
Veteran lefty Jon Lester starts for the Cubs. He’s 6-2 with a 2.47 ERA in nine career starts against the Braves. He has a 1.83 ERA in six games at Atlanta.
Elsewhere around the majors:
– Odubel Herrera tries to extend his on-base streak to 43 games for the surging Phillies when they visit St. Louis. Philadelphia has won six of seven and is eight games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2011 season.
– The Oakland Athletics will be without catcher Bruce Maxwell for a four-game series in Toronto because he cannot enter Canada while awaiting sentencing in Arizona on a gun-related charge. A’s manager Bob Melvin says Maxwell will be on the restricted list during the series that starts Thursday night, then rejoin the team when it returns to Oakland. Maxwell was arrested in Arizona in October after a food delivery person alleged he pointed a gun at her at his Scottsdale home. Maxwell pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in April and is to be sentenced on June 4.
– Nolan Arenado and the Colorado Rockies play San Francisco for the first time this season. The Giants have already faced another NL West rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers, 11 times. Chad Bettis pitches for the Rockies, who are 16-9 on the road, against Jeff Samardzija (suh-MAHR’-juh).
– Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels host a Rays team that has won three straight. Tampa Bay right-hander Chris Archer is 5-1 with a 2.55 ERA in seven starts against the Angels. Tyler Skaggs gets the ball for Los Angeles.
NCAA opens door to title games for states with sports bets
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The NCAA is opening a door for states with legalized sports gambling to host NCAA championship events.
The governing body for college sports on Monday announced a “temporary” lifting of a ban that prevented events like college basketball’s NCAA Tournament from being hosted in states that accept wagers on single games. The move comes three days after the Supreme Court overturned a federal law that barred most states from allowing gambling on professional and college sports.
NCAA President Mark Emmert says the board of governors will consider permanently revising its policy at future meetings. But the NCAA says it will not change its rules that prohibit gambling on sports by athletes and all athletic department employees, including coaches.
Emmert also is calling for federal regulations of sports gambling, joining the NFL, NBA and other leagues.
Justify tests soggy Pimlico track in workout for Preakness
BALTIMORE (AP) – Kentucky Derby winner Justify has gotten acquainted with the track at Pimlico Race Course, where he will attempt to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive Saturday in the Preakness.
Because the track was soaked from a heavy morning shower, trainer Bob Baffert made it easy for his undefeated chestnut colt during the Thursday morning workout.
Baffert said: “He was just getting warmed up. He’s ready to do a lot more, but we just don’t want him to do too much.”
Justify showed no signs of being troubled by the heel bruise that was discovered the day after he won the Derby on May 5 by 2 1/2 lengths.
The horse won in the slop at Churchill Downs, so the prediction of rain on Saturday didn’t seem to bother Baffert, who said, “This track can probably take more water than any track I’ve ever seen.”
INDY 500-PACE CAR
Pace car for Pacer: NBA’s Victor Oladipo to start Indy 500
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo (OH’-lah-dee-poh) will drive the pace car in the Indianapolis 500.
He will lead the 33-car field to the starting line in a 2019 Corvette ZR1 on May 27. The car can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.85 seconds and reach a top track speed of 212 mph.
Oladipo was a fan favorite at Indiana University before he gave up his final year of eligibility to enter the draft.
He was acquired in last summer’s trade for Paul George and blossomed into an All-Star in his first season with the Pacers. He averaged 23.1 points last season and is considered the front-runner for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.
IndyCar adds eye-tracking I-PAS system to concussion test
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – IndyCar has added an eye-tracking computer test as a requirement to its concussion evaluation protocol.
The I-PAS system was brought to the series attention after a 2016 misdiagnosis on driver Will Power. He had hit the wall during a practice session for the season-opening race and as the weekend progressed, Power displayed concussion-like symptoms.
Power was not cleared to race. He was then sent to Dr. Steve Olvey, IndyCar’s former medical director, at the University of Miami’s concussion program. Olvey used the I-PAS test on Power and determined the driver actually had an inner ear infection.
IndyCar tested I-PAS in 2017 on drivers who had been in accidents that led to concussion-like symptoms. The test is now required in the drivers’ preseason physical.
I-PAS was created by Pittsburgh-based Neuro Kinetics, Inc., and is commonly referred to as the “goggles test.” It’s a portable system and resembles a virtual reality headset. It is at all IndyCar events. The test integrates clinical eye tracking with a digital display, and medical professionals run a series of 14 tests to determine if a driver has a concussion.
AP Source: Browns to be featured on HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’
CLEVELAND (AP) – A person familiar with the decision says the Cleveland Browns will appear on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” this season.
Coming off a historic 0-16 season, the Browns were chosen after declining the opportunity several times, said the person who spoke Thursday to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The official announcement will be made later.
The Browns have renewed optimism following the recent draft and are granting HBO unlimited access to its upcoming camp.
Cleveland is the 13th franchise to participate in “Hard Knocks,” which began in 2001. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were featured last summer.
HBO’s cameras are certain to focus on Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, the brash Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma recently selected first overall. Mayfield is expected to sit behind Tyrod Taylor this season, but their competition could make for the kind compelling TV that has made the series a must-watch for football junkies.
WNBA donating to women’s groups
NEW YORK (AP) – The WNBA is teaming up with several organizations that support women and girls this season.
The league, which begins its 22nd season Friday, will donate $5 for each ticket purchased to select games during the season to one of six groups as part of the “Take a Seat, Take a Stand” campaign. All 12 teams will participate, designating up to six contests to this initiative.
The six organizations are Bright Pink, GLSEN, It’s On Us, MENTOR, Planned Parenthood and The United State of Women. In addition to these, fans will have the choice to support local groups in all 12 teams’ communities.
The WNBA will also donate tickets to send a young woman or girl to a game in an effort to inspire her.
WNBA President Lisa Borders said that she thinks this initiative will speak directly to young women. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said last month on ESPN he didn’t think the WNBA was connecting well enough with young women and girls.