Yanks' five-game streak ends in opener
UNDATED (AP) —The Cleveland Indians' have ended the New York Yankees' five-game winning streak. Justin Masterson twirled a four-hitter and struck out nine in the Indians' 1-0 win over the Yankees in the first game of a doubleheader in Cleveland. Masterson fanned nine and improved to 6-2 on the season. A Jason Kipnis home run in the first inning was the only run. It was old-fashioned baseball with a nine-inning game taking a mere two hours, 26 minutes.
The Indians moved a half-game ahead of Detroit for the AL Central lead, at least temporarily. The Tigers wlll try to snap their two-game losing streak when they play the Houston Astros tonight.
Also tonight, the Chicago White Sox hit the road to play the Minnesota Twins tonight. Last night, Chris Sale tossed a one-hitter in the White Sox' 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels. Sale had a perfect game until Mike Trout lined a clean single to left-center with one out in the seventh.
The Angels travel home with their 14-23 record to play the Kansas City Royals. Joe Blanton, a major disappointment so far with the Angels, is on the mound. He is 0-6.
Texas is coming off a three-game sweep of Houston and plays at Oakland tonight. The Rangers have won four in a row and have a six-game lead over the Athletics in the AL West.
In the National League, it's a five-game schedule all at night.
The Colorado Rockies, who ended a 28-inning scoreless streak with an 8-2 win in St. Louis yesterday, travels to Wrigley Field to play the Cubs tonight. The Cubs are coming off a weekend in the Nation's Capital in which they took two of three from the Nationals.
Milwaukee is in Pittsburgh play the Pirates. The Brewers are trying to break a four-game losing streak while the Pirates have won three straight following their weekend sweep of the New York Mets.
The Mets are in St. Louis to play the Cardinals. Lance Lynn, who suffered his first loss in six decisions last time out, is on the mound for the Cardinals against winless Jeremy Hafner, who is 0-4 for the Mets.
The NL East-leading Atlanta Braves are in Phoenix to play the Diamondbacks. The Braves have lost three in a row while Arizona is on a two-game slide.
The Washington Nationals start the day a game back of Atlanta. The Nats start a West Coast road trip with a three-game set in Los Angeles. Jordan Zimmermann, who's been the Nationals' best pitcher this season, is 6-1. He will be opposed by Josh Beckett, who is 0-4 for the Dodgers.
Rizzo strikes it rich...Indians send down Chisenhall
UNDATED (AP) — Slugging first baseman Anthony Rizzo and the Chicago Cubs agreed to a $41 million, seven-year contract that could be worth up to $68 million over nine seasons.
The 23-year-old Rizzo is considered one of the centerpieces of the Cubs' rebuilding efforts. He is hitting .280 with a .352 on-base percentage. He also has nine home runs and 28 RBIs in his third major league season.
In other baseball news:
__ The Cleveland Indians have optioned struggling starting third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall to Triple-A Columbus. He was hitting just .213 with three home runs and 11 RBIs. The Tribe brought up left-hander David Huff from the minors.
— Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson has been put on the 15-day disabled list because of a pulled right hamstring. The Tigers recalled outfielder Avisail Garcia from Triple-A Toledo.
— George Postolos has resigned as president and CEO of the Houston Astros before they opened a series in Detroit. The Astros entered the game at 10-28, the worst record in the major leagues.
Deng, Hinrich likely out tonight
UNDATED (AP) — The Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies hope to build on their latest playoff victories to take commanding 3-1 leads in their respective NBA conference semifinal series tonight.
The Heat are in Chicago for Game 4 of their series against the Bulls (7 p.m. Eastern). The Heat posted a 104-94 road victory in their last game at United Center.
The Bulls will likely be without the ailing Luol Deng (LOO'-ul dehng) and injured Kirk Hinrich (HYN'-rik) tonight.
Coach Tom Thibodeau (THIH'-buh-doh) said at the morning shootaround that Hinrich is "doing a little more" as he tries to come back from a bruised left calf. But the veteran guard will probably miss his seventh straight game.
Deng will likely sit out his sixth in a row as he recovers from a spinal tap after an illness that left him hospitalized and caused him to lose 15 pounds.
Meanwhile in Memphis, the Grizzlies are taking nothing for granted after taking a 2-1 series lead over Oklahoma City following their 87-81 win over the Thunder on Saturday. Two years ago, the Grizzlies held exactly the same 2-1 series lead over the Thunder before losing 133-123 in triple overtime. Oklahoma City went onto win that conference semifinal series in seven games
Memphis also wasted home-court advantage twice last year in the playoffs against the L.A. Clippers. Tonight the Grizzlies will try to get more production from their superstar forward Zach Randolph, who was held to eight points in Saturday's victory.
