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sportingnews - 20090530

sportingnews - 20090530

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Published by Rodrigo Silva
Sporting News Today
Revista americana de desporto
THE WORLD’S FIRST DIGITAL
DAILY SPORTS NEWSPAPER
Sporting News Today
Revista americana de desporto
THE WORLD’S FIRST DIGITAL
DAILY SPORTS NEWSPAPER

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Published by: Rodrigo Silva on Jun 08, 2009
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NASCAR EXCLUSIVE

MLB > 13

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NASCAR > 23

COLLEGE FOOTBALL > 30

COLLEGE BASKETBALL > 30

NBA DRAFT > 5
GAME 1: TONIGHT, 8 ET, NBC

S STANLEY CUP FINALS

Meet Dale Jr.’s new crew chief
Lance McGrew is ready for “challenge” of working with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Page 23

It won’t be easy for the Penguins
SATURDAY MAY 30, 2009 SEE A DIFFERENT GAME VOLUME 1 ISSUE 312

Dale Earnhardt Jr. BASEBALL

GENE J. PUSKAR / AP

Sidney Crosby has 28 playoff points.

As division opponents, the Chicago Blackhawks already knew the Red Wings well. Now, after playing them in the Western Conference finals, that familiarity is even more intense. It won’t be easy for Pittsburgh to eliminate the champs, and Chicago players share why:

The wait is over
Matt Wieters, the crown jewel catcher of the Orioles’ rebuilding process, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his major league debut against Detroit on Friday night. Page 19

NBA PLAYOFFS

For Cavs, it’s all LeBron, all the time
TONIGHT: CLEVELAND AT ORLANDO 8:30 ET, TNT Magic lead series 3-2
BY SEAN DEVENEY sdeveney@sportingnews.com

Experience: “They’ve been in these situations before, they obviously have players playing a disciplined game. That’s what helps them more than anything. They play disciplined and smart.”
— Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith

1.

Scoreboard
NBA Playoffs
Western Conference finals L.A. Lakers 119, Denver 92 (L.A. Lakers win series 4-2)

L.A. LAKERS 119, DENVER 92

Baseball
American League Texas 6, Oakland 3, 1st game Texas 5, Oakland 2, 2nd game Baltimore 7, Detroit 2 Toronto 6, Boston 3 Tampa Bay 5, Minnesota 3 Chicago White Sox 11, Kansas City 2 N.Y. Yankees 3, Cleveland 1 Seattle 5, L.A. Angels 2 National League Chicago Cubs 2, L.A. Dodgers 1 Houston 6, Pittsburgh 1 Philadelphia 5, Washington 4 N.Y. Mets 2, Florida 1, 11 innings Milwaukee 3, Cincinnati 2 Colorado 3, San Diego 0 Atlanta 10, Arizona 6 San Francisco 4, St. Louis 2

The immediate reaction in Cleveland after Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals had to be something like this: Whew! But that dose of relief, after the Cavaliers’ difficult home victory LeBron James to keep their long-shot comeback hopes alive, was quickly tempered by another reaction altogether: Now what? The Cavs travel to Orlando tonight for Game 6, and though they’re still in the fight, it appears that the Magic have them figured out. It’s doubtful that Cleveland can expect star forward LeBron James to continue carrying them the way he did in Game 5, when he finished with 37 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists,

dominating the fourth quarter. He is averaging 41.2 points in the series. That’s both good and bad—but mostly bad. It shows how capable James is when it comes to taking over a game. But it also shows how much Cleveland’s supporting cast is struggling to help him. Although Mo Williams posted his first solid game of the series, the lineup around James could be further weakened by a hip pointer injury to Delonte West. It’s worth remembering, too, that James appeared to be fatigued in crunch time in the two previous games, and both were Cleveland losses. “(Orlando is) wearing James down,” said TNT analyst Reggie Miller. “I’m a little discouraged. I like the win, they did what they had to. But what I want to see is, (Daniel) Gibson, Mo Williams and Wally Szczerbiak, is their game going to travel?”
Cavs have to win Game 6 first, Page 8

Kobe carries Lakers back to Finals
Don’t forget Kobe Bryant. As impressive as LeBron James’ numbers have been in the East finals, Bryant’s have been comparable in the West (34.0 points, 5.8 assists and 5.8 rebounds). And there’s one big difference—Bryant has a spot in the NBA Finals, as the Lakers erased doubts and erased the Nuggets with a 119-92 Game 6 win. Care to guess who led the way? Yup, Bryant, with 35 points and 10 assists.
Lakers too much, Page 7

Chris Osgood: “He’s been good for a lot of years, but I don’t think he gets the respect he deserves. Detroit knows how valuable he is to this team. The rest of the league might not.”
— Chicago forward Patrick Sharp
all mobile, they all can move the puck and they all can hit. When you have six mobile defensemen, you can’t chip the puck and expect to get it back.”

2. 3.

Versatile defense: “They’re

— Chicago forward Kris Versteeg

Wings will win if... Nicklas
Lidstrom stays healthy and can contain the Sidney Crosby line.

Pens will win if...
Evgeni Malkin is dominant and foot injury keeps Pavel Datsyuk out long.

Prediction: Wings in 7.
— Craig Custance
Complete preview, Page 10

CHRIS CARLSON / AP

Kobe Bryant had 35 points and 10 assists as the Lakers routed Denver to return to the NBA Finals.

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See a Different Game
OFF THE FIELD
GUIDE

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

2

Tune In Today
A quick look at the best sports on TV
— all times Eastern NHL
ATHLETICS

(All times Eastern) Schedule subject to change and/or blackouts.

GOLF

Penguins at Red Wings
8 p.m., NBC
Once wasn’t enough. So the Stanley Cup finals provide a repeat performance with the Red Wings facing the Penguins for the second year in a row. The Wings won the Cup in six games last year, playing against a team whose future was bright with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as rising stars. The rematch brings the same scenario, with the Penguins counting on 2008’s disappointment to fuel their championship drive. A story line to watch? Marian Hossa left the Penguins last summer to sign with the Red Wings.

4:30 p.m. NBC—Reebok Grand Prix, at New York
AUTO RACING

— Ray Slover NBA

Cavaliers at Magic
8:30 p.m., TNT
A Cleveland win in Game 5 was to be expected, considering the Cavs were playing at home. But now is real gut-check time heading back to Orlando, where the Magic are 6-2 this postseason and 2-0 against Cleveland. LeBron James got the much-needed assistance he needs from teammates in that game, and the same needs to happen in Game 6 to send this to a Game 7. Getting Dwight Howard in foul trouble again would help the cause, too.

10 a.m. SPEED—NASCAR, Nationwide Series, pole qualifying for Heluva Good! 200, at Dover, Del. 11:30 a.m. SPEED—NASCAR, Sprint Cup, practice for Autism Speaks 400, at Dover, Del. 12:30 p.m. SPEED—NASCAR, Sprint Cup, “Happy Hour Series,” final practice for Autism Speaks 400, at Dover, Del. 2:30 p.m. ABC—NASCAR, Nationwide Series, Heluva Good! 200, at Dover, Del. 8 p.m. ESPN2—NHRA, qualifying for Summer Nationals, at Topeka, Kan. (same-day tape)
BOXING

10 a.m. TGC—European PGA Tour, European Open, third round, at Kent, England 3 p.m. CBS—PGA Tour, Crowne Plaza Invitational, third round, at Fort Worth, Texas 6:30 p.m. TGC—Champions Tour, Principal Charity Classic, second round, at West Des Moines, Iowa (same-day tape)
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

CC, Yanks arrived early to watch LeBron
Several Yankees—Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera and CC Sabathia among them— arrived in Cleveland early for this weekend’s series against the Indians so they could attend Game 5 of the CavsMagic NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Sabathia even jokingly texted Cavs star LeBron James that the former Indians pitcher was going to wear a Magic cap as payback for when James wore a Yankees cap to an Indians-Yankees playoff game in 2007 in Cleveland, TNT broadcaster Marv Albert reported. Also spotted in the crowd for Game 5, according to people.com: hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and a pair of NFL quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers and Brady Quinn of the Browns. If James and the Cavs win tonight in Orlando, to bring the series back to Cleveland for Game 7 Monday, the Yankees won’t be in the house because of a scheduling conflict. They’ll still be in Cleveland but wrap up a four-game series with a 7:05 p.m. ET game; Game 7 of Cavs-Magic is set for an 8:30 p.m. ET tip.

4 p.m. FOX—Regional coverage, L.A. Dodgers at Chicago Cubs, Atlanta at Arizona, or Minnesota at Tampa Bay 7 p.m. WGN—Chicago White Sox at Kansas City
MOTORSPORTS

9 p.m. SPEED—AMA Pro Motocross 450, at Rancho Cordova, Calif.
NBA

— Roger Kuznia BASEBALL

White Sox at Royals
7 p.m., WGN
If your spouse is only giving you a two-hour window to watch baseball tonight, take him/ her up on it because Mark Buehrle is pitching tonight for the White Sox. Buehrle works quickly and has pitched in a number of games that have taken just under two hours to play. You’ll also be seeing a pitcher on a remarkable roll—Buehrle is 6-1 with a 2.59 ERA, and his worst start was in Chicago’s season against this K.C. team.

