Update on the latest sports
Yankees to get Judge back…Keuchel starts for Atlanta
UNDATED (AP) – Aaron Judge is set to swing back into action Friday night for the first-place Yankees. The slugger is expected to be reinstated from the injured list to play against the visiting Houston Astros, his first game since straining his left oblique April 20.
Judge wrapped up a five-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, going 2 for 16 with a homer.
Left-handed pitcher James Paxton gets the start for New York. He was hit hard in a loss at Houston on April 10 as the Yankees were swept in a three-game set.
Right-hander Brad Peacock gets the ball for Houston. He has yielded four home runs in 11 1/3 innings over his last two starts.
Elsewhere in the majors Friday:
– Dallas Keuchel (KY’-kul) makes his season debut in his initial start for first-place Atlanta at Washington. After a long wait in free agency, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner signed a one-year deal this month that pays him $13 million. The two-time All-Star went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA in 34 starts last season for Houston. Stephen Strasburg takes the ball for the Nationals, who are coming off a three-game sweep of Philadelphia in a rain-shortened series.
– Cleveland opens a home series against Detroit tonight following a 5-2 road trip. Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer takes the mound five days after his first major league shutout, an 8-0 victory over Detroit. Bauer had been 0-5 over his previous eight outings before his four-hitter on Sunday with eight strikeouts and no walks. Left-hander Matthew Boyd starts for the Tigers.
– Albert Pujols (POO’-hohlz) returns for his first game in St. Louis since leaving the Cardinals to sign a $240 million contract with the Angels before the 2012 season. The slugger won three NL MVP awards and made nine All-Star teams with the Cardinals, leading them to World Series championships in 2006 and 2011. Pujols, sixth on the career list with 645 home runs, batted .328 with 455 doubles, 445 homers and 1,329 RBIs in 1,705 games for St. Louis. He is scheduled to meet the media at Busch Stadium before the opener of an interleague series.
Devils tight-lipped about first pick
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero hasn’t revealed whether he will select one of the two top projected prospects with the first pick in Friday’s NHL draft. He is expected to choose either American center Jack Hughes, an undersized play-making center, or Finland’s Kaapo Kakko, who is heftier and considered a purer goal-scorer.
At 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, Hughes is NHL Central Scouting’s top-ranked North American prospect. He set a USA Hockey development program record by combining for 228 points with 74 goals and 154 assists over his two-year stint. From Orlando, Florida, he’s in position to become the eighth U.S.-born player selected No. 1 and first since Toronto took Auston Matthews in 2016.
At 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, Kakko is the top-ranked European skater. He completed a season in which he helped his nation complete a gold-medal sweep of international titles by winning the world championship last month along with the world junior and under-18 titles. Kakko’s 22 goals in 45 games were a Finnish Elite League record by a draft-eligible player.
The top of the draft features a wide mix of talent varying in size and speed. Defenseman Bowen Byram is ranked second among North Americans followed by center Kirby Dach.
The Devils’ cross-river rivals, the New York Rangers, have the second pick.
DOCTOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT-MICHIGAN STATE
Michigan State OKs independent probe of handling of Nassar
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan State University is authorizing what it says will be an independent investigation of the school’s handling of sexual assault complaints against now-imprisoned former sports doctor Larry Nassar.
The board of trustees unanimously approved the probe Friday. It intends to hire Chicago-based law firm McDermott Will & Emery to investigate and release a public report.
The university has come under criticism for hiring a law firm to conduct an “independent” investigation while the same law firm also defended the school in civil lawsuits. No report has been made public.
The Michigan attorney general office’s has been investigating the university and has charged three officials, including a former president.
Trustees say they worked with Nassar victims in recent months to launch the new investigation “to restore trust in this university.”