AP Friday Sports Roundup
A-Rod passes Mays...8 RBIs for Grandal
UNDATED (AP) — Alex Rodriguez passed Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time home run list while helping the New York Yankees earn a victory against a division rival.
The Yankees first baseman banged out his 661st round-tripper in a 4-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. The solo blast came off Chris Tillman in the third inning and moved Rodriguez ahead of Willie Mays on the all-time list.
The slugger pumped his fist as he rounded first base, and fans gave Rodriguez a standing ovation. The Yankees put a message honoring the milestone that gave New York a 3-2 lead.
The team has said it will not pay a $6 million bonus after he matched Mays on Friday in Boston.
Rodriguez had two hits and two RBIs as the Yanks won for the 15th time in 20 games since a 3-6 start.
Earlier yesterday, Yasmani Grandal had quite an afternoon as he doubled his season home run total and tripled his RBI count.
Grandal launched a pair of three-run homers and had eight ribbies as the Los Angeles Dodgers crushed Milwaukee 14-4. Grandal also went 4-for-4 with two walks to lift his average 40 points to .301. All eight of his RBIs came in the Dodgers' last four at-bats.
Grandal's previous career high for RBIs was five, done last Sept. 25 when he homered twice against San Francisco.
Alex Guerrero also homered for the Dodgers, who earned a split of the four-game series and win for the sixth time in eight games.
In other baseball finals:
— St. Louis made it nine wins in 10 games as John Lackey collected his third career RBI and struck out 10 over 7 2/3 innings to lead a 5-1 triumph over the Chicago Cubs. Peter Bourjos hit an RBI triple and Jason Heyward went 3-for-5 with an RBI to help the Cardinals improve to a major league-best 21-7.
— Eric Hosmer smacked a three-run homer in the first inning of Kansas City's 7-4 triumph over Cleveland. The blast came off reigning Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, who dropped to 0-5 with a 7.43 ERA after surrendering five runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
— Delino DeShields and Shin-Soo Choo worked out bases-loaded walks before Elvis Andrus singled home a pair in a four-run second that pushed Texas past Tampa Bay 5-4. Rays starter and loser Chris Archer was reached for five runs on four hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings.
— Pittsburgh had dropped five straight before A.J. Burnett held Cincinnati to two runs in seven innings of the Pirates' 7-2 win over the Reds. Chris Stewart and Starling Marte (mahr-TAY') drove in two runs apiece to support Burnett's first win of the season.
— Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar drove in two runs each to help Minnesota win for the seventh time in eight games, 6-5 against Oakland. Ricky Nolasco improved to 2-1 despite giving up four runs and six hits in five innings.
— Detroit beat the Chicago White Sox 4-1 behind Kyle Lobstein, who gave up an unearned run and five hits in 7 2/3 innings. Miguel Cabrera drove in a run and scored twice, while Victor Martinez was 3-for-4 with a run batted in.
— Tuffy Gosewich had three doubles and four RBIs to lead Arizona's offense on an 11-0 laugher against San Diego. Mark Trumbo and Paul Goldschmidt hit solo homers to back Rubby De LaRosa, who held the Padres to three hits while fanning seven in seven innings.
— Marcell Ozuna hit a two-run homer, Giancarlo Stanton had two RBIs and Dan Haren did almost everything else in Miami's 7-2 rout of San Francisco. Haren gave up two runs in seven innings and was 2-for-3 with a two-run double.
— Houston ended a three-game skid by scoring three times in the ninth inning to beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2. Jake Marisnick and Preston Tucker hit RBI singles to tie it before Jose Altuve poked the go-ahead grounder.
Salty agrees to minor league deal with D-Backs
UNDATED (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with veteran catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
The 30-year-old backstop was released by the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, one month into the second season of a $21 million, three-year contract.
In other baseball news:
— White Sox pitcher Chris Sale has dropped his appeal of a five-game suspension for his actions during an April 23 brawl with the Kansas City Royals. Sale started serving the penalty on Thursday.
— The last-place Boston Red Sox have fired pitching coach Juan Nieves. The move came a day after Justin Masterson walked six batters in 4 1/3 innings in a 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay, Boston's fifth in six games.
Hawks sweep away Wild...Habs still alive
UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have earned their third straight trip to the NHL's Western Conference finals by completing a four-game sweep of the Minnesota Wild.
Patrick Kane provided a goal and an assist as the Hawks downed the Wild 4-3. Brent Seabrook put Chicago ahead midway through the first period before Andrew Shaw's power-play score made it 2-0 early in the second.
Minnesota scored twice after Marian Hossa's empty-netter made it 4-1 with 3:07 to play.
Corey Crawford stopped 34 shots for the Hawks, who will take on either Anaheim or Calgary in the next round.
Meanwhile, the Montreal Canadiens have staved off elimination in the Stanley Cup playoffs by finally solving Ben Bishop.
Max Pacioretty scored a short-handed goal and had two assists as the Canadiens ripped the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2. Bishop was lifted after Jeff Petry's power-play goal put the Habs ahead 4-0 midway through the second period. Bishop had allowed just four goals in helping the Lightning take the first three games of the second-round series.