9:45 p.m. HBO—Junior middleweights, Alfredo Angulo (15-0-0) vs. Kermit Cintron (30-2-1); champion Andre Berto (24-0-0) vs. Juan Urango (21-1-1), for WBC welterweight title, at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
COLLEGE SOFTBALL

8:30 p.m. TNT—Playoffs, Eastern Conference finals, Game 6, Cleveland at Orlando
NHL

TONY DEJAK / AP

In the pink at Colonial
The PGA Tour Wives Association is asking all players in the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and their wives to take part today in a “Pink Out,” golf.com reported, as a show of support for Phil Mickelson’s wife, Amy, who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this month. Companies including TaylorMadeadidas Golf, Ashworth, Cutter & Buck, Nike and Polo Ralph Lauren have sent pink shirts to the tournament in Fort Worth, Texas.

Mariano Rivera, left, and Alex Rodriguez were part of the Yankees’ contingent at Quicken Loans Arena.

8 p.m. NBC—Playoffs, Stanley Cup finals, Game 1, Pittsburgh at Detroit
RUGBY

Noon ESPN—NCAA Division I, World Series, Games 7 & 8 at Oklahoma City 7 p.m. ESPN—NCAA Division I, World Series, Games 9 & 10 at Oklahoma City

9 p.m. ESPN CLASSIC—Playoffs, Super League, championship match, teams TBA, at Glendale, Colo.
TENNIS

— Roger Kuznia

1:30 p.m. NBC—French Open, early round, at Paris (same-day tape)

Barack Obama in his high school basketball uniform, scheduled to be a giveaway today at a minor league baseball game in Charleston, W. Va., apparently didn’t get the nod from customs officials in Los Angeles. The Class A West Virginia Power of the South Atlantic League said Thursday that the bobbleheads have been at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection warehouse since May 20. Fans will be given vouchers to pick up the bobbleheads once they arrive, a team spokeswoman said.

Corso, who recently suffered a minor stroke, said in a statement that he has “no permanent damage.” He said he is expected to make a full recovery and plans on being back for the kickoff of the 2009 season.
Baseball Hall of Fame announcer Harry Kalas, who broadcast 6,037 Phillies games over 39 years before his sudden death last month, will be inducted into the team’s Wall of Fame on Aug. 7 at Citizens Bank Park, the Philadelphia Business Journal’s John George reported. — Compiled by Bob Hille, with wire reports

A head-shaking delay
A thousand bobbleheads of President

Quick hits
ESPN college football analyst Lee

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

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My Profile

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

3

Mark Murphy

Packers president
(What you won’t find on Facebook … even if you are approved as a friend)

THE WORLD’S FIRST DIGITAL DAILY SPORTS NEWSPAPER

Born: July 13, 1955, in Fulton, N.Y. Status: Married Alma mater: Colgate What’s on TV: 24, The Office, 30 Rock, House, American Idol What’s in my iPod: Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Elton John, Cher, Journey, Steely Dan, Chicago, CCR, John Mellencamp What I drive: White 2008 Chevy Tahoe Favorite flick: Rocky What I’m reading: What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis Magazine subscriptions: Time, The Week, Sports Illustrated, Sporting News, SportsBusiness Journal Bookmarks: Packers.com, Northwestern.edu, Colgate.edu

Superstition: Don’t step on cracks Worst habit: Clearing my throat On my office walls: Pictures, plaques and game balls from the Packers, Colgate, Northwestern and the Packers Love to trade places for a day with … Tiger Woods. I would love to see what it would be like to be that dominant in your profession. First job: Soda vendor at Rice Stadium, Houston, at Rice University football games. I was 14 years old. Think I made a nickel for every soda sold. Talent I’d most like to have: Singing Favorite meal: Anything Mexican Favorite athlete to watch in another sport: Tiger Woods Favorite city to visit: New York City Favorite team as a kid: Buffalo Bills Favorite value in others: Positive attitude Favorite physical attribute about myself: Long legs And least … Big feet—size 15 Dream date: My wife Laurie My greatest love: Laurie. We will have been married 30 years in June. My hero: My father Hugh My bucket list: 1. Travel to Alaska, 2. Hit a hole in one, 3. A Super Bowl championship for the Packers My motto: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep your eye on the big picture. — Jeff D’Alessio
MIKE ROEMER / AP

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ON NEWSSTANDS NOW

A Division I head basketball coach at 31? If anyone can do it, it’s Memphis’ Josh Pastner, Sporting News college hoops expert Mike DeCourcy explains in the new magazine.

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Overnight Report
Seattle 5, L.A. Angels 2

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

4

BASEBALL / NATIONAL LEAGUE San Francisco 4, St. Louis 2

BASEBALL / AMERICAN LEAGUE

Sandoval makes solid return
SAN FRANCISCO—Matt Cain shook his head and smiled when talking about Pablo Sandoval’s return to the lineup on Friday night. “He just wakes up and hits,” Cain said. “I don’t understand how he does it, but he does it.” Sandoval drove in a pair of runs, Cain pitched six-hit ball into the seventh inning and the San Francisco Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2. Fred Lewis and Emmanuel Burriss also drove in runs for the Giants, who won their fourth straight and fifth in six games overall. Sandoval sat out four games with tightness in his right elbow and started at first base for the first time. “I didn’t realize he was playing first until we took the field,” Burriss said. “He doesn’t play for a few days and he comes in and gets a couple of knocks. We didn’t expect anything less.” Burriss added a key defensive play at second base in the seventh, when he snared Chris Duncan’s low liner with two outs and a runner on. “It was hit hard and all I had time for was a dive,” he said. “In terms of range it wasn’t that far.” Juan Uribe at third and Edgar Renteria at short also ranged wide to make nice plays against Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick to open the eighth. “Those were plays that wins ballgames,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Our defense
Giants 4, Cardinals 2 St. Louis AB R Schumaker 2b 4 0 Duncan lf 4 0 McClellan p 0 0 C.Perez p 0 0 Pujols 1b 4 1 Ludwick rf 3 1 Rasmus cf 4 0 Y.Molina c 3 0 Thurston 3b 4 0 Pineiro p 1 0 a-Ankiel ph 1 0 Boyer p 0 0 b-Stavinoha ph-lf 2 0 Br.Ryan ss 3 0 Totals 33 2 San Francisco Rowand cf Renteria ss Winn rf B.Molina c Sandoval 1b B.Wilson p F.Lewis lf Affeldt p Howry p c-Ishikawa ph-1b Uribe 3b Burriss 2b Cain p Torres lf Totals AB 4 3 3 3 4 0 3 0 0 0 4 4 2 2 32 R 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 H 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 H 1 1 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 10 BI 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 BI 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 BB 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 BB 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 SO 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 5 Avg. .302 .257 .000 --.323 .266 .232 .269 .237 .150 .244 --.237 .246

Vargas impressive again
ANAHEIM—Jason Vargas has overcome quite a few hurdles since having hip surgery in March 2008. The Seattle lefthander reached another bench mark in his comeback Friday night, beating the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 with 6 1/3 impressive innings. It was his first victory as a starter since April 13, 2006, with Florida. “It’s been a while, and it’s a good feeling—especially to do it relatively close to where I’m from,” said Vargas, from nearby Apple Valley. He came to the Mariners last December in a three-way trade with the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians in which 12 players changed uniforms. Vargas sat out the entire 2008 season recovering from his surgery, but was confident he would re-establish himself as a big league starter at age 26. After a couple of relief outings, he was inserted into the rotation because of an injury to Carlos Silva. “I didn’t have any question in my mind,” said Vargas, whose three previous starts for the Mariners resulted in no-decisions. “Once we got past the first couple of months and everything was going along as planned, I felt like it was just a matter of time before I was able to be 100 percent and that hopefully somebody would give me a chance. It’s awesome to have an organization and a coaching staff that believes that you can still pitch.” — The Associated Press
Mariners 5, Angels 2 Seattle AB R I.Suzuki rf 5 1 Y.Betancourt ss 3 0 Beltre 3b 5 0 Griffey Jr. dh 3 0 Branyan 1b 4 1 Jo.Lopez 2b 3 1 Ro.Johnson c 3 0 En.Chavez lf 3 1 F.Gutierrez cf 4 1 Totals 33 5 Los Angeles Figgins 3b Abreu rf Guerrero dh Hunter cf J.Rivera lf K.Morales 1b Napoli c Kendrick 2b E.Aybar ss Totals AB 3 4 4 3 4 3 4 3 3 31 R 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 H 2 1 2 0 2 1 0 2 1 11 H 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 1 5 BI 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 5 BI 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 BB 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 BB 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 3 SO 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 3 SO 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 5 Avg. .344 .260 .216 .213 .316 .218 .203 .281 .272 Avg. .293 .301 .208 .310 .305 .280 .275 .229 .279 5 11 1 2 5 0

If you deliver it daily, they will come.

