AP Wednesday Sports Roundup
Cubs even in the score in Washington...Royals move within a game of AL Central-leading Tribe
UNDATED (AP) — The NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs improved their major league best-record to 44-19 by rallying with a run in the ninth inning to edge NL East-leading Washington 4-3. It's the Cubs' best start since 1918.
Albert Almora Jr., just called up from Triple-A Iowa, drove in the go-ahead run with a ninth-inning double for the game-winning hit. That ends the Nationals' four-game winning streak. The Nationals and Cubs have split the first two of the three-game series.
It's a four-star matchup in the rubber game Wednesday -- undefeated Stephen Strasburg takes his 10-0 mark against 7-2 Jason Hammel in a matinee in the nation's capital.
In other baseball:
— Jameson Taillon took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning of his second major league start, dominating the New York Mets while pitching the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-0 victory that snapped their five-game losing streak. Jung Ho Kang and Starling Marte each hit a two-run homer for the Pirates, backing eight efficient innings of two-hit ball from Taillon.
— Manny Machado hit a two-run home run, Chris Tillman struck out seven and the Baltimore Orioles snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Jonathan Schoop added a solo homer in the eighth inning for the Orioles, who took over sole possession of first place in the AL East.
— Toronto's Josh Donaldson hit a grand slam and finished with five RBIs and Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer as the Blue Jays routed the Phillies 11-3. The Jays have beaten the Phillies 11 of their last 14 meetings. Encarnacion's two RBIs give him a Major League-best 56, one more than Boston's David Ortiz. Marcus Stroman won for the first time in four starts.
— Salvador Perez swatted a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to power the Kansas City Royals past Cleveland 3-2 in a matchup of the top two teams in the American League Central. The defending World Series champion Royals moved within one game of the division-leading Indians.
— Doug Fister pitched won his seventh game and gave the Houston Astros breathing room with a two-run single in a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Ex-Cardinal Colby Rasmus hit his 150th career homer in his first game back in St. Louis since 2011.
— Jay Bruce had a three-run homer in the first, Brandon Finnegan pitched six strong innings and the surging Cincinnati Reds escaped a jam in the ninth to beat the weak-hitting Atlanta Braves 3-1. The Reds have won nine of 10.
— Justin Upton doubled, tripled and drove in four runs; J.D. Martinez had three of Detroit's season-high seven doubles and the Tigers beat the skidding Chicago White Sox 11-8. The Tigers have won eight of 11. The White Sox have dropped 23 of their last 32.
— Jeff Mathis hit a grand slam, Tom Koehler pitched six strong innings and the Miami Marlins beat the San Diego Padres 5-2.
— Johnny Giavotella hit a two-run homer and Kole Calhoun added a solo shot and doubled in another run, as the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-4.
— Texas downed Oakland 10-6. Elvis Andrus, Ryan Rua and Robinson Chirinos all homered for the AL West-leading Rangers.
— NL West-leading San Francisco edged Milwaukee 3-2. Angel Pagan scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on a wild pitch from Will Smith. Madison Bumgarner went eight strong innings to win his sixth straight game. He's 8-2.
— Chase Utley homered and had four RBIs, Joc Pederson hit two homers and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-4.
— In a typical Coors Field encounter, the Colorado Rockies outscored the New York Yankees 13-10. They led 12-3 going into the eighth before the Yanks made it close with seven runs. Carlos Gonzalez homered and had four hits for Colorado.
— Tampa Bay nipped Seattle 8-7. Evan Longoria and Corey Dickerson had three RBIs apiece.
Nats closer heads to DL...So does Pirates' Cole and Giants' Cain
UNDATED (AP) — Washington has placed closer Jonathan Papelbon on the 15-day disabled list with a right intercostal strain.
Manager Dusty Baker said Papelbon's injury occurred while the right-hander was warming up Sunday, when he pitched one inning against the Phillies. Baker didn't have a timetable for Papelbon's return.
Papelbon is 1-2 with a 3.28 ERA and 16 saves. The 35-year-old heads to the DL for the first time in his career.