Andrei Markov, David Desharnais, Brendan Gallagher and Brandon Prust also scored as part of Montreal's 39-shot assault.
Carey Price made 22 saves and blanked the Lightning until Nikita Kucherov netted a power-play goal late in the second period.
Game 5 is Saturday in Montreal.
Brady's agent strikes back
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady's agent is firing back after the quarterback was implicated in the report on the deflated football scandal.
Don Yee says the report prepared by NFL-appointed investigator Ted Wells was "a significant and terrible disappointment."
The 243-page report found that two Patriots employees violated rules covering game balls, and that Brady was "at least generally aware" of the plans to doctor the footballs to his liking. The report found some of Brady's claims to investigators were "implausible," saying it was unlikely the two would have carried out the plan to deflate the balls to Brady's liking without his knowledge.
Yee says the report "reached a conclusion first, and then determined so-called facts later." He charges that Wells' firm makes a lot of money from the NFL and put out a report that benefits the league.
The Patriots defeated the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, and Brady was the MVP.
Brady said Thursday that the scandal hasn't detracted from the Super Bowl win. He spoke at a Q&A session at Salem State University but declined to discuss his thoughts about the Wells decision.
Cowboys land Collins
IRVING, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys have signed La'el Collins, the former LSU offensive tackle who had been a projected first-round pick in last week's NFL draft until his name came up in a police investigation.
The 2014 All-SEC selection has never been named a suspect or person of interest in the shooting death of 29-year-old Brittney Mills. Police acknowledged days before the draft that they wanted to talk to Collins because he knew the victim, who was eight months pregnant with someone else's child when she was gunned down at her home in late April.
After the draft, Collins met with police, who say he has answered all of their questions.
Reed to retire as Raven
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Ed Reed came into the NFL as a member of the Baltimore Ravens, and now he's leaving as one. The nine-time Pro Bowl safety has formally announced his retirement after signing one final contract with the team that took him 24th overall in the 2002 draft.
Reed played 11 seasons in Baltimore before splitting time with Houston and the New York Jets in 2012. He did not play last season.
Reed was the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and his 1,590 yards on interception returns are the most in league history.
NFL-FIRST ROUND PICKS-CONTRACTS
More first-rounders sign
UNDATED (AP) — The Oakland Raiders have signed receiver Amari Cooper, the fourth player taken in the NFL draft.
Cooper is the career receiving leader at Alabama with 228 catches, 3,463 yards receiving and 31 touchdown receptions. He led the nation with 124 catches last season and ranked second with 1,727 yards receiving and 16 touchdown grabs.
Also, first-round draft pick and former Louisville receiver DeVante Parker has signed a four-year, $10.87 million pact with the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins have signed all seven of their picks.
Paul works out, status unknown for Friday
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Paul worked out on the court Thursday. That's a positive sign in his struggle to overcome a strained left hamstring, though it's not known whether he can play for the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 3 against the Houston Rockets Friday night.
Coach Doc Rivers said on a teleconference that "everything is going well" with the All-Star guard. But his status is unknown going into Friday night, when the series resumes at Staples Center. The teams are tied 1-1 after a split in Houston.
NBA-MOST IMPROVED PLAYER-BUTLER
Butler is most improved
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler is the NBA's Most Improved Player after making his first All-Star team and averaging a career high in scoring.
The 25-year-old Butler received 92 of 129 first-place votes to outdistance Golden State's Draymond Green for the honor. Butler averaged 20 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists this season after contributing 13.1 points, 4.9 boards and 2.6 assists last year.
Wall has fractures
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Wizards don't know the playing status of All-Star guard John Wall after he was diagnosed with five non-displaced fractures in his left wrist and hand.
Initial X-rays were negative after he was injured during the opener of the Wizards' Eastern Conference semifinal series against Atlanta. Washington coach Randy Wittman wouldn't rule Wall out for Saturday's game, but he added the team has to prepare to play without him.
GOLF-THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Hoffman's 8 birdies put him in 4-way tie for lead
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Charley Hoffman carded eight birdies in grabbing a share of the first-round lead in the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
The string of birdies offset a triple-bogey on the first hole and left him at 5-under 67, tied with David Hearn, Kevin Na and Hideki Matsuyama.
Billy Horschel and Charles Howell III are among six players at minus-4. Rory McIlroy is just two strokes back after winning the Match Play Championship last weekend.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson opened with 73s but fared better than Masters champ Jordan Spieth who shot a 75.
US beaten for first time
PRAGUE (AP) — The United States has been beaten by Belarus 5-2 at the ice hockey world championship. It was the first time Belarus had defeated the Americans after five straight losses and the first loss for the U.S. in the tournament. Belarus built a 3-0 second-period lead before Brock Nelson got the Americans on the board.
Belarus tops Group B after four games with 10 points, one ahead of the U.S. and Russia. The top four teams in each of the two groups of eight will advance to the quarterfinals.