BEN MARGOT / AP

San Francisco P Matt Cain gave up six hits to improve his record to 6-1 this season. really stepped up.” Cain (6-1) was the main benefactor of the solid play. He gave up two runs—one earned—on six hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five. He’s won his last four decisions. “You try to build off the momentum of your last start,” Cain said. “The big thing is the guys are going out and scoring early. That’s a big confidence booster when you can go out there with a lead.” Cain has pitched at least six innings in all 10 of his starts and allowed two or fewer runs in eight of them. He retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced. — The Associated Press
Red Sox fall out of first, Page 16

SO Avg. 1 .278 0 .250 0 .280 1 .254 0 .309 0 .000 0 .268 0 1.000 0 .000 0 .262 1 .288 1 .277 1 .250 2 .250 7 2 6 0 4 10 1

Seattle 003 001 010 — Los Angeles 000 010 100 —

St. Louis 000 002 000 — San Francisco 200 200 00x —

a-popped out for Pineiro in the 5th. b-grounded out for Boyer in the 7th. c-walked for Howry in the 8th. E: Burriss (5). LOB: St. Louis 6, San Francisco 8. 2B: Rowand (14). 3B: F.Lewis (2). RBIs: Rasmus (19), Sandoval 2 (19), F.Lewis (8), Burriss (11). S: Renteria. Runners left in scoring position: St. Louis 3 (Thurston 3); San Francisco 4 (F.Lewis, Rowand, B.Molina, Torres). GIDP: F.Lewis. DP: St. Louis 1 (Br.Ryan, Pujols). St. Louis IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Pineiro L, 5-5 4 6 4 4 1 3 71 3.86 Boyer 2 1 0 0 0 1 21 9.00 McClellan 1 2 0 0 0 1 21 1.88 C.Perez 1 1 0 0 1 2 25 2.45 San Francisco IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Cain W, 6-1 6 1⁄3 6 2 1 2 5 105 2.31 Affeldt H, 10 2⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 10 1.99 Howry H, 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 10 3.79 B.Wilson S, 11-14 1 0 0 0 0 0 10 4.24 Inherited runners-scored: Affeldt 1-0. HBP: by Pineiro (B.Molina). WP: Cain. Umpires: Home, Laz Diaz; First, Eric Cooper; Second, Mike Reilly; Third, Chuck Meriwether. T: 2:37. A: 35,266 (41,915).

E: Branyan (4). LOB: Seattle 7, Los Angeles 5. 2B: I.Suzuki (6), Branyan (12). HR: Jo.Lopez (4), off Lackey; J.Rivera (5), off Vargas. RBIs: I.Suzuki (15), Beltre (20), Griffey Jr. (13), Jo.Lopez (22), En.Chavez (11), J.Rivera (18), K.Morales (29). SB: En.Chavez (7). S: Y.Betancourt, Jo.Lopez. SF: Griffey Jr., En.Chavez. Runners left in scoring position: Seattle 3 (Branyan, F.Gutierrez, Griffey Jr.); Los Angeles 3 (Kendrick 2, Napoli). GIDP: Jo.Lopez, K.Morales. DP: Seattle 2 (Jo. Lopez, Y.Betancourt, Branyan), (Jo.Lopez, Branyan); Los Angeles 1 (E.Aybar, Kendrick, K.Morales). Seattle Vargas W, 2-0 White H, 3 M.Lowe H, 4 Aardsma S, 7-7 Los Angeles Lackey L, 1-1 Bulger J.Speier IP 6 1⁄3 2⁄3 1 1 IP 7 1⁄3 2⁄3 1 H 4 0 0 1 H 10 0 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 2 2 96 1.65 0 0 0 1 11 1.85 0 0 0 1 14 4.74 0 0 1 1 17 1.14 R ER BB SO NP ERA 5 5 2 2 106 6.05 0 0 0 1 4 5.40 0 0 0 0 13 5.59

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Inherited runners-scored: White 2-0. WP: White. Umpires: Home, Bruce Dreckman; First, Paul Emmel; Second, Bill Miller; Third, Bill Hohn. T: 2:28. A: 38,492 (45,257).

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Next Gen
Q&A with … F Tyler Smith

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

5

RECRUITING DISH

Four-star WR drops UCLA, for now
Junipero Serra (Gardena, Calif.) WR Paul Richardson has decided to look around, he told Sporting News Today on Friday afternoon. The 6-1, 175-pounder had been committed to UCLA since late last fall, but has re-opened the process. Richardson is rated a four-star prospect by two recruiting services. “I have no problem with UCLA,” Richardson told SN Today. “They are still high on my list, but I thought this would be better for me. I probably committed too early.” UCLA, California, Oregon, Arizona State, USC, Colorado and Oregon State are all schools he’ll now check out, but he admitted he didn’t have scholarship offers from Oregon and USC yet. “It’s just better not to be tied down just yet,” Richardson told SN Today. “I definitely want to check out everybody. I’ll still be in contact with Coach (Rick) Neuheisel and Coach (Reggie) Moore at UCLA. I’m just going to take my visits and I’ll make a decision after football and basketball are over.” As a junior, Richardson caught 48 passes for 809 yards and 13 touchdowns. His father, Paul Richardson, Sr., played receiver for the Bruins.

‘I can play, regardless of what anybody says’
Tennessee’s Tyler Smith leads a crop of college players still debating between the draft and another year of college. He spoke with Sporting News Today’s Dave Curtis at this week’s NBA draft combine about his decision, his versatility, and a couple of Volunteer coaches:

Q: A:

What do you need to hear this week to help you make a decision? It’s not really like that. I know where things stand. I just want to get back and talk with family. That’s the most important part. I think I can play, regardless of what anybody says. If I’m in, I’ll work hard to contribute to whichever team I go to.

Q: A:
PAUL CONNORS / AP

UCLA’s Rick Neuheisel, above, still has a shot at WR Paul Richardson.

Jordan Rainey is on board with Arkansas, Rivals. com reported. The 6-5, 310-pound offensive guard from Joplin, Mo., is only the Razorbacks’ second commitment for the class of 2010, while other nearby BCS programs have brought in as many as 20 commitments already. Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Missouri, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State all had shown serious interest in Rainey, but only the Razorbacks had extended a scholarship offer at this point. “Arkansas is only an hour-and-a-half away from here,” Rainey told Rivals.com. “My brother used to live down there. My family always followed Arkansas, but we were surprised when they offered. When they did offer though I started checking them out even more and it was the school for me.” Brandon Worle, an LSU commitment out of Troup (LaGrange, Ga.), informed Sporting News Today that the Tigers’ coaching staff made his day Friday. Worle,

who generally is regarded as a fullback prospect at 6-1, 240 pounds, wanted fans to know that LSU’s coaching staff said it’d give him a chance as a primary running back in the backfield, instead of just playing fullback. “Is that not good news, or what?” an excited Worle told SN Today. “LSU called and they said they wanted to play me at back, and not just fullback.” Worle committed to the Tigers in early March, and also had a scholarship offer from Oklahoma State.

What would be the benefit of going back? It’d be another great college year being able to play in a great system. We’ve got all our players coming back, and maybe we can make a run for a championship. But that’s not a given, so I can’t put too much weight on that part.

SKIP PETERSON / AP

Tyler Smith, top, sounds like a player whose mind is made up, but he’s not tipping his hand. can bring it up if I need to get my teammates open shots. That’s why I like watching LeBron (James) play. He’s big, and he can handle it well enough to set up his teammates. I could play. It gave me more respect for him. He knew I could player better, but he didn’t say anything. He just let me come into it myself.

Q: A: Q: A:

What makes that system so great? You’re able to do a lot of things. Like, I brought the ball up sometimes. I’m like a point forward. The disadvantage is that I play a lot with my back to the basket. So how is that helping or hurting you here? I think people see me as a guard, or maybe a 3, because of my size. So I think just being able to showcase my skills as a guard here will help me out a lot. … I want to be a ballhandler who

Q: A:

Denzel McCoy, a Georgia Tech commitment and a Sporting News Top 100 prospect for the class of 2010, told SN Today that he has accepted an offer to play in the Offense-Defense All-American game in January. McCoy is a 6-4, 275-pound defensive tackle out of Northview (Duluth, Ga.). He committed to play for the Yellow Jackets in early April. — Brian McLaughlin

What’s your best Bruce Pearl story? One game, my first year with him, it took me awhile to get into the flow of things. It was against Ole Miss. Once I got going and starting trusting my teammates, getting assists and scoring a little, he came back to me and said, ‘Hey, Bruce Pearl, nice to meet you.’ He said he wanted to introduce himself again because he finally saw Tyler Smith play like he knew

Q: A: Q: A:

So nothing from the boat? Or nothing about body paint? All that stuff’s funny. But he’s really a great basketball coach, too. How about Lane Kiffin? Met him yet? No. But he’s on TV a lot, on SportsCenter. He’s got a lot going on down there. But it’s going to be good for the football team. They’re going to be a lot better.

