Update on the latest sports
NHL-STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
Game 4 in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Vegas Golden Knights host the Winnipeg Jets Friday night in Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference finals. The Knights lead the series two games to one and are 5-1 at home in the playoffs.
History is against the Jets, who are trailing in a series for the first time this postseason. Teams with a 2-1 lead in the conference final (or NHL semifinals) have won the series 35 of 43 times (81.4 percent) since 1975.
Yankees hope to get back in action after series of rain delays
UNDATED (AP) – The New York Yankees expect to get back in action Friday night as they continue a road trip that has featured a lot of down time.
After a day off Monday, their game at Washington Tuesday was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain. They were washed out the next day at Nationals Park. They then spent Wednesday night at Dulles International Airport because of bad weather and plane trouble before arriving in Kansas City on Thursday.
No rain is in the forecast Friday for Kansas City, where the Yankees are set to open a three-game series against the Royals. CC Sabathia (suh-BATH’-ee-uh) starts for New York and Jakob Junis for Kansas City.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– Max Scherzer starts for the Nationals tonight as they open a three-game series against the Dodgers in Washington. Scherzer is 7-1 with a 1.69 ERA for Washington, striking out a league-high 91 in only 58 2/3 innings. Ross Stripling starts for the Dodgers, who have lost six of their last seven games.
– Alex Cobb makes another bid to post his first win with Baltimore. He is 0-5 with a 7.06 ERA in six starts since signing a $57 million, four-year deal as a free agent late in spring training. He’s set to face the Red Sox tonight at Fenway Park.
– Shortstop Dansby Swanson could return to the Braves’ lineup when they host Miami tonight. Swanson has been on the disabled list because of inflammation in his left wrist. The 24-year-old is hitting .289 in 28 games for Atlanta.
– Astros righty Charlie Morton is 5-0 with a 2.03 ERA going into his start at home vs. Cleveland. Morton struck out 14 without a walk in seven innings against Texas in his last outing.
Nadal overcomes crowd and Fognini to reach Rome semifinals
ROME (AP) – Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal overcame a poor first set and a partisan crowd to beat Fabio Fognini (FAH’-bee-oh fohn-YEE’-nee) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 and reach the Italian Open semifinals on Friday.
The crowd at the Foro Italico was decidedly behind Fognini, Italy’s top player, and Nadal was under pressure when Fognini won five straight games to cancel out a 4-1 deficit and win the opening set. But Fognini couldn’t keep up with Nadal’s consistency and heavy topspin on the red clay court and eventually was physically worn down.
For a spot in the final, Nadal will play four-time Rome champion Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) or Kei Nishikori (kay nih-shih-KOHR’-ee).
In the women’s quarterfinals, defending champion Elina Svitolina defeated Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4 for her sixth straight victory over the former No. 1 player. Svitolina will next face Caroline Wozniacki or Anett Kontaveit.
Poll: Half of Americans approve of legal sports betting
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – A new poll finds that half of Americans approve of legal sports betting.
The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll conducted shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting found that 50 percent of Americans favor it, with 37 percent opposed.
Supporters say people are doing it anyway, and cite extra tax revenue to states as benefits.
Opponents fear expanding sports betting will lead to more people with gambling problems.
Ruling on a case from New Jersey, the court struck down a ban on sports betting in all but four states. It allowed individual states to pass laws legalizing sports betting.
A big unanswered question is whether the sports leagues will be able to force gambling companies or states to share part of the proceeds with them.