Update on the latest in sports:
Mets look to continue hot start
UNDATED (AP) – Riding an eight-game winning streak that has lifted them to the top record in the majors, the surprising New York Mets try to extend the best start in franchise history to 11-1 when they open a homestand against Milwaukee. New York left-hander Steven Matz, coming off a solid outing in Washington, faces Zach Davies and the Brewers, who are 5-1 on the road. Under new manager Mickey Callaway, the Mets have six comeback wins and they wrapped up a 6-0 road trip Wednesday night in Miami.
Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki has a broken left hand and is following Travis d’Arnaud to the disabled list. Plawecki was hit by a pitch from the Marlins’ Tayron Guerrero at Miami in the eighth inning Wednesday night. While a postgame X-ray was negative, an MRI in New York on Thursday showed a hairline fracture.
New York said before Friday’s game against Milwaukee that Plawecki was being put on the DL, retroactive to Thursday. Plawecki will not need surgery.
D’Arnaud went on the disabled list Wednesday for the fifth consecutive year. He has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and surgery is possible.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– Yu Darvish makes his first home start with the Chicago Cubs when they host the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field. Darvish also is looking for his first win since he signed a $126 million, six-year contract with Chicago in February. The Japanese right-hander pitched six innings of one-run ball in a no-decision at Milwaukee on Saturday in his previous start. Anibal Sanchez pitches for Atlanta. The 34-year-old right-hander is 3-2 with a 3.82 ERA in seven career starts against the Cubs.
– Zack Greinke starts for Arizona in the opener of a three-game series at the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 34-year-old right-hander went 51-15 with a 2.30 ERA in three seasons with the Dodgers from 2013-15. He is 4-4 with a 3.74 ERA in 11 career starts against Los Angeles. Kenta Maeda makes his third appearance of the year for the Dodgers. He has struck out 12 in six scoreless innings so far this season.
– Reds first baseman Joey Votto starts a new playing streak against the Cardinals. He was out of the starting lineup on Thursday, ending his streak of 202 consecutive games since Sept. 2, 2016. It was the longest for the Reds since Pete Rose started 370 straight games from 1973-76.
Philadelphia looks to even things up
UNDATED (AP) – Another loss tonight will put the Philadelphia Flyers in a perilous spot going home. The Flyers lost game-one of their first-round NHL playoff series to Pittsburgh on Wednesday. And they haven’t beaten the Penguins once all season, getting outscored 27-11 in the process. Going down two games would require them to take down the reigning champions four times in nine days.
In other NHL playoff action:
– The Winnipeg Jets will be looking to take a two-games-to-none advantage over the Minnesota Wild. It took Winnipeg nearly two decades to win the franchise’s first playoff game. If the Jets can do it twice in three days, they’ll have firm control against sloppy Minnesota. The Wild let a third-period lead get away in Game 1, with the Jets getting the tying goal and the winning goal off Minnesota giveaways.
– The Los Angeles Kings will be without defenseman Drew Doughty for Game 2 tonight against the Las Vegas Golden Knights. He was suspended by the NHL for an illegal check to the head of Vegas forward William Carrier. The expansion Golden Knights looked every bit ready for the playoffs when they rode goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to a 1-0 victory in Game 1.
Stars coach Hitchcock retiring
DALLAS (AP) – Dallas Stars coach Ken Hitchcock is retiring, ending a 22-year career as the third-winningest coach in NHL history.
Hitchcock will become a consultant for the team he led to its only Stanley Cup championship in 1999. The 66-year-old says it was “the right time to step away and let the younger generation of coaches take over.”
Hitchcock returned to Dallas this season after 15 years away, with stops in Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis. General manager Jim Nill hoped Hitchcock could get the Stars back to the playoffs, but a late-season slump kept them out for the second straight year and the eighth time in 10 seasons.
Hitchcock’s 823 wins are third all-time behind Scotty Bowman and Joel Quenneville. He’s fourth in games with 1,536.
Hornets fire Steve Clifford
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The Hornets have fired coach Steve Clifford after the team failed to reach the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons.
The move comes after a meeting with new general manager Mitch Kupchak on Friday.
Charlotte finished 36-46 despite what Clifford on Wednesday called his most talented team. Clifford missed 21 games this season because of headaches stemming from sleep deprivation. He acknowledged that the Hornets “didn’t make good progress” this year.
The Hornets were 196-214 in five seasons under Clifford. They reached the playoffs twice, but failed to make it out of the first round in 2014 and 2016.
Clifford is the third NBA coach to be dismissed since the end of the regular season, following Jeff Hornacek of New York and Frank Vogel of Orlando.