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Next Gen: NBA Draft
DRAFT DISH

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

6

2009 draft order
1. L.A. Clippers 2. Memphis 3. Oklahoma City 4. Sacramento 5. Washington 6. Minnesota 7. Golden State 8. New York 9. Toronto 10. Milwaukee 11. New Jersey 12. Charlotte 13. Indiana 14. Phoenix 15. Detroit 16. Chicago 17. Philadelphia 18. Minnesota (from Miami) 19. Atlanta 20. Utah 21. New Orleans 22. Dallas 23. Sacramento (from Houston) 24. Portland 25. Oklahoma City (from San Antonio) 26. Chicago (from Denver through Oklahoma City) 27. Memphis (from Orlando) 28. Minnesota (from Boston) 29. L.A. Lakers 30. Cleveland

Young OK after impaling; Daye, James weigh options
Sporting News Today’s Sean Deveney provides news and notes from the final day of the NBA’s predraft combine in Chicago:

No one will question the toughness of Pittsburgh F Sam Young. Nearly three weeks ago, during a workout in Toronto—his first of the workout season—Young suffered a pretty nasty injury while going through physical measurements. His arm got caught on one of the vertical-leap poles. Here’s how he tells it: “I was doing the vertical testing, and when I jumped, the knob from the pole got caught in my arm, up around my biceps. It fish-hooked me in my arm. It went through my arm, right through. It was stuck in my arm for an hour. Eventually, the paramedics got there, and they decided they were going to cut the pole off with a chainsaw. They did that, to both sides of the pole. I went walking out to the ambulance with the knob sticking out of both sides of my arm.” Young said the injury turned out to be minor and has pretty much healed up. Physically, at least. But on Friday, when Young had to again have his vertical leap measured, he admitted that he wasn’t exactly thrilled. “When I saw the vertical pole out there, I had a little phobia,” he said. “I was afraid I wasn’t going to make it. But I did it. And it did not go through my arm this time.” Two guys who are uncertain about whether they’re going to stick around in this draft are SF Damion James and PF Austin Daye. Neither has hired an agent and can return to school by the June 15 withdrawal date. Daye said he would stay in the draft only if he were sure he’d be taken somewhere in the teens. “I am probably going to go back to school if it looks like I am in the 20s,” he said. “I am definitely trying to stay out of that range, because once you’re there, there’s no telling what is going to happen. The draft can get crazy once you slide to the 20s.”

North Carolina F Wayne Ellington was appreciative of the opportunity to interview with a variety of teams over the two-day combine, but he is not sure whether the event—which featured only light drills and physical measurements—had any real impact on the draft. “You’re coming in, you’re showing your skills, shooting jump shots, doing some ballhandling,” Ellington said. “I would hope no teams are looking at this and making their decisions based on it.” PG Jonny Flynn, for his part, would much rather see fullcourt games being played. Of course, so would every general manager. But no agents would let their players participate in that setting. “I am a competitor, so to me, you get 50 guys together, 50 of the best players in the country, I want to get out there and play 5-on-5,” Flynn said. “I want that. I think I thrive that way. But, you know, not everyone feels that way.” There weren’t many surprises to come out of the measurements that were released by the league on Friday. PF Tyler Hansbrough, so often knocked for being undersized and frequently listed at 6-8, actually came in at 6-9 1/2 with shoes. His standing reach was 8-10, a half-inch more than that of probable No. 1 pick PF Blake Griffin. The biggest wingspan was that of C Hasheem Thabeet, at 7-6 1/4. The next-biggest was PF Taj Gibson, at 7-4. Rumors of a rift between SF Terrence Williams and Louisville coach Rick Pitino are, according to Williams, severely overblown. In fact, Williams said, Pitino has been helping him navigate the draft process. “I don’t know nothing about the program right now, because I haven’t been there in a while,” Williams said. “But, man, me and Coach P went out to dinner last week. Tell everybody down in Louisville that Coach P is great. I talked to him last night and he told me something about one of the teams. Me and Coach P are great.”

Second Round

STEVE CANNON / AP

Not even a vertical-leap pole that impaled his arm can stop Sam Young, center, from chasing his NBA dreams. James does not have a set range in which he’d like to be picked. But he would want some guarantee, or else he will return to Texas. “I’d like to know where I am going to go before I decide,” James said. “If a team tells me they’re going to take me, then I’d stay in.” One thing that could hurt Daye: He couldn’t lift 185 pounds in the weight testing, while big men like PF Jordan Hill (11 times) and C B.J. Mullens (10) lifted 185 multiple times. “I kind of got it up, but jerked it,” Daye said. “I know in a couple of weeks, I will be able to.” As allegations swirl around Chicago about the academic scandal brewing around PG Derrick Rose, his time at Memphis and coach John Calipari, at least one former Tiger says he was surprised by the news. “It did surprise me,” said G Tyreke Evans, who did not play with Rose but says he has gotten to know him. “Derrick Rose is a good guy. I talked to him when I came out here and in the summer in Memphis. I talked to him about the season and things like that. Hopefully, nothing bad happens that is going to affect Memphis or Coach Cal.”

31. Sacramento 32. Washington 33. Portland (from L.A. Clippers) 34. Denver (from Oklahoma City) 35. Detroit (from Minnesota) 36. Memphis 37. San Antonio (from Golden State through Phoenix) 38. Portland (from New York through Chicago) 39. Detroit (from Toronto) 40. Charlotte (from N. Jersey through Oklahoma City) 41. Milwaukee 42. L.A. Lakers (from Charlotte) 43. Miami (from Indiana) 44. Detroit 45. Minnesota (from Philadelphia through Miami) 46. Cleveland (from Chicago) 47. Minnesota (from Miami) 48. Phoenix 49. Atlanta 50. Utah 51. San Antonio (from New Orleans through Toronto) 52. Indiana (from Dallas) 53. San Antonio (from Houston) 54. Charlotte (from San Antonio) 55. Portland (from Denver) 56. Portland 57. Phoenix (from Orlando through Oklahoma City) 58. Boston 59. L.A. Lakers 60. Miami (from Cleveland)

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NBA
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

7

L.A. Lakers 119, Denver 92

Kobe takes care of his half of dream Finals
DENVER—One-half of the KobeLeBron dream matchup is set. Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are in the NBA finals for the second straight year and record 30th time overall. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will need to win two more wins to join them. Otherwise, it will be Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic on the league’s biggest stage. Not as sexy for Madison Ave., but certainly intriguing. Bryant and the Lakers dispatched Carmelo Anthony and the pesky Denver Nuggets with a 11992 victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals on Friday. “We saved our best game for last here, or maybe we caught our opponent a little bit off stride,” said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who gets a shot at his record 10th title. Bryant had 35 points and 10 assists and got plenty of scoring help from Trevor Ariza, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom as the Lakers shot 57.3 percent from the field to avoid having to play a Game 7 back at the Staples Center. They will finally get some muchneeded rest after playing every other day for a grueling two weeks. These Lakers, who are seeking their 15th title, are a more grizzled group—but also more bruised and battered—than the one that fell to Boston in the finals last year. “Now we’re in a place where we didn’t get the job accomplished last year,” Bryant said. “Hopefully we will this time.” The finals begin Thursday, at Los Angeles if Orlando wins, and at Cleveland if the Cavaliers prevail. Anthony led the Nuggets with 25 points and J.R. Smith added 24, but Denver trailed for all but a few seconds and never mounted a serious charge after halftime, although they kept hitting 3-pointers, finishing 8 of 19 from beyond the arc. This was the Nuggets’ eighth consecutive loss in a playoff elimination game. Odom and Gasol both scored 20 points and Ariza had 17, and the Lakers made all 24 of their free throws and were 9 of 16 on 3s. “We are really tough to beat because we’re using all our weapons, not focusing on Kobe or myself,” said Gasol, who had 12 rebounds and six assists. “We have a really good team and need to use everybody. That is how we are going to win it.” The Lakers might very well have been swept by the energetic Nuggets if veterans Anthony Carter and Kenyon Martin hadn’t botched inbounds passes in the final seconds of Games 1 and 3, respectively. Bryant didn’t wait for the fourth quarter Friday night to give the Nuggets, who had posted eight postseason blowouts, a taste of their own medicine. He scored 11 points in a decisive 21-7 run that gave the Lakers a 53-40 halftime lead, took the buzz out of the Pepsi Center and the air out of the Nuggets. “We had the effort and the execution to match,” Bryant said. “It took us a while to really get a feel for the team, just how to take advantage of the defense. We saw something how they were playing us and we executed extremely well.” Bryant started his run with two free throws, then hit a jumper over Smith. After Ariza’s 3-pointer, Bryant made baskets over Anthony from the left and right corners on the next two possessions, then capped the run with a dagger—a 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left following Gasol’s offensive rebound. The Nuggets trimmed their deficit to 79-67 but the Lakers replied with a 9-0 run to restore their stranglehold. Bryant scored seven straight points, including a 3-pointer that made it 101-82. “He had a great five minutes at the end of the game that no one in basketball could have covered him,” Nuggets coach George Karl lamented. Karl likes the Lakers in the finals no matter if it’s Kobe-LeBron or Kobe-Superman. “I saw little cracks in the Lakers and somehow we’ve cemented those cracks back up, and I think they’re the best team right now in the NBA,” he said. The Nuggets thought they had the Lakers right where they wanted them after stealing Game 2 in Los Angeles, but they quickly gave the homecourt edge back on Martin’s botched inbounds in Game 3 that cost them their first loss at the Pepsi Center since March 9. —The Associated Press

