Update on the latest in sports:
NHL-STANLEY CUP FINALS
St. Louis at Boston for Game 7
BOSTON (AP) – Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara has a chance to skate off with the Stanley Cup for the second time when Boston hosts the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the NHL championship series. Chara was knocked out of Game 4 when he took a deflected puck off his face, and his quick return has inspired his teammates and drawn the admiration of the Boston fans. The Bruins last won the Cup in 2011. St. Louis has never won.
The Blues were mired in last place six months ago, but a bond was forged during a midseason stretch of 70 days without consecutive home games. That schedule forced a team with a half-dozen new faces to come together. All of that has helped St. Louis to a 9-3 record on the road in the playoffs. If they can manage one more road win Wednesday night in Boston, they’ll take home the Stanley Cup.
A look around the majors Wednesday:
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Scott Kingery brings a hot bat into Philadelphia’s game against Arizona. Kingery has three homers over his past two games, including a pair Monday. A natural second baseman, Kingery has been pressed into regular center field duty following Odubel Herrera’s domestic violence suspension and injuries to Andrew McCutchen, Roman Quinn and Adam Haseley.
Right-hander Merrill Kelly goes for the Diamondbacks in the series finale.
Elsewhere around the majors:
– Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson is appealing a one-game suspension for shoving Pirates catcher Elias Díaz in the first inning of Monday’s game. Donaldson can continue to play until his appeal is heard. Pirates pitcher Mitch Keller is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and make his second career start Wednesday. Braves pitcher Mike Soroka will face Pittsburgh for the first time. The 21-year-old is 6-0 with a 1.01 ERA in eight night starts this season, a span of 53 2/3 innings.
– The Indians have found a positive surprise in right-hander Zach Plesac (PLEE’-sak). The nephew of former big league pitcher Dan Plesac has a 1.86 ERA through three major league starts. He opened the season as an unheralded 24-year-old at Double-A but pitched his way into Cleveland’s short-handed rotation with sharp control and a fastball in the mid-90s mph. He’ll get his fourth start in a matinee when Cleveland hosts Cincinnati.
– Oakland left-hander Brett Anderson will face Rays right-hander Yonny Chirinos in the series finale in Tampa.
– Rangers pitcher Lance Lynn faces Boston’s Rick Porcello when Boston hosts Texas in the third game of a series. The game was moved up to a 4 p.m. start because of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Blues and the Bruins.
– Blue Jays’ Edwin Jackson has struggled to get on track and allowed six runs (two earned) and six hits over 3 1/3 innings in his last start against the Yankees. Jackson is 6-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 11 career games (nine starts) against Baltimore. The Orioles’ David Hess is looking to recapture the form of his first start April 1 against Toronto when he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He has since gone winless with an 8.20 ERA over his next 11 appearances.
– Brewers right-hander Freddy Peralta makes his eighth start of the season and first against the Astros in the opener of an eight-game, nine-day road trip to Houston, San Francisco and San Diego.
– Seattle left-hander Tommy Milone will be the primary pitcher with a to-be-determined reliever serving as the opener when the Mariners visit Minnesota. José Berríos (beh-REE’-ohs) will take the mound for the Twins. Berríos has completed at least six innings in 11 of 13 turns this season.
– The Tigers will send left-hander Daniel Norris to the mound in the second game of their series at Kansas City. The Royals will counter with left-hander Danny Duffy. Duffy was hit on the right kneecap in his last start against Boston. The line drive bounced to third for the final out of the second inning. He came back out for the third but retired just one of six batters he faced in the inning before being pulled.
– Cubs lefty Cole Hamels will start the series finale against the Rockies in Colorado. The Rockies will throw right-hander Antonio Senzatela. Colorado won its 10th straight at home Tuesday night, 10-3.
– Right-hander Miles Mikolas (MY’-koh-las) is scheduled to start as the Cardinals try for a sweep in their series finale in Miami. Mikolas started twice against the Marlins last year and won both games. Marlins right-hander Jordan Yamamoto is expected to be recalled from Double-A Jacksonville to make his major league debut. Yamamoto is 3-5 with a 3.58 ERA in 12 starts for Jacksonville.