Grizzlies assistant Barry Hecker has left the team during the Western Conference semifinals for what coach Lionel Hollins says is a "personal matter." Hollins said after this morning's shootaround that Hecker's departure is "nothing that's public consumption."
Maple Leafs-Bruins, Rangers-Caps in Game 7's tonight
UNDATED (AP) —A pair of Game 7's tonight will decide who advances to the Eastern Conference semifinals following one-goal games yesterday.
Toronto is in Boston to play the Bruins, who once led this series 3-1. The Leafs forced a seventh game with a 2-1 victory at home yesterday with goalie James Reimer (RY'-mur) stopping 29 shots. Dion Phaneuf (fah-NUF') and Phil Kessel scored 7:11 apart in the third period for the Leafs. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Eastern) at TD Garden. In the nation's capital, the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers will conclude their series in which five of the six games have been decided by one goal. Henrik Lundqvist posted his seventh career postseason shutout and Derick Brassard scored the lone goal in the Rangers' 1-0 victory yesterday.
The home team has won the first six games of the series. But the Capitals are 3-8 in their history in Game 7's so they have some emotional baggage in that department. The puck drops at 8 p.m. (Eastern) at Verizon Center.
Boogaard family suing NHL
CHICAGO (AP) — The family of a National Hockey League player who died of an accidental overdose of pain medication and alcohol has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the NHL, blaming it for brain damage he suffered as an enforcer and for his addiction to prescription painkillers.
Derek Boogaard (BOO'-gard), who was found dead on May 13, 2011, at age 28, was posthumously diagnosed with a degenerative brain ailment that can be caused by repeated blows to the head. That's according to the 55-page lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court late Friday.
One of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, William Gibbs, says the NHL profited from Boogaard's physical abilities as team doctors dispensed "pain pills like candy" after he suffered repeated injuries.
HOCKEY-KEENAN Veteran NHL coach takes Russia gig
MAGNITOGORSK, Russia (AP) — Veteran NHL coach Mike Keenan has signed a two-year contract to coach the Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League. No financial details were disclosed.
The 63-year-old Keenan led the New York Rangers to the 1994 Stanley Cup title and has more than 600 wins during a 25-year career with eight teams.
Nix steps down as GM
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buddy Nix is stepping down as the Buffalo Bills general manager. The 73-year-old Nix will remain with the team in a new role as special assistant, according to the Bills.
Assistant GM Doug Whaley, entering his fourth season in Buffalo, is expected to take over as GM. He was signed to a long-term contract extension in January. The Bills did not immediately announce Nix's replacement.
Nix was Bills' GM for three years. The Bills have had eight consecutive losing seasons, and haven't made the playoffs in 13 seasons — the NFL's longest active drought.
VCU assistant tabbed to lead Mocs
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Chattanooga has hired Virginia Commonwealth assistant Will Wade as the Mocs' new men's basketball coach. Wade had been with Shaka Smart at VCU the past four seasons where he helped the Rams to four straight postseason appearances, including a trip to the 2011 Final Four.
Wade replaces John Shulman, who was fired last month with his last winning season in 2009 when he led the Mocs to the NCAA tournament.
Orb's trainer "on Cloud 9" after workout...Normandy Invasion passing on Preakness
NEW YORK (AP) — Orb has completed his final workout before the Preakness Stakes, breezing four furlongs in 47.18 seconds at Belmont Park.
The Kentucky Derby winner moved effortlessly around the track this morning. The time is considered fast for a final work before a big race.
Shug McGaughey (muh-GAY'-hee) was elated with what he saw, saying he's on "Cloud 9" after the workout. The trainer said the way Orb went "nice and relaxed, came home on his own, galloped out the way he did, dropped his head and walked home sent cold chills up my back."
The Preakness, second leg of the Triple Crown, is Saturday in Baltimore. Orb is being vanned to Pimlico today.
Juice back in Vegas court asking for new trial
LAS VEGAS (AP) —O.J. Simpson returned to a Las Vegas courtroom on Monday to ask for a new trial in the armed robbery-kidnapping case that sent him to prison for 33 years in 2008.
Looking grayer and heavier, the 65-year-old former football star and TV pitchman was flanked by guards as he nodded and raised his eyebrows to acknowledge people he recognized in the audience.
A marshal had warned onlookers not to try to communicate with Simpson, and no words were exchanged.