Series glance
(L.A. Lakers win series 4-2) May 19: L.A. Lakers 105, Denver 103 May 21: Denver 106, L.A. Lakers 103 May 23: L.A. Lakers 103, Denver 97 May 25: Denver 120, L.A. Lakers 101 May 27: L.A. Lakers 103, Denver 94 Friday: L.A. Lakers 119, Denver 92

L.A. Lakers Denver

25 20

28 20

30 27 Reb 1-4 2-12 1-1 0-4 0-6 3-8 0-1 1-1 1-1 0-0 9-38

36 — 119 25 — 92 A 0 6 1 4 10 1 2 0 3 1 28 PF 4 2 3 3 1 2 0 0 4 0 19 PTS 17 20 2 5 35 20 0 7 10 3 119

LAL Min FG FT Ariza 22:06 7-9 0-0 Gasol 42:28 8-12 4-4 Bynum 21:54 1-6 0-0 Fisher 31:42 2-3 0-0 Bryant 41:34 12-20 9-9 Odom 31:38 7-12 4-4 Farmar 8:02 0-2 0-0 Vujacic 6:55 1-2 4-4 Walton 25:25 5-7 0-0 Brown 8:16 0-2 3-3 Totals 240:00 43-75 24-24

Percentages: FG .573, FT 1.000. 3-Point Goals: 9-16, .563 (Ariza 3-4, Odom 2-2, Bryant 2-4, Fisher 1-1, Vujacic 1-2, Walton 0-1, Farmar 0-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 14 (14 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Bryant, Bynum, Gasol, Walton). Turnovers: 13 (Gasol 3, Walton 3, Ariza 2, Farmar 2, Bryant, Bynum, Fisher). Steals: 6 (Gasol 3, Ariza, Bynum, Walton). Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 10:04 second. DENVER Min FG FT Anthony 37:17 6-17 12-15 Martin 28:43 6-13 1-2 Nene 33:29 3-7 2-2 Billups 38:47 2-7 5-6 Jones 13:26 1-3 0-0 Smith 32:22 10-17 0-0 Andersen 20:51 1-1 0-0 Carter 8:38 0-2 0-0 Kleiza 19:18 2-5 0-0 Hart 2:47 0-0 0-0 Petro 2:47 1-1 0-0 Balkman 1:36 0-0 0-0 Totals 240:01 32-73 20-25 Reb 0-2 2-5 1-6 0-4 1-1 1-2 1-2 1-2 0-3 0-0 0-0 0-0 7-27 A 2 0 1 9 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 14 PF 1 4 4 4 2 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 22 PTS 25 13 8 10 2 24 2 0 6 0 2 0 92

CHRIS CARLSON / AP

Kobe Bryant had 35 points and the Lakers shot 57 percent to rout the Nuggets and advance. Instead of cruising through the West this time, the Lakers survived an arduous seven-game semifinal series against Houston and another test against Denver. “It’s been a physical march all the way back to the finals, every series has been tough,” Bryant said. The Magic lead 3-2 and can clinch the Eastern Conference finals tonight at home in Game 6 and prevent that Kobe-LeBron matchup that has basketball fans and corporate sponsors atwitter.

Percentages: FG .438, FT .800. 3-Point Goals: 8-19, .421 (Smith 4-9, Kleiza 2-4, Anthony 1-3, Billups 1-3). Team Rebounds: 9. Team Turnovers: 13 (19 PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (Andersen 3). Turnovers: 13 (Billups 5, Carter 2, Nene 2, Smith 2, Andersen, Martin). Steals: 7 (Nene 2, Andersen, Anthony, Billups, Carter, Smith). Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 0:21 first; Jones, 11:03 third. Flagrant Fouls: Billups, 5:38 fourth.A: 20,053 (19,155). T: 2:25. Officials: Joe Crawford, Mark Wunderlich, Mike Callahan.

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NBA
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

8

LeBron, Cavs know they have to win Game 6 to get to 7
ORLANDO—The Cleveland Cavaliers walked around their plush hotel room Friday, cracking jokes and making dinner plans. They mulled around in flip-flops and T-shirts, their casual attire matched only by their swagger. There were no signs of a looming playoff elimination game. The Cavs were so confident they would be back in Orlando to continue the Eastern Conference finals, they packed their bags before Game 5 and had a plane waiting on the tarmac. Cleveland coach Mike Brown even said Friday he already had booked his wife’s and kids’ tickets to Orlando before his team’s win made it official. “We just thought there would be a Game 6,” Brown said. LeBron James made sure there was, now a bigger question remains: Will there be a Game 7? “If there’s no Game 7, our season’s over,” Brown said. “So we’re here to win Game 6.” Doing so won’t be easy. The Cavaliers, with an NBA-best 66-win regular season, certainly are 0-4 this season in amped-up Amway Arena—a place the Magic start fast and finish. The Cavs have been able to build big leads in Cleveland and hold on late, a luxury they likely won’t get for Game 6 tonight. It is not only the biggest game in the Magic’s most memorable season since the Shaquille O’Neal-Penny Hardway days, it’s their best chance left to return to the NBA Finals for the first time in 14 years. The Magic don’t want to go back to Cleveland for a Game 7, although coach Stan Van Gundy brushed off and win a series after being down 3-1. But the Cavs have reason to feel they have a chance. They have James. The league MVP scored 21 points in the second half—17 in the fourth quarter—in Game 5 and had a hand in 31 straight Cleveland points. James finished with 37 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists to become the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1963 to have such numbers in a playoff game. The performance already is being compared to James’ scintillating Game 5 effort in the conference finals against Detroit in 2007, when he scored 48 points, including his team’s last 25. Cavaliers guard Delonte West, who says his hip pointer injury in Game 5 left nothing more than a big bruise on his right side (he’ll be fine to play Friday) pointed out the Cavs have a game plan no one match. “We give LeBron the ball and get out of the way,” West said. Added Cavs reserve Daniel Gibson, “we’ve got 23,” referring to James’ jersey number. Whether Cleveland can beat the Magic in a seven-game series with that strategy remains to be seen. The often one-versus-five approach has been enough to keep the Cavs in this series. If not for James’ buzzer-beating 3-pointer in Game 2, the Cavs already might be on summer vacation. James’ struggling teammates have given him little support. Even with Mo Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas having one of their best games of the series Thursday, it was James who rescued the Cavs from a fourthquarter deficit. They just spread the floor and let James go to work. “For anybody, that could be a load,” Brown said. “But that’s what makes him great. He has the capability of coming through with that. And the more we can stay from that, the better. If we only have to go to that a couple of possessions, then great.” The Magic are still plenty confident themselves. They have given Cleveland all sorts of matchup problems—height, depth, speed, size and shooting range. In almost every facet, Orlando has the advantage. The Magic also have twice ended series on the road this postseason, winning a Game 6 in Philadelphia and a Game 7 in Boston. Now safe at home, they have a chance to do something the franchise hasn’t done since 1995. “We believe we can win a championship,” center Dwight Howard said. “People used to laugh at me when I’d say that. But it’s right there for us. We have a chance to take the next step (tonight).” — The Associated Press

Today’s game
(Best-of-7) Cleveland at Orlando, 8:30 p.m., ET, TNT (Orlando leads series 3-2)

KIICHIRO SATO / AP

The numbers LeBron James put up in Game 5 (37 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists) haven’t been seen since Oscar Robertson in 1963. any notion that Orlando’s last home game in the series feels like they’re facing elimination. “No,” Van Gundy said. “I can count. I’m good at math. It’s Game 6.” The odds don’t favor the Cavs. Cleveland is trying to become just the ninth team since 1947 to rally

