GOLF-THE MASTERS

Spieth takes hold of the Masters lead

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Jordan Spieth has continued his hot streak by flirting with the lowest score in Masters history.

Spieth birdied eight of his first 14 holes and finished with an 8-under 64 that puts him three shots ahead of Charley Hoffman, Justin Rose, Jason Day and 45-year old Ernie Els. The 21-year-old Spieth was challenging to become the first player to shoot a 62 at the Masters until he bogeyed the par-5 15. He closed with a birdie to cap his exceptional round.

Russell Henley and Sergio Garcia are four strokes back and one ahead of Webb Simpson, Paul Casey, Ryan Palmer and Bill Haas.

Phil Mickelson shot a 70. Defending champ Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy posted 71s, the same score that 65-year old former Masters champ Tom Watson carded.

Tiger Woods showed improvement but failed to take advantage of ideal conditions at Augusta, carding a 73 that puts him nine shots off the pace.

Spieth has won, finished second and lost in a playoff in his previous three tournaments. He had a share of the lead entering the final round of last year's Masters before Bubba Watson pulled away.

MLB-SCHEDULE

Tigers set shutout record after Indians flirt with no-no

UNDATED (AP) — The Minnesota Twins finally scored a run on Thursday, but only after the Detroit Tigers set the modern AL record for the longest shutout streak to start a season.

The Tigers had thrown 22 scoreless innings before the Twins scored an unearned run in the seventh inning of Detroit's 7-1 win against Minnesota. Shane Greene gave up four hits while striking out five in eight innings to help Detroit complete a three-game sweep in which it didn't allow an earned run.

J.D. Martinez homered and had three RBIs for the Tigers, who outscored the Twins 21-1 in the series.

The Cleveland Indians came within two outs of their first no-hitter in almost 34 years.

Three pitchers combined to no-hit the Astros before Nick Hagadone surrendered Jed Lowrie's home run with one out in the ninth inning of the Indians' 5-1 win at Houston. Trevor Bauer struck out 11 and walked five over six innings and 111 pitches. Kyle Crockett and Scott Atchison each tossed a hitless inning, but the Indians failed to record their first no-hitter since Len Barker's perfect game in May 1981.

Roberto Perez and Jose Ramirez homered for Cleveland, which took two out of three from the Astros.

In other games:

— San Francisco spoiled San Diego's home opener by beating the Padres 1-0 on Justin Maxwell's RBI single with two out in the 12th. Padres starter Ian Kennedy left the game after straining his left hamstring while throwing a pitch in the third inning.

— Xander Bogaerts had three hits and three RBIs as Boston beat Philadelphia 6-2 to take the three-game series. Justin Masterson struck out seven while holding the Phillies to two runs and three hits in six innings.

— Toronto doubled up the New York Yankees 6-3 despite Alex Rodriguez, who hit his first home run since serving a yearlong drug suspension. Edwin Encarnacion hit a solo homer and scored twice to back Daniel Norris, who allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings for his first major league win.

— Matt Harvey struck out nine while allowing four hits in six shutout innings of the New York Mets' 6-3 win over Washington in the rubber match of the three-game series. It was Harvey's first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2013.

— Shin-Soo Choo's three-run blast was one of four home runs for the Rangers in a 10-1 win over Oakland. Mitch Moreland added a two-run shot while Adrian Beltre and Rougned Odor smacked solo home runs for Texas.

— Gregory Polanco booted a line drive to right in the bottom of the ninth, allowing the winning run to score in Cincinnati's 3-2 win over the Pirates. Joey Votto hit a game-tying, two-run homer for the Reds, who are 3-0 for the first time since 2011.

— Edinson Volquez gave up a run and just four hits in eight innings of Kansas City's 4-1 win over the White Sox. Lorenzo Cain made a pair of spectacular catches after driving in a run, and Salvatore Perez hit a two-run homer to help the Royals open the season with a three-game sweep.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL-KENTUCKY

The Wildcats seven head to NBA

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Seven players that helped Kentucky post a 38-1 record this season and reach the Final Four have announced they are leaving school early to enter the NBA draft.

Seven-footer Willie Cauley-Stein, twin guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison and freshman forwards Karl-Anthony Towns and Trey Lyles all said they will turn pro. Joining them will be reserve center Dakari Johnson and backup guard Devin Booker, leaving the Wildcats without their seven leading scorers from this season.

Confirmation they were leaving school was more was more visual than verbal. Coach John Calipari asked those who were leaving to stand up. After they all looked at each other, they stood up to applause in the practice gym before answering questions.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL-DUKE-OKAFOR

Okafor to leave Duke for NBA

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke says freshman Jahlil Okafor will enter the NBA draft, as expected. Okafor led the Blue Devils to a 35-4 record and its fifth national championship, a 68-63 victory over Wisconsin in Indianapolis on Monday night.

The 6-foot-11 Okafor was both a preseason and postseason AP All-America selection.

He averaged 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds and shot 66 percent. He's the first ACC freshman to be named league player of the year.

NBA-SCHEDULE

Heat blew lead, damage playoff hopes

UNDATED (AP) — The Miami Heat are in danger of missing the NBA playoffs after reaching the finals the last three years.

The Heat blew a 19-point halftime lead and dropped to 10th in the Eastern Conference by losing 89-78 to Chicago. Pau Gasol had 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Bulls, who opened the second half on a 39-8 run after being outscored 33-12 in the second period.