– Padres left-hander Joey Lucchesi takes a two-game winning streak into tonight’s start. Lucchesi pitched into the sixth inning to beat San Francisco on March 29. Right-hander Shaun Anderson pitches for the Giants in his first career start when the Giants host San Diego.
Patriots’ Kraft to receive warm welcome in Israel
JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel is rolling out the red carpet for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who arrives next week to collect the Genesis Prize, a prestigious award dubbed by its sponsors as the “Jewish Nobel Prize.” The ceremony is expected to be Kraft’s highest-profile public appearance since he was charged in February with soliciting a prostitute at a Florida massage parlor.
In addition to collecting the $1 million award, he is scheduled to have lunch with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and deliver the keynote speech at a lavish ceremony hosted by comic Martin Short. Dozens of VIPs are expected at the invitation-only event, including leaders of Jewish organizations, top business and political figures and the prime minister.
DOCTOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT-MICHIGAN STATE
Nassar’s ex-boss at MSU not guilty of sexual misconduct
LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A former dean who had oversight of now-imprisoned sports doctor Larry Nassar at Michigan State University has been found guilty of neglect of duty but acquitted on a more serious criminal sexual conduct charge.
William Strampel was also convicted Wednesday of misconduct in office.
Jurors found the 71-year-old Strampel not guilty of felony criminal sexual conduct in the second degree. He had been accused of abusing his power to sexually harass female students.
The ex-dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine was the first person charged after Michigan’s attorney general launched an investigation in 2017 into how Michigan State handled complaints against Nassar, who pleaded guilty to molesting patients and possessing child pornography.
Ex-Harvard track coach pleads guilty to child porn charge
BOSTON (AP) – A former Harvard University track coach who also coached at a suburban Boston high school has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Boston says 71-year-old Walter Johnson pleaded guilty Tuesday. He faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for Sept. 10.
Authorities say an investigating began in January 2017 into child pornography being traded by a Craigslist user. The investigation led to Johnson, a track coach at a local high school at the time. Authorities say during a search of Johnson’s home, images and videos of child pornography were found on his computer and on a thumb drive hidden in his bedroom.
Johnson was coach of the Harvard men’s and women’s track teams from 1982 until 2006.
TOUR DE FRANCE-FROOME-TRAINING INJURY
Froome crashes in training, will miss Tour de France
ROANNE, France (AP) – Chris Froome will miss this year’s Tour de France after a “bad crash” in training. Team INEOS leader Dave Brailsford says the four-time champion sustained a suspected fractured femur in a 40 mph crash.
Brailsford says Froome was being airlifted to a hospital.
Froome was practicing on the route of the 16-mile fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine race in France, which would have been the British rider’s first time-trial test this season. Brailsford says Froome was riding in gusty winds and seemed to lose control of his front wheel when trying to clear his nose.
Grunewald, runner with cancer who inspired many, dies at 32
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Gabriele Grunewald, one of the country’s top middle-distance runners, has died at her home in Minneapolis after inspiring many with her long and public fight against cancer. She was 32.
Her husband, Justin Grunewald, posted on Instagram about her death late Tuesday and confirmed it Wednesday in a text to The Associated Press.
Grunewald was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma – a rare form of cancer in the saliva glands – in 2009 while running for the University of Minnesota. Following surgery and radiation therapy, she went on to finish second in the 1,500 meters at the 2010 NCAA championships.
She kept on running through three more bouts with the disease, forging a career as a professional athlete and U.S. champion while enduring surgeries, radiation treatments, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
Russian track official faces doping suspension
MOSCOW (AP) – Russia’s second most powerful track official is facing suspension in a doping case, another blow to the country’s hopes of being reinstated in time for the world championships.
The Russian track federation says senior vice president Andrei Silnov, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the high jump, faces a hearing Friday for “a possible breach by him of anti-doping rules.” The federation says Silnov could be suspended from his duties.
Russia has been banned from international track competitions since 2015 for widespread doping, but dozens from the country are allowed to compete as neutral athletes.
That ban was extended Sunday when the IAAF expressed concern about “apparent backsliding” on Russian doping reforms.