Betting line
Today FAVORITE ..........LINE ........O/U........UNDERDOG at Orlando ................2 ............(193) .........Cleveland

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NBA
INSIDE DISH

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

9

Playoff glance
CONFERENCE FINALS
(Best-of-7), all times ET

Eddie Jordan takes Sixers’ job; Stoudemire likes N.Y.
The Philadelphia 76ers have found their next head coach, reaching an agreement in principle with Eddie Jordan to end a search that lasted nearly three weeks. Jordan was offered the job on Friday and made the decision later that night to coach the Eastern Conference playoff team. He becomes the 22nd coach in franchise history and third since the start of last season. Jordan, fired by the Washington Wizards in November, was one of two candidates that interviewed twice with Sixers president Ed Stefanski. The Wizards owe Jordan nearly $4 million next season and would have to pay the difference on the contract from Jordan’s new team. The length of the contract and Jordan’s salary were not immediately known. Jordan is 230-288 in coaching stints with the Wizards and the Sacramento Kings. Jordan played at Rutgers and has ties with Stefanski from their four seasons together with the New Jersey Nets. Jordan was an assistant when the Nets played in two straight NBA finals and Stefanski served in various positions in the organization including general manager. “I saw firsthand the immense impact Eddie Jordan had in helping the Nets reach two NBA finals and as the head coach in Washington, he consistently put his teams in a position to win on a nightly basis,” Stefanski said in a statement. “He embodies all the qualities I was looking for in the next head coach of the Sixers and we are very excited to have him in Philadelphia.” Jordan emerged as the winner among a group of candidates that included Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau, former Dallas Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey and Sixers scout Chris Ford. The Sixers also interviewed Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis and spoke with Villanova coach Jay Wright. While the Knicks can’t be certain which free agents they’ll be able to sign in the Knicks in 2010. “I will be totally serious about that, I spent a lot of my childhood there, I have a connection with the state, and I also love the entire coaching staff,” Stoudemire said. “I think Coach (Mike) D’Antoni’s doing a phenomenal job with the Knicks, N.Y.’s a great city, I follow them closely.” Stoudemire played under D’Antoni when D’Antoni was with the Suns. He also was asked if he’s better than PF Chris Bosh, another who can become a free agent in 2010. “No doubt about it, I’m better than Chris Bosh,” Stoudemire said. PG Rafer Alston, subbing for injured starter Jameer Nelson since a February trade, would like to sign an extension with the Magic, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Alston’s contract expires next season. Because of his $5.5 million salary, Alston said he realizes he could be traded, though. PG Anthony Johnson also has another season left at $2 million, meaning Orlando would have more than $13 million tied up in three point guards, counting Nelson’s $6.1 million. Warriors G Jamal Crawford can become a free agent this summer if he decides to opt of his contract, but he said he still hasn’t made up his mind about his future. “I know there’s a lot of talk out there but I’ll just be patient and see what happens,” Crawford told AOL FanHouse. Here’s one sign that the economy will remain a key factor on how teams handle their offseasons this summer: Bucks general manager John Hammond told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the team will be making decisions based as much on financial considerations as on basketball considerations. “Right now, having (financial) discipline is the best thing for us,” said Hammond. That will affect everything from decisions on free agents Charlie Villanueva and Ramon Sessions to whom the Bucks select in the June 25 draft.

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Cleveland vs. Orlando
(Orlando leads series 3-2) May 20: Orlando 107, Cleveland 106 May 22: Cleveland 96, Orlando 95 May 24: Orlando 99, Cleveland 89 May 26: Orlando 116, Cleveland 114, OT May 28: Cleveland 112, Orlando 102 Today: Cleveland at Orlando, 8:30 p.m. Monday: Orlando at Cleveland, 8:30 p.m., if necessary

WESTERN CONFERENCE
L.A. Lakers vs. Denver
(L.A. Lakers win series 4-2) May 19: L.A. Lakers 105, Denver 103 May 21: Denver 106, L.A. Lakers 103 May 23: L.A. Lakers 103, Denver 97 May 25: Denver 120, L.A. Lakers 101 May 27: L.A. Lakers 103, Denver 94 Friday: L.A. Lakers 119, Denver 92

Finals
Cleveland-Orlando winner vs. L.A. Lakers
Thursday: Cleveland-Orlando winner vs. L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m., ABC June 7: Cleveland-Orlando winner vs. L.A. Lakers, 8 p.m., ABC June 9: Cleveland-Orlando winner vs. L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m., ABC June 11: Cleveland-Orlando winner vs. L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m., ABC June 14: Cleveland-Orlando winner vs. L.A. Lakers, 8 p.m., if necessary, ABC June 16: Cleveland-Orlando winner vs. L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m., if necessary, ABC June 18: Cleveland-Orlando winner vs. L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m., if necessary, ABC

HECTOR MATA / AP

Amare Stoudemire, who played for five seasons under coach Mike D’Antoni, would like to play for D’Antoni again. summer of 2010, Suns PF Amare Stoudemire is one big name who’s already stating he’ll give serious thought to playing in the Big Apple. According to the New York Post, Stoudemire was asked during an ESPN Radio interview Friday about how seriously he’d consider the

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NHL
PITTSBURGH VS. DETROIT Tonight, 8 ET, NBC

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

10

S STANLEY CUP FINALS

GAME 1:

Depth, addition of Hossa make Wings SN’s pick
BY CRAIG CUSTANCE | ccustance@sportingnews.com

On paper this should be an easy series to predict. The Detroit Red Wings needed only six games to handle Pittsburgh in last year’s Stanley Cup finals—after which, one of the Penguins’ best forwards joined the Red Wings. Subtract Marian Hossa from the Penguins, add him to the Red Wings and you get a Detroit sweep, right? Not even close. The roster may be similar, but this is a different Pittsburgh team than Detroit saw last spring. For one, Dan Bylsma is the new coach and has the offensively gifted Penguins playing a more aggressive up-tempo style. It’s also a Pittsburgh team more experienced this time around. “We’ve been through it,” Sidney Crosby said. “I think we’re prepared for what’s ahead. There shouldn’t be any surprises. It took us a couple games last year to get our feet under us. By that time, we were down 2-0. I think we’ll be ready from the start.”

lucrative offer from Pittsburgh to sign a one-year deal with Detroit. He thought the Red Wings had a better chance to win the Cup—and said so. Crosby said there are no hard feelings. “There wasn’t an issue here,” Crosby said on Thursday. “It was made to be a big deal. There was never an issue here, he made his choice and that was it.” On Wednesday, Hossa said he occasionally texted Crosby during the season. They’re cool. “We talked with Sid during the year a few times—good talk,” Hossa said. If Crosby and the Penguins have forgiven Hossa, they might be the only people in Pittsburgh to do so.

GERRY BROOME / AP

Sidney Crosby has averaged almost a point and a half a game in the playoffs in his career.

THE STAR SO FAR
F Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh: In 42-career playoff games, Crosby is averaging 1.43 points per game. Only Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux have higher averages. This year, he’s five goals shy of the NHL single-playoff record of 19. If the Penguins win, he’s your Conn Smythe winner.

THREE MAJOR QUESTIONS
How healthy is Detroit? The Red Wings managed to eliminate the Blackhawks despite playing the final two games of the conference finals without Norris Trophy nominee Nicklas Lidstrom, Hart Trophy nominee Pavel Datsyuk and playoff veteran Kris Draper. The team also was blindsided when impressive rookie defenseman Jonathan Ericsson missed Wednesday’s game after undergoing emergency surgery to remove his appendix. The Red Wings certainly weren’t helped by the rush to start the Stanley Cup finals this weekend. “Normally, when you win in five games, you get this little break,” coach Mike Babcock said. “But I

1.

think we’re trying to jam.” Babcock said Friday Lidstrom and Ericsson will play in Game 1 and Datsyuk will be a game-time decision.

How will Marian Hossa handle the pressure? One bonus of being a star forward for the Red Wings is you’re one of many. Hossa was able to have a quiet 40-goal season while sharing the spotlight with other star forwards like Henrik Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Johan Franzen. But now, the focus is squarely on him. He’s only the second forward in NHL history to switch sides in a finals rematch and the first since 1964, joining John MacMillan. Adding fuel to the rivalry, Hossa didn’t hide his reasoning when declining a more

2.

Will Evgeni Malkin show up this year? The RedWings were able to jump to a 2-0 lead last year, largely because Malkin was a non-factor. He was held without a point in those two games, registered only one shot on goal and was a minus-3. He got better as the series progressed and will benefit greatly from that experience. He had six goals in the four-game sweep of Carolina in the Eastern Conference finals and appears poised to break through in his second appearance in the Cup finals. “You don’t quite understand it until you’re in it,” Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. Now, Malkin understands. That makes the Penguins much more dangerous this time around.

3.

