Update on the latest in sports:
Blues need just 1 more win
BOSTON (AP) – The St. Louis Blues are on the verge of becoming the oldest team to win its first Stanley Cup.
The Blues have a three-games-to-two lead in the final after Jordan Binnington handled 38 shots and Ryan O’Reilly had his second consecutive two-point game in a 2-1 victory over the Bruins in Boston.
Binnington helped St. Louis weather an early storm while the Bruins outshot them 17-8 in the first period. O’Reilly broke up the scoreless tie by beating Tuukka (TOO’-kah) Rask 55 seconds into the second period, one game after capping a two-goal performance by netting the game-winner in the Blues’ 4-2 victory over the Bruins in St. Louis.
O’Reilly also picked up an assist when David Perron (peh-RAHN’) took a shot that banked off Rask’s pad and into the net. Perron made it 2-0 with 9:24 to play, but the Bruins answered back with Jake DeBrusk’s goal less than three minutes later. Binnington blanked Boston the rest of the way to put the Blues in position to capture their first championship in their 51-season history.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara (zuh-DAY’-noh CHAH’-rah) started on the blueline, 48 hours after taking a puck to the jaw that inflicted a serious facial injury. Chara was hurt in the second period of Game 4 and never returned to the ice.
Game 6 is Sunday in St. Louis.
Cubs fall into tie with Brewers in NL Central
UNDATED (AP) – The Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs are back in a tie atop the NL Central after a Colorado pitcher won his major league debut at Wrigley Field.
Peter Lambert struck out nine and limited the Cubs to four hits over seven innings of the Rockies’ 3-1 victory at Chicago. Lambert retired 11 straight batters before Kris Bryant doubled and scored on Javier Baez’s two-out single in the sixth.
Colorado took a 2-0 lead in the third when David Dahl hit an RBI single and scored on the first of Ian Desmond’s two doubles.
The Brewers caught the Cubs in the standings as Mike Moustakas (moos-TAH’-kahs) belted a pair of solo homers in a 5-1 win against the Marlins. Christian Yelich (YEH’-lihch) hit his major league-leading 23rd home run, a two-run blast that helped spot starter Freddy Peralta (peh-RAHL’-tah) get the victory. Peralta struck out nine and gave up one run over six innings to help Milwaukee avoid a three-game sweep.
Elsewhere on major league diamonds:
– Paul DeJong (deh-YUHNG’) hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer off Michael Lorenzen in the seventh inning of the Cardinals’ 3-1 win against the Reds. DeJong had been is a 3-for-43 slide with no extra-base hits before slamming his ninth home run of the season. Dakota Hudson allowed one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings for St. Louis, which stole four bases and pulled within 2 1/2 games of the NL Central lead.
– Josh Bell leads the majors with 25 doubles and 58 RBIs after hitting three two-batters and driving in a pair to lead the Pirates past the Braves, 6-1. Mike Foltynewicz (fohl-tih-NAY’-vihch) allowed consecutive home runs to Colin Moran and Gregory Polanco in the second inning. Chris Archer allowed one run and six hits through the first six innings, blanking Atlanta following Freddie Freeman’s first-inning blast.
– Todd Frazier hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer while the Mets scored four times in the eighth to beat the Giants, 7-3 and take the rubber match of the three-game set. Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith hit back-to-back home runs to open the first inning, but the Mets fell behind 3-2 before Pinch-hitter Jeff McNeil singled home the tying run in the seventh. McNeil had two RBIs and winning pitcher Seth Lugo worked a scoreless eighth after Zack Wheeler gave up three runs and just three hits over seven frames.
– The Padres fell behind 4-0 in the first inning before Hunter Renfroe’s two-run blast in the third sparked a rally in a 5-4 victory against the Nationals. An error by Anthony Rendon (rehn-DOHN’) helped San Diego score two unearned runs in a three-run fifth. Winning pitcher Joey Lucchesi settled down after yielding Howie Kendrick’s two-run single and Brian Dozier’s two-run homer.
– Max Kepler homered three times and the Twins avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season by holding off the Indians, 5-4. Kepler went deep in the first, third and seventh innings off Indians starter Trevor Bauer before adding a ninth-inning single. Jose Berrios (beh-REE’-ohs) allowed a home run by Roberto Perez and just one other hit over six-plus innings to improve to 8-2 and help Minnesota salvage the finale of the three-game series.
– Myles Straw led off the 14th inning with a triple and scored on Yuli Gurriel’s (YOO’-lee gur-ee-EHLZ’) sacrifice fly as the Astros outlasted the Mariners, 8-7. Alex Bregman and Robinson Chirinos (chih-REE’-nohs) each homered for Houston, which blew a 5-1 lead before improving to 9-0-1 in its last 10 series. Seattle staged tying rallies in the ninth and 10th innings and loaded the bases in the bottom of the 14th before falling to the Astros for the third time in four days.
– J.A. Happ won his fifth straight decision and the Yankees avoided a three-game losing sweep by downing the Blue Jays, 6-2. Happ allowed one run and four hits over seven innings in his first start in Toronto since the Blue Jays traded him to the Yankees last July 26. Aaron Hicks and Gio Urshela (ur-SHEH’-lah) homered for the AL East leaders, while DJ LeMahieu (leh-MAY’-hyoo) contributed three hits and two RBIs.
– Travis d’Arnaud (dahr-NOH’) drove in four runs with his first two home runs in 14 months to send the Rays past the Tigers, 6-1. Jalen Beeks pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings to improve to 5-0 and help Tampa Bay improve to a major league-best 20-9 on the road. Willy Adames (ah-DAH’-mehs) also homered for the Rays.