The outcome gives moves the Bulls a half-game ahead of Toronto for third in the East and drops the Heat 1 1/2 games out of a conference playoff berth. Miami has just three games remaining.

Last night's only other NBA game had Stephen Curry pouring in 45 points and Klay Thompson added 26 in Golden State's 116-105 victory against Portland. Curry shot 17-for-23 from the field, including 8-for-13 from 3-point range to break his own NBA record for most treys in a season.

NHL-SCHEDULE

Flames dethrone Kings...Senators blank Rangers to pass Bruins, Pens in standings

UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings have become the fifth team in NHL history to miss the playoffs after winning the Stanley Cup the previous season.

The Kings were eliminated with a 3-1 loss at Calgary, allowing the Flames to earn their first postseason berth since 2009. Red-hot Jiri Hudler scored the game-winner and had an assist, giving him 11 goals and 27 points in his last 19 games. Jonas Hiller stopped 33 shots and was perfect until Jordan Nolan scored with 15 minutes left.

The outcome also allowed the Winnipeg Jets to clinch a playoff berth, their first since the franchise moved from Atlanta. The Jets did it by heading into overtime before losing 1-0 to Colorado on shootout goals by Ryan O'Reilly and Matt Duchene.

Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators have continued their incredible playoff push by blanking the NHL's current Presidents' Trophy champions.

The Senators are 5-0-1 in their last six games after Andrew Hammond stopped 23 shots in a 3-0 win over the Rangers in New York. It marked the first time in six games Ottawa avoided going into overtime or a shootout.

The game was scoreless until Clarke MacArthur and Kyle Turris scored 64 seconds apart late in the second period. That was more than enough support for Hammond, who is an incredible 19-1-2 with three shutouts and a 1.82 goals-against average since his recall in mid-February.

The outcome leaves the Senators seventh in the East, one point ahead of Pittsburgh and two better than Boston for the final Conference playoff berth. The Senators and Bruins each have one game remaining.

The Bruins suffered their second straight loss as Jonathan Huberdeau and Brad Boyes scored early in the third period to put Florida ahead 3-1 in a 4-2 verdict over Boston. Roberto Luongo stopped 34 shots in his 401st NHL victory, tying Chris Osgood for 10th on the NHL's all-time list.

The outcome allowed the Detroit Red Wings and idle New York Islanders to clinch playoff berths.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

— Jake Allen stopped 21 shots and the St. Louis Blues clinched the Central Division title by downing Chicago 2-1. Dmitrij Jaskin opened the scoring late in the second period before Paul Stastny added the valuable insurance goal with 5:55 remaining.

— The Blues actually clinched their division crown when Nashville lost 4-2 to Minnesota. The Wild trailed 2-0 until Jason Zucker scored twice and Jason Pominville netted the game-winner with 2:03 remaining.

— Lars Eller scored 81 seconds into overtime to lift Montreal past Detroit 4-3, keeping the Canadiens two points ahead of Tampa Bay for the Atlantic Division lead. Carey Price turned back 24 shots and Tomas Plekanec scored the equalizer midway through the final period. The Red Wings clinched their 24th consecutive playoff appearance by sending the game to overtime.

— Tampa Bay beat New Jersey 4-3 on Tyler Johnson's power-play goal at 1:22 of OT. Johnson finished with two goals and an assist, and Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov each had three assists to help the Lightning stay in contention for a division title heading into their final game.

— Yannick Weber scored a pair of power-play goals and Eddie Lack stopped 28 shots in Vancouver's 5-0 shutout of Arizona. The Canucks will clinch home-ice advantage in the conference quarterfinals by winning their season finale or having Calgary lose their last game.

— Ryan Murphy scored the eventual game-winner and Cam Ward made 27 saves in Carolina's 3-1 triumph at Philadelphia.

— Patrick Marleau, Bryan Lerg and Matt Nieto scored in the final 9:28 of San Jose's 3-1 win against Edmonton.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL-OHIO STATE-BRAXTON

Buckeyes Braxton off the hook

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The NCAA says Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller committed a minor violation of its rules when he posted a picture of himself on social media with health care and nutritional products. But he will not be penalized.

Ohio State reported the incident to the NCAA, which reinstated Miller's eligibility without any conditions.

Miller missed all of the Buckeyes' championship season last year after shoulder surgery. He is expected to play this fall after rehabbing through spring workouts.

NFL-STEELERS-BELL

Steelers running back suspended

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is facing a three-game suspension following his arrest on DUI and marijuana charges last August.

A person with direct knowledge of the suspension told The Associated Press Bell is expected to appeal the suspension, which was first reported by ESPN.

Bell was arrested last August following a traffic stop along with then-teammate LeGarrette Blount. The 23-year-old All-Pro ended up pleading no contest and was sentenced to 15 months of probation and entered into a diversion program.

NFL-COLTS-LUCK

Colts exercise option on Luck

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis will use the team's fifth-year option to keep Andrew Luck in town through at least 2016.

Team owner Jim Irsay has repeatedly said that the Colts plan to make Luck one of the highest-paid players in the league when his rookie contract expires.

Luck has started all 48 games, led the Colts to the playoffs three straight times and been to the Pro Bowl each season since being taken by the Colts with the first overall pick in the 2012 draft.

 

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