NEEDS TO RAISE HIS GAME
F Tomas Holmstrom, Detroit: Holmstrom assisted on the game-winner against Chicago on Wednesday, which was great. But it was his first point since April 23 against the Blue Jackets, way back in the first round of the playoffs. And, yes, Columbus made the playoffs.

OUR PICK
Detroit in seven: The injuries definitely scare us, but if Lidstrom can play at full speed, the Red Wings will survive the test. Detroit’s depth and experience— and don’t forget Hossa—will be enough to edge the Pens.

PAUL SANCYA / AP

Despite defecting to Detroit, Marian Hossa says he and ex-teammate Sidney Crosby are cool.

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NHL
PITTSBURGH VS. DETROIT Tonight, 8 ET, NBC

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

11

S STANLEY CUP FINALS

GAME 1:

Stanley Cup finals
Detroit vs. Pittsburgh
(Best-of-7), All times ET Today: Pittsburgh at Detroit, 8 p.m., NBC Sunday: Pittsburgh at Detroit, 8 p.m., NBC Tuesday: Detroit at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m., Versus Thursday: Detroit at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m., Versus Saturday, June 6: Pittsburgh at Detroit, 8 p.m., if necessary, NBC Tuesday, June 9: Detroit at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m., if necessary, NBC Friday, June 12: Pittsburgh at Detroit, 8 p.m., if necessary, NBC

NOTEBOOK

Flop by Pens’ Fleury not likely to be repeated in finals
DETROIT—The Pittsburgh Penguins are set to put the experience of last year’s Stanley Cup finals appearance to good use in the rematch against the Detroit Red Wings. No one more than Marc-Andre Fleury. The young Penguins goalie took a flop as he raced to the ice before Game 1 at Joe Louis Arena. He ran down the tunnel before the final warmup and tumbled off the step and onto the ice. He has a chance to make up for that entrance when this year’s final series kicks off again in Detroit tonight. Fleury has taken note of where the red carpet will be and other quirky spots in the aging arena. “I also know the size of the door, you know,” he said Friday with a laugh. “They’re a little smaller here so I’ve got to watch for that.” Fleury shared the podium during Friday’s media day with Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who couldn’t resist a wide smile and a bit of a laugh as Fleury recalled what is likely his most embarrassing hockey moment. “I heard a lot about it,” Fleury said. “I got made fun of for that.” Even Penguins general manager Ray Shero couldn’t resist getting in a shot at Fleury. “Marc-Andre needs to make a good appearance as he jumps onto the ice and not step on the carpet,” Shero said. “That would be really good. For us to have success in the Stanley Cup finals, we have to

Wait, didn’t we win?
Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock admits that Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is the face of the NHL, but that campaign might have gone a bit too far. On the eve of the Stanley Cup finals rematch between the defending champion Red Wings and Penguins, Babcock joked that maybe there has been some revisionist history created by the NHL’s marketing department. “We know them, they know us. Should be a good battle. I think it’s real good for the National Hockey League,” Babcock said. “We’re an Original Six team with real good players. Sidney Crosby, I mean, you can’t turn on any TV that covers hockey without seeing him. “Actually, when I watch the commercials from last year I think they won, not us. So I have to check every once in a while to get that figured out.”

The 22-year-old forward was ready to play an increased role in the last game of the Western Conference finals when Detroit’s injurydepleted team needed him. In perhaps one of the most spectacular efforts on a penalty kill, Helm kept the puck away from the Chicago Blackhawks by himself. “That was impressive,” teammate Kris Draper said Friday. “As a penalty killer, you love to be able to hold onto the puck and drag it for a little bit. But for 26, 27 seconds or whatever it was, there were two guys on him and he was going in between them, under some guys and ended up getting a great scoring chance.”

Betting line
FAVORITE ..........LINE UNDERDOG............... LINE at Detroit ................-160 Pittsburgh .....................+140

Odds to win series
Detroit ....................-150 Pittsburgh..........+130

NHL calendar
Through today—NHL Combine, Toronto. June 18—NHL awards show at Las Vegas. June 26-27—NHL draft, Montreal. July 1—Free agency signing period begins. July 5—Deadline for playerelected salary arbitration. July 6—Deadline for clubelected salary arbitration. July 10—Deadline for eligible players to elect Group 5 free agency. July 20-Aug. 4—Salary arbitration hearings held. Aug. 6—Deadline for salary arbitration decisions to be rendered.

Tuning in
Versus has something to look forward to as it gears up to televise Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup finals between the defending champion Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The justcompleted conference finals on Versus were the highest-rated third round on cable since 1998. The second round was the best on cable since 1997. Versus has posted a 27 percent increase in viewership over last year. In the conference finals, the rating rose to 1.5 over last year’s 1.2—a 25 percent increase. Total viewership in the round that featured Detroit’s five-game win over Chicago in the Western Conference and Pittsburgh’s sweep of Carolina in the East went up 30 percent. — The Associated Press

Houdini Helm
The Red Wings like prospects to become “over ripe”—as general manager Ken Holland says—in the minors before getting a chance to play a lot for them in the regular season. If the young players are good enough to dominate for Grand Rapids in the AHL, they get an opportunity in the playoffs. Darren Helm is a the latest example of the patient strategy working well.

KARL B. DEBLAKER / AP

Marc-Andre Fleury had a rough introduction to the finals last season. continue playing the way we’re playing. You can talk about the experience we drew upon last year, but those are words. We’re going to see at the end of the series whether or not it’s going to be a factor or not. So I really don’t have an answer as to what this experience from last year is going to mean.”

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INSIDE DISH
(Through May 29)

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

12
17 13 15 14 17 14 17 16 16 16 13 13 11 17 14 17 GP 18 17 10 16 16 17 17 6 13 7 16 11 17 17 G 6 3 9 2 7 1 2 3 14 2 8 4 1 5 3 GP 16 17 10 17 17 14 16 16 16 15 14 11 16 11 16 14 S 17 9 34 8 28 4 8 12 63 9 38 19 5 25 15 9 9 9 8 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 GW 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 PCTG 35.3 33.3 26.5 25.0 25.0 25.0 25.0 25.0 22.2 22.2 21.1 21.1 20.0 20.0 20.0 +/16 12 12 11 10 10 10 9 9 8 8 8 8 7 7 7

NHL playoff leaders
Goals
Name Team Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Johan Franzen, Detroit Eric Staal, Carolina Patrick Kane, Chicago Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Daniel Cleary, Detroit Corey Perry, Anaheim Bill Guerin, Pittsburgh Jussi Jokinen, Carolina Patrick Sharp, Chicago Jonathan Toews, Chicago Ruslan Fedotenko, Pittsburgh Marian Hossa, Detroit Phil Kessel, Boston Marc Savard, Boston Martin Havlat, Chicago Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Michael Ryder, Boston Sergei Samsonov, Carolina Mikael Samuelsson, Detroit Alexander Semin, Washington GP 17 17 14 16 18 16 16 16 13 17 18 17 17 17 16 11 11 16 13 11 17 16 14 GP 17 17 13 16 14 17 17 15 16 14 16 14 14 16 17 17 14 18 13 11 17 18 GP 17 17 17 16 14 13 14 11 17 18 17 16 GP 17 14 G 14 12 11 10 10 9 9 8 8 7 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 A 16 14 14 13 12 11 11 10 10 10 9 9 9 9 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 PP 5 5 5 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 PPP 12 10 Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Kris Versteeg, Chicago Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Brian Campbell, Chicago Johan Franzen, Detroit Martin Havlat, Chicago Patrick Kane, Chicago Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Chris Pronger, Anaheim Brian Rafalski, Detroit Brent Seabrook, Chicago Alexander Semin, Washington Jonathan Toews, Chicago

Balsillie unveils plans for Hamilton arena renovation
Jim Balsillie, the BlackBerry CEO who has made an offer to buy the Phoenix Coyotes and move them to southern Ontario, has unveiled his vision for a revamped Copps Coliseum, the Hamilton arena he hopes will become the team’s new home. Balsillie’s plan for the 24-year-old building includes an atrium-style entrance lobby, luxury boxes, lounges and restaurants, new seats and a stateof-the art video scoreboard. It would seat about 18,000. But what’s unclear is who will foot the bill for the $150-million renovation. A Balsillie spokesman said Friday that he would cover the cost of “short-term” renovations but added that the rink is owned by the City of Hamilton, which could request infrastructure funds from the federal and provincial governments. “A new team for the best new hockey market deserves spectacular new home ice, and that’s exactly what the upgraded Copps Coliseum would offer,” Balsillie said in a release. “This facility will deliver unparalleled excitement and bring fans closer than ever to the action.” Balsillie has made a $212.5-million bid for the financially ailing team—on the condition he can move it to Hamilton. The NHL is against the move and wants to find a buyer who will keep the team in Glendale, Ariz. Earlier this month, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty left the door open to using public funds for the project but said he would have to wait and see if “we get a sensible proposal.”
Hundreds of mourners packed a Toronto-area church Friday for the funeral of former NHL player Peter Zezel, being a good team.” According to TSN, Montreal police have cleared Andrei Kostitsyn and Sergei Kostitsyn of any illegal activity after the Canadiens players were linked to a man who was arrested in a sting operation in February. TSN cited a report by Le Journal de Montreal that the police checked out 5,000 phone calls made by Pasquale Mangiola in search for any incriminating evidence against the brothers. A police spokesman told the newspaper that about 2,000 of the calls involved the Kostitsyns, but there was no evidence of criminal activity. Mangiola faces several charges, including drug trafficking, conspiracy and possession of a firearm in connection with cocaine transactions.
DAVE CHIDLEY / AP