– Mookie Betts slugged a two-run homer off Danny Duffy in a four-run third that highlighted the Red Sox’s 7-5 victory at Kansas City. The Bosox outscored the Royals 23-8 in taking all three games in the series, their first sweep since May 10-12. Kansas City has lost six straight and nine of 10, dropping to a big league-worst 19-43.
– The Athletics took the rubber match of their three-game set with the Angels as Stephen Piscotty homered and drove in two runs in a 7-4 victory at Anaheim. Ramon Laureano had two RBIs and Mark Canha reached base four times for the A’s. Oakland was helped out by Mike Fiers (FY’-urz), who allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings to get the win.
– Hunter Pence hit a solo homer and Chris Davis made a key error in the fifth inning before the Rangers concluded a 4-2 win over the Orioles. Delino DeShields singled and continued on to third when Davis misplayed the base hit in his first game as a right fielder since 2016.
DeShields scored the deciding run on Danny Santana’s sacrifice fly as Texas moved a season-high four games over .500.
Judge still progressing
UNDATED (AP) – New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge had a bat in his hands for some on-field practice Thursday and said he is not focusing on a timeframe for returning to the lineup.
Judge strained his left oblique muscle on April 20 and says he’s now pain free. He is working out at the team’s minor league complex.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Wednesday it is possible Judge could return in time for New York’s games against Boston in London on June 29 and 30, the first major league regular-season games in Europe.
In other MLB news:
– Cubs manager Joe Maddon is projecting how to use Craig Kimbrel, even before Chicago announces a deal with the free agent closer. Maddon thinks the 31-year-old right-hander might be ready to pitch in about three weeks. Kimbrel, who has 333 saves and a 1.91 ERA over nine major league seasons, turned down a $17.9 million qualifying offer from Boston last November and remained a free agent.
– Fernando Tatis (tah-TEES’) Jr. has returned to the Padres and vows to play at full speed after missing 34 games with a strained left hamstring. The team was 15-19 without Tatis, who was hitting .300 with six homers and 13 RBIs when he got hurt.
– Mariners outfielder Braden Bishop has been hospitalized in Seattle. Bishop suffered a lacerated spleen from being hit by a pitch last week while playing in Triple-A Tacoma. Bishop started in center field for the Mariners on Tuesday before realizing something was wrong and leaving the game in the fourth inning.
Women’s tour criticizes French Open scheduling
PARIS (AP) – The women’s semifinals are starting at Roland Garros on an unusual day and at unusual courts – and the placement of the matches away from the main stadium has been criticized by the head of the women’s tennis tour.
WTA CEO Steve Simon says the tour is “extremely disappointed” by the scheduling and calls it “unfair and inappropriate.”
Normally, all French Open singles semifinals are held in Court Philippe Chatrier, with the women on Thursday and men on Friday. But after a full day of play was washed out by rain on Wednesday, tournament officials were forced to shuffle the schedule.
With quarterfinal action moved to Thursday, the women’s semifinals got shifted to Friday, sharing the day with the men’s semis.
Warriors’ Thompson set to return; executive punished for Lowry shove
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Klay Thompson is set to return from a left hamstring injury for the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
Two-time reigning finals MVP Kevin Durant remains out, however. Durant strained his right calf on May 8 in the Western Conference semifinals. Toronto leads the best-of-seven finals 2-1.
On the Toronto side, Kyle Lowry says the Warriors executive who shoved him in Game 3 should not be allowed to be part of the league going forward. The NBA is in partial agreement, banning Mark Stevens from NBA games for one year.
Stevens is a Warriors investor who made contact with the Raptors’ guard after Lowry dove into the seats for a loose ball. Lowry says Stevens is “not a good look for the ownership group that they have” with Golden State. He’s also thankful for the support he’s gotten from other NBA players, including LeBron James.
The NBA also fined Stevens $500,000 for the incident.
Nets clearing cap space for big free agent splash
UNDATED (AP) – The Brooklyn Nets are clearing payroll for the possibility of signing a marquee free agent next month.
A person with knowledge of the details says the Nets have traded guard Allen Crabbe and two first-round picks to the Hawks for forward Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round selection. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade cannot become official until July 6.
The Nets were already in position to be able to afford a max player. Moving Crabbe’s $18.5 million salary for 2019-20 will create more cap room.
Wentz gets extension
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has accepted a four-year contract extension through the 2024 season.
Wentz is 23-17 in three seasons as the starting quarterback but has missed 13 games, including five playoff contests, over the past two years.
He finished third in NFL MVP voting in 2017 when backup quarterback Nick Foles led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory over the Patriots.
Wentz has thrown for 10,152 yards, 70 touchdowns and 28 interceptions with a 92.5 passer rating.
ESPN says the extension is worth $128 million with more than $107 million guaranteed.
HAMILTON, Ont. (AP) – Keegan Bradley fired a 7-under 63 to take the first-round lead at the Canadian Open.
Shane Lowry is among five players within one stroke of the lead. Matt Kuchar is within two shots of Bradley, who shot a 31 on the back nine to take the lead.
Ex-Arizona assistant basketball coach gets 3-month sentence
NEW YORK (AP) – A judge has sentenced a former assistant basketball coach at the University of Arizona to three months in prison for his role in a college hoops corruption scandal.
Emanuel “Book” Richardson received the sentence on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan.
Richardson had pleaded guilty earlier this year to accepting $20,000 in bribes from an aspiring business manager for pro athletes.