In other baseball:
—Gerrit Cole was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right triceps, leaving the slumping Pittsburgh Pirates without their ace. The right-hander is 5-4 with a 2.77 ERA in 12 starts after going 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA last season, when he made his first All-Star team and finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting. He could be back by June 26.
__Giants right-hander Matt Cain has been placed back on the 15-day disabled list with the same right hamstring strain that landed him on the DL on May 28. Cain was just activated to pitch Monday night and allowed three runs.
— The Oakland Athletics placed left-hander Sean Manaea on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left forearm and recalled left-hander Eric Surkamp from Triple-A Nashville.
— Los Angeles Dodgers rookie right-hander Kenta Maeda left last night's game against Arizona after a line drive by Paul Goldschmidt struck him on the right leg in the sixth inning.
AP source: NHL bets on Vegas
UNDATED (AP) — A person with direct knowledge of the NHL's decision says the league has settled on Las Vegas as its choice for expansion. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details have not been released by the league ahead of its Board of Governors meeting on June 22 in Las Vegas. Quebec City was also considered for expansion.
A second person who had been briefed on the decision said Las Vegas was a "done deal" following the recommendation of the NHL's executive committee.
The franchise would be the NHL's 31st team and the first major professional sports franchise in Las Vegas.
The league isn't expected to expand until the 2017-18 season and organizers will have to pay an expected expansion fee of $500 million.
Musical chairs in Anaheim
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — It's back to the future for the Anaheim Ducks as they have re-hired Randy Carlyle to be their head coach. He was fired by the club 4 ½ years ago and replaced by Bruce Boudreau, the man he now replaces. Carlyle led the Ducks to their only Stanley Cup championship in his first stint.
After being fired by the Ducks Carlyle took over the Toronto Maple Leafs, who fired him in January 2015. Boudreau racked up a record of 208-104-40 with the Ducks with four Pacific Division titles. He Is now the head coach of Minnesota.
Fractured elbow for Cowboys' McFadden
UNDATED (AP) — Cowboys' running back Darren McFadden fractured his right elbow in an accident at home and will likely be sidelined for the start of training camp. Cowboys' coach Jason Garrett said the accident happened during Memorial Day weekend. The fracture was discovered during a physical before the team's mandatory minicamp.
McFadden was fourth in the NFL in rushing last season with 1,089 yards.
— The Broncos have signed linebacker Brandon Marshall to a four-year, $32 million extension that runs through 2020. Marshall has posted back-to-back 100-tackle seasons for the Broncos.
— San Diego Chargers first-round draft pick Joey Bosa is skipping this week's minicamp after a dispute arose in contract negotiations. There are issues with the structure of the contract for the former Ohio State defensive end.
Series moves back East
UNDATED (AP) — There will be a Game 6 in the NBA Finals. Cleveland forced the issue with a 112-97 win over the Warriors in Oakland Monday night. The Warriors didn't have the suspended Draymond Green to help out on defense and it showed, as LeBron James and Kyrie Irving each had 41 points for the Cavaliers. But Green will be back in the lineup in Thursday's Game 6.
The Cleveland defense had a lot to say about the outcome of the game, holding Golden State to just 12 points in the final quarter.
If the Cavs win Thursday night at home, Game 7 will be Sunday back in Oakland.
Mr. Hockey draws one final crowd
DETROIT (AP) — Thousands of people waited in line at Joe Louis Arena to play their final respects to hockey great Gordie Howe. The Red Wings home arena hosted the public visitation for the former Detroit star, who died Friday at age 88.
Among those who served as pallbearers were Wayne Gretzky, NHL coaching great Scotty Bowman and Tigers Hall of Famer Al Kaline.
Tennis star appeals suspension
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has appealed her two-year doping ban to the highest court in sports, seeking a ruling ahead of the Olympics. The Court of Arbitration for Sport says Sharapova is seeking to overturn or reduce the suspension imposed by the International Tennis Federation last week after she tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January.