AP Tuesday Sports Roundup
Pens a step closer to 4th Cup
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins are one victory away from capturing the fourth Stanley Cup championship in team history.
Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist as the Penguins beat the Sharks 3-1 at San Jose to take a three-games-to-one lead. Malkin ended a six-game goal drought by netting the eventual game-winner, beating Martin Jones on a power play 2:37 into the second period to put the Pens ahead 2-0. He also assisted on Ian Cole's first goal in 124 regular-season and playoff games, which opened the scoring 7:36 after the opening faceoff.
Phil Kessel set up the first two goals and Matt Murray turned back 23 shots as the Pens bounced back from Saturday's overtime loss to the Sharks. Murray blanked San Jose until Melker Karlsson beat him at 8:07 of the third period to get the Sharks within 2-1.
Eric Fehr iced the victory with a late goal.
The Penguins can wrap up the series and their first Cup in seven years as early as Thursday at home.
Cubs win again
UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have become the fastest team to 40 victories since the 2001 Seattle Mariners won 40 of their first 52 games. The Cubbies also own a 10-game lead in the National League Central.
Jon Lester was terrific in the Cubs' 6-4 win at Philadelphia, allowing four hits and no walks while striking out nine over eight shutout innings. Lester improved to 7-3, but only after the bullpen surrendered a pair of homers and four runs in the ninth. Hector Rendon served up a two-run blast by Tommy Joseph and faced the tying run at the plate before getting Ryan Howard to hit into a game-ending grounder.
Jason Hayward slammed a two-run homer and Mike Rizzo was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI singles while the Cubs were building a 6-0 lead in their 10th victory in 12 games. Chicago now leads the majors at 40-16 and is on pace for 116 victories, tying the record set by the 1906 Cubs and matched by the 2001 Mariners. Cubs fatalists will recall that the 1906 team lost the World Series to the White Sox in six games.
Meanwhile, the Baltimore Orioles have regained sole possession of first place in the American League East.
Mike Wright tossed seven innings and the Orioles moved a half-game ahead of Boston with a 4-1 victory over Kansas City. Wright gave up just five hits and blanked the Royals until Jonathan Schoop's throwing error brought home an unearned run in the seventh.
The Orioles trailed until Mark Trumbo and Matt Wieters belted solo homers in the bottom of the seventh. Trumbo leads the majors with 19 home runs.
Manny Machado also went deep in the Orioles' fifth victory in six games.
The Royals have dropped five in a row since a six-game winning streak put them atop the AL Central.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— It's a six-game winning streak for the Cleveland Indians after Trevor Bauer allowed one run while fanning 10 over 7 2/3 innings of a 3-1 verdict over the Mariners in Seattle. Juan Uribe snapped a 1-1 tie with a sacrifice fly and Rajai Davis homered as the Indians stretched their lead in the AL Central to 2 ½ games over the Royals.
— Rougned Odor capped his three-RBI night by delivering a two-out, RBI double in the bottom of the ninth to send Texas past Houston 6-5. Odor also belted a solo homer and lifted a sacrifice fly to lead the AL West-leading Rangers to their fourth consecutive win and a four-game lead over the Mariners.
— James McCann smacked a three-run homer and Justin Upton added a two-run blast and three RBIs as Detroit ripped Toronto 11-0. Michael Fulmer held the Blue Jays to two hits in six innings of the Tigers' fourth consecutive win.
— The New York Yankees beat the Angels 5-2 on Carlos Beltran's tiebreaking, three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth. Matt Shoemaker was working on a shutout until Brian McCann and Starlin Castro hit back-to-back homers with two out in the seventh.
— Tampa Bay was a 6-4 winner at Arizona behind David Archer, who struck out 12 and allowed three runs in six innings. Tim Beckham socked a two-run homer and Desmond Jennings added a solo shot and two RBIs in the Rays' fourth consecutive victory.
— Tyler Chatwood tossed one-hit ball over eight innings of Colorado's 6-1 win against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Rookie Trevor Story's 16th homer of the season was a three-run shot that broke it open.
