Update on the latest in sports:
Toronto hosts the Milwaukee Bucks for Game 5
MILWAUKEE (AP) – After back-to-back losses in Toronto, the Bucks return home for Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals looking to snatch back momentum in a tied 2-2 series. The Bucks won the first two games in Milwaukee, with their bench playing a major role in the team’s success. The reserves played so well that the team’s apparel shop unveiled a “Bench Mob” T-shirt, celebrating the efforts of Malcolm Brogdon, Ersan Ilyasova (eel-yah-SOH’-vah), among others. But it was the Raptors’ bench, led by forward Norman Powell’s 18 points, that decided Game 4 – scoring 48 points Tuesday.
Some of the league’s best defensive players are in the Eastern Conference finals.
Bucks MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) and Milwaukee guard Eric Bledsoe Wednesday were named NBA first-team all-defensive performers.
Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard was named second team.
A look at what’s happening around the majors
UNDATED (AP) – Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg starts the series finale against the Mets, a day after the Mets stunned the Nationals 6-1. Washington’s Max Scherzer outpitched fellow Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, but things went south for the Nationals in the eighth when Juan Lagares hit a three-run double off closer Sean Doolittle and Rajai Davis added a three-run homer. Left-hander Steven Matz starts today’s game for the Mets. Meanwhile, the Mets will check on Robinson Cano, who left Wednesday’s game because of tightness in his left quadriceps.
Cano appeared to hurt the leg while running to first base when he grounded out in the third inning. The 36-year-old second baseman is batting .241 with three homers and 13 RBIs. The eight-time All-Star was acquired by New York from Seattle in December.
Twice last weekend Cano failed to run out grounders in Miami, both of them resulting in double plays.
In other MLB action:
– Boston star J.D. Martinez wasn’t in the lineup for Wednesday’s game at Toronto because of a sore back and is unlikely to play again until Friday. Red Sox manager Alex Cora is hesitant to play Martinez in today’s series finale in Toronto, citing the artificial surface and the early afternoon start. The Red Sox will certainly miss Martinez’s presence in the lineup, but the Blue Jays will not – he has 13 home runs and 41 RBIs in 40 career games against them.
– Following a brutal start to the season, Aaron Nola has looked much more like the ace pitcher the Phillies expect him to be. Nola has found his form over the past month, giving up just one earned run in four of his last five starts and struck out 12 against Colorado in his previous outing. He’ll be on the mound for Philadelphia at Wrigley Field facing the Chicago Cubs and lefty Jon Lester.
– The Cleveland Indians are going to have to climb out of a hole if they want to win the AL Central for a fourth straight season. The Indians were just swept at home in three games by Oakland and have a 13-16 record since the middle of April. Now they host a four-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Indians will start right-hander Adam Plutko, who gave up just one run and one hit in six innings during his first start of the season in a win over Baltimore last Saturday.
Juncos Racing signs up sponsors for Indy 500 run
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Juncos Racing has signed deals with insurance company NFP and Global Medical Response to sponsor the No. 32 car that Kyle Kaiser will drive in the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500. Kaiser bumped the much better-funded McLaren car driven by two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso to qualify for this year’s race.
He will roll off in the 33rd and final spot Sunday.
Olympic official reassures sports federations about cuts
TOKYO (AP) – An Olympic official has made a guarantee that should please the heads of world sports federations who are concerned that Tokyo Games organizers might be cutting things they see as “decoration” but federations view as “essential.”
Christophe Dubi, the executive director of the Olympic Games, says “the expectations are extremely high and what we have to do now is make sure we can deliver. Anything that has to do with the experience, starting with the athletes, will be top notch. It’s guaranteed.”
Many federations fear what happened at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where bankrupt organizers began slashing everywhere a few months before the opening ceremony.