National Sports

LEADING OFF: Sale vs Yanks; Thor vs Dickey; injuries pile up

By The Associated Press A look at what's happening around the majors today: ___ LOFTY NUMBERS Chris Sale (1-1, 0.91 ERA) brings his impressive numbers against the Yankees to the mound when the Red Sox host New York in the finale of a series shortened by rain. The lefty is 4-1 with a 1.17 ...

Celtics beat Bulls 108-97, take 3-2 lead in series

By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer BOSTON (AP) — The Celtics and Bulls found another thing to argue about after Game 5 of their spirited first-round playoff series: Was Avery Bradley more impressive on offense, or on defense? "Everyone knows he's a good defender. Tonight, he got his ...

Predators beat Blues 4-3 in Game 1 of second-round series

By NATE LATSCH, Associated Press ST. LOUIS (AP) — One nifty little flip by Vernon Fiddler provided a big lift for the Nashville Predators on a rough night. Fiddler scored with 5:05 left and P.K. Subban had a goal and two assists, powering Nashville to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues ...

Westbrook does it all to no avail for Thunder

By CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook made it perfectly clear in his record-setting season that he can do pretty much anything on a basketball court. But he can't do everything. Westbrook's jaw-dropping effort this year included the NBA record for ...

Home, sweet home: Beal, Wall lead Wizards past Hawks, 103-99

By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Sports Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall figured the credit went to the down-the-stretch defense displayed by his Washington Wizards. Neither Dennis Schroder nor coach Mike Budenholzer found any flaws with the way their Atlanta Hawks handled things late. Either way, ...

NFL prospect: Rape report ‘completely false,’ skipping draft

CLEVELAND (AP) — Former Ohio State football star Gareon Conley says he plans to skip attending the NFL draft in person on Thursday and decried allegations that he raped a woman as "completely false." No charges have been filed as police investigate claims made by a 23-year-old woman that he ...

Rangers avoid another series sweep with 14-3 win vs. Twins

By Stephen Hawkins AP Sports Writer ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Joey Gallo took a couple of hits to score the tiebreaking run, Ryan Rua connected for a grand slam and the Texas Rangers avoided another series sweep with a 14-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night. Rua’s first ...

Predators beat Blues 4-3 in Game 1 of 2nd-round series

By Nate Latsch Associated Press ST. LOUIS (AP) — P.K. Subban had a goal and two assists and Vernon Fiddler scored with 5:05 left, sending the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Wednesday night. The Predators ...

ESPN laying off 100 broadcasters, writers as viewers dwindle

NEW YORK (AP) — ESPN is laying off about 100 employees, including former athletes-turned-broadcasters Trent Dilfer, Len Elmore and Danny Kanell, in a purge designed to focus the sports network on a more digital future. The cuts will trim ESPN’s stable of on-air talent and writers by about ...

Raiders bring RB Marshawn Lynch out of retirement

By Josh Dubow AP Sports Writer ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Marshawn Lynch is coming out of retirement after agreeing on a two-year deal with the Raiders that paved the way for a trade to his hometown team in Oakland. Lynch passed a physical Wednesday and agreed to a restructured two-year ...

Dearth of OL in draft creates dilemma

By Dave Campbell AP Pro Football Writer MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The deficiency on Minnesota’s offensive line made that position the obvious priority for offseason improvement on a team that stumbled to an 8-8 finish. By the second day of the NFL’s open market last month, the Vikings had ...

LEADING OFF: Pedroia set to return, Bundy emerging for O’s

By The Associated Press A look at what's happening around the majors today: ___ WELCOME BACK The Red Sox had to wait another day to get Dustin Pedroia back in the lineup. Manager John Farrell said after Tuesday night's game was rained out that his injured second baseman would have been able ...

MLB: Multiple groups have submitted bids to buy Marlins

By STEVEN WINE, AP Sports Writer MIAMI (AP) — Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush still haven't touched all the bases in their bid to buy the Miami Marlins. Far from it. Multiple groups have submitted bids to buy the team, and none has yet been accepted, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday. ...

AP source: Raiders agree to deal with Marshawn Lynch

By JOSH DUBOW, AP Sports Writer ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders have agreed to a two-year contract to bring running back Marshawn Lynch out of retirement. A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press that the sides have agreed on the terms pending a physical for ...

Albasini wins another Romandie stage; Felline retains lead

CHAMPERY, Switzerland (AP) — Michael Albasini won his seventh career Tour of Romandie stage on Wednesday, and Fabio Felline of Italy retained the overall lead. The 36-year-old Swiss sprinted through rain and light fog on a mountain road in Champery after a 168-kilometer (105-mile) ...

Decision on Sharapova’s French Open wild card set for May 16

By SAMUEL PETREQUIN, AP Sports Writer PARIS (AP) — Maria Sharapova will find out next month if she can compete at the French Open. French tennis federation president Bernard Giudicelli said Wednesday that the announcement will be made on Facebook on May 16 at 7 p.m. local time. "The only ...

NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. to retire at end of season

By JENNA FRYER, AP Auto Racing Writer CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. abruptly announced his retirement at the end of the season Tuesday, a decision that will cost NASCAR its most popular driver as the series scrambles to rebuild its fan base. Colorful, candid and talented, ...

No more room for error for Madrid after loss to Barcelona

By TALES AZZONI, AP Sports Writer MADRID (AP) — With its cushion at the top gone, Real Madrid needs wins. Another setback in the final rounds of the Spanish league could leave the title in the hands of Barcelona, which is carrying all the momentum after the last-minute win against Madrid at ...

LEADING OFF: Hicks a hit for Tigers, Blach set for Kershaw

By The Associated Press A look at what's happening all around the majors today: ___ HICKS STICKS John Hicks is off to an impressive start as a fill-in for injured Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Called up from Triple-A on Saturday morning, Hicks is 5 for 10 with a home run and six ...

The old guys are coming up big so far in these playoffs

By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Basketball Writer George W. Bush was early in his first term as president. Seattle was years away from losing the SuperSonics. "Arrested Development" hadn't even started airing yet. That's how long ago Utah's Joe Johnson and Houston's Nene made their NBA debuts. So-called ...