— Yangervis Solarte crushed a three-run homer and Matt Kemp had two RBIs in San Diego's 7-2 verdict over Atlanta. Christian Friedrich struck out seven and limited the Braves to two runs and six hits over 6 2/3 innings.
— The Mets and Pirates were rained out in Pittsburgh. The game will be made up as part of a Tuesday twinbill.
Cavs in deep water
UNDATED (AP) — Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love accompanied the team back home Monday after suffering a concussion during the first half of Sunday's Game 2 loss to Golden State in the NBA Finals.
Love is in the league concussion protocol and has to be cleared in order to resume playing. Game 3 is Wednesday night in Cleveland.
The Warriors have looked dominant in rolling to wins in the first two games of the series as they try to repeat as league champs. Golden State pulled off a 110-77 laugher on Sunday after a 15-point victory in Game 1.
Warriors' star won't go to the Olympics
UNDATED (AP) — You won't see Stephen Curry in a U.S. uniform during the Rio Olympics this summer. The Warriors star guard has withdrawn his name from consideration from Team USA. Curry issued a statement saying he has decided to pull out for "several factors, including recent ankle and knee injuries."
The Americans also will be without All-Stars Chris Paul and Anthony Davis as they seek their third straight gold medal.
Busch wins rain-delayed race at Pocono
LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Kurt Busch coasted to victory in the rain-delayed Sprint Cup race at Pocono.
Busch had to conserve fuel down over the final two laps before finishing ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Busch was urged by his team to save gas and go hard for the win on the final lap.
He led for 32 laps in winning his 28th career Cup race and becoming the ninth driver to earn a victory this season. Busch has 12 top-10 finishes in 14 starts this year.
Brad Keselowski finished third, followed by Chase Elliott and Joey Logano.
Ali planned own memorial
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Many details of Muhammad Ali's upcoming memorial service in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, were created by the three-time heavyweight champ himself, along with family and friends.
Ali wanted the memorial service in an arena, with multiple religions having a voice while honoring the traditions of his Muslim faith. And he wanted ordinary fans to attend, not just VIPs.
The final revisions were made days before Ali died Friday at 74 at an Arizona hospital, his family by his side.
Ali's memorial service Friday looms as one of the most historic events in Louisville's history.
The doctor who treated Ali says the boxing icon and his family never seriously thought of donating his brain for research. Dr. Abe Lieberman said he didn't think boxing contributed to Ali contracting Parkinson's disease but he couldn't be "a hundred percent" certain. Lieberman was among those who diagnosed Ali with Parkinson's in 1984.
Goodell: No settlement in sight with Brady
BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he sees no avenue right now for a settlement with Tom Brady over the New England quarterback's four-game suspension in the "Deflategate" episode.
Goodell says the league will move forward based on whether the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides to grant Brady's request for the full court to re-hear the case. A three-judge panel from the appeals court in April reinstated Brady's suspension that was handed down and upheld on appeal by Goodell.
The type of appeal Brady is seeking from the court is rarely granted.
Bills ink top pick
UNDATED (AP) The Buffalo Bills have signed linebacker and top draft pick Shaq Lawson to a four-year, $10.3 million deal. The former Clemson standout was the 19th overall pick in the draft.
Lawson is recovering from shoulder surgery and isn't expected to join the team until mid-season.
— Vikings safety Harrison Smith has signed a contract extension after piling up 402 tackles, 12 interceptions and 5.5 sacks in his first four NFL seasons. He has started 52 of his 53 regular-season games and set a team record in 2015 by returning four interceptions for touchdowns.
— Carolina has signed center Ryan Kalil to a two-year extension, keeping the three-time All-Pro under contract through 2018. The five-time Pro Bowl selection has spent all nine seasons with the Panthers after being selected in the second round in 2007 out of Southern Cal.
Talib released from hospital
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib has been released from a Dallas hospital and is expected to rejoin the team at minicamp this week. Talib missed the Super Bowl champs' trip to the White House Monday after getting shot in his lower right leg at a Dallas nightclub last weekend. Dallas police are investigating the shooting.