Game-winning goals
Name Team Jussi Jokinen, Carolina Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Steve Bernier, Vancouver Daniel Cleary, Detroit Johan Franzen, Detroit Bill Guerin, Pittsburgh Tyler Kennedy, Pittsburgh Patrick Marleau, San Jose Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Sami Salo, Vancouver Mikael Samuelsson, Detroit Marc Savard, Boston Patrick Sharp, Chicago Jonathan Toews, Chicago Name Team GP Marc Savard, Boston 11 R.J. Umberger, Columbus 4 Patrick Kane, Chicago 16 Christopher Higgin, Montreal 4 Jussi Jokinen, Carolina 18 Fredrik Modin, Columbus 4 Eric Nystrom, Calgary 6 Sami Salo, Vancouver 7 Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh 17 Claude Giroux, Philadelphia 6 Daniel Cleary, Detroit 16 Henrik Sedin, Vancouver 10 Kris Russell, Columbus 4 Michael Ryder, Boston 11 Mats Sundin, Vancouver 8

Assists
Name Team Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Valtteri Filppula, Detroit Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Brent Seabrook, Chicago Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh Martin Havlat, Chicago Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Johan Franzen, Detroit Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Alexander Semin, Washington Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Dave Bolland, Chicago Brian Campbell, Chicago Mike Green, Washington Joni Pitkanen, Carolina Chris Pronger, Anaheim Michael Ryder, Boston Kris Versteeg, Chicago Ray Whitney, Carolina

Shooting percentage

Jim Balsillie’s plan for the Copps Coliseum includes an atrium-style entrance lobby, luxury boxes and new seats. according to The Associated Press. Zezel, who played three-plus seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, died Tuesday at age 44 after suffering from a rare blood disorder for the last 10 years. Among those in attendance were former Leafs teammates Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark, and former Toronto general manager Cliff Fletcher. After the service, Clark called Zezel an “ambassador for the game, an ambassador for how to love life and have fun.” The Toronto native played 15 NHL seasons and scored 219 goals in 873 games. The Denver Post reported that Colorado coach Tony Granato, who remained quiet while the Avalanche offered former goaltending great Patrick Roy his job, spoke briefly with Sportsnet.ca, a Canadian broadcast outlet. “I still love being part of (the team), and I understand that some of the things that happen within any position aren’t always fun, but you deal with them and hope better days are ahead,” Granato told Sportsnet after hearing that Roy had turned down the offer. “I wouldn’t look at it any other way than to be excited to get back and try to get our team back on track. “That’s the only way to look at it. I still think there are some good things this organization can do. With the third pick in the draft and some healthy bodies back to go with a few adjustments to our lineup, I think we can get back to

The St. Petersburg Times reported that Dominick Tortorella, the 19-year-old son of New York Rangers coach John Tortorella, was arrested early Friday morning for “obstructing or opposing an officer without violence.” According to the report, Dominick Tortorella was arrested at 1:14 a.m. by Tampa police when he disregarded an officer’s order to leave the area. The police reportedly were assisting the Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco in an operation when the incident occurred. A lawyer for Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur says his client will appeal his conviction on a charge of giving contradictory testimony, according to TSN. Gilles Ouimet says a motion to appeal was filed this week after the former Montreal great was found guilty of giving contradictory testimony during his son’s bail hearing in 2007.

Power play goals
Name Team Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Jonathan Toews, Chicago Johan Franzen, Detroit Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Marc Savard, Boston Patrick Sharp, Chicago Eric Staal, Carolina Kris Versteeg, Chicago Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit

Plus/minus
Name Team Daniel Cleary, Detroit Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Milan Lucic, Boston Bill Guerin, Pittsburgh Mark Eaton, Pittsburgh Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Valtteri Filppula, Detroit Johan Franzen, Detroit Jonathan Ericsson, Detroit Tom Poti, Washington Brian Rafalski, Detroit Brad Stuart, Detroit Phil Kessel, Boston Brett Lebda, Detroit Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit

Power play points
Name Team Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit

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INSIDE DISH

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

13

THE LAUNCHING PAD
What to expect in the major leagues today

Rockies fire Hurdle, call on Tracy for rest of season
The Rockies fired manager Clint Hurdle less than two years after their incredible “Roctober” run to the World Series. He was replaced by bench coach Jim Tracy. Without reliable hitting, pitching or defense, the Rockies stumbled to an 18-28 start entering Friday. Hurdle, who had been Colorado’s manager since replacing Buddy Bell three weeks into the 2002 season, was 534-625 for a .460 winning percentage in his seven-plus seasons. Since the Rockies’ one and only trip to the World Series in 2007, where they were swept by the Boston Red Sox, Colorado was 24 games under .500 with Hurdle at the helm. Tracy has a 562-572 managerial record with the Los Angeles Dodgers (2001-05) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2006-07), with a division title in 2004. He joined the Rockies’ staff this winter at the behest of general manager Dan O’Dowd. Phillies P Brett Myers will have hip surgery, and he could miss the rest of the season. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Myers has a torn labrum and no date has been set for surgery. Myers was examined by Dr. Bryan Kelly in New York on Friday and Kelly recommended the surgery. Phillies team doctor Michael Ciccotti said Myers could return to mound to begin throwing 10 to 12 weeks after the operation and it would be another three to six weeks before the pitcher would be ready. Amaro said the team will look for Myers’ replacement in the organization, despite rumors the Phillies crashing into the outfield wall earlier this week, Yankees OF Melky Cabrera (shoulder) will be available off the bench this weekend, according to The Star Ledger in New Jersey. It’s the latest bit of good news for the Yankees, who learned earlier this week that P Brian Bruney (elbow) wouldn’t need surgery. A day after Astros general manager Ed Wade told the Houston Chronicle that he doesn’t give votes of confidence, Astros owner Drayton McLane did just that. Amid speculation that manager Cecil Cooper’s job is in jeopardy because of the last-place Astros’ poor start, McLane came to Cooper’s defense. McLane told the Houston Chronicle, “He’s only been the manager for a year and a half. I think that’s somewhat premature (to discuss firing Cooper).”
EVAN VUCCI / AP

ROB CARR / AP

CC Sabathia will make his first start in Cleveland since last July’s trade.

Good to CC ya
Former Indians ace and current Yankees multimillionaire CC Sabathia will start at Progressive Field tonight for the first time since his trade to Milwaukee last July. Of Sabatahia’s 121 career wins, 106 came in a Cleveland uniform. These two teams split a four-game series at Yankee Stadium in April, with Sabathia getting a no-decision in his start. In 5 2/3 innings, he allowed one earned run but tied a season high with five walks allowed. After handing out 14 free passes in his first four starts, Sabathia has walked only seven batters in his past six outings.

Brett Myers will miss the rest of the season after deciding to have surgery on his right hip. were interested in trading for a pitch. er. Before Friday’s game at Wrigley Field, Dodgers manager Joe Torre told reporters that OF Manny Ramirez should skip the All-Star Game. Despite being suspended for 50 games for testing positive for violating baseball’s drug policy, Ramirez is fourth among N.L. outfielders in the All-Star voting. According to the Chicago Tribune, the White Sox placed OF Carlos Quentin (foot) on the 15-day disabled list Friday. The move is retroactive to May 26. Quentin, who broke through with a .28836-100 season in 2008, is hitting .229 with eight homers and 20 RBIs this season. In a corresponding move, the White Sox activated OF Dewayne Wise (shoulder) from the disabled list. Although it might be a case of too little, too late, Diamondbacks P Brandon Webb (shoulder) told The Arizona Republic that he hopes to return before the All-Star break. The 22-game winner from last season hasn’t pitched since opening day and has just started playing catch. Webb hopes to being throwing off flat ground next week, and if that goes well, the next step will be throwing off a mound in a bullpen session. Still not ready to start after

The Mets traded backup C Ramon Castro and cash to the White Sox for P Lance Broadway. Castro hit .253 with three homers and 13 RBIs in 26 games this season with New York. Castro was made expendable by the play of rookie Omir Santos, who drove in both runs in the Mets’ 2-1 victory over the Florida Marlins in 11 innings on Friday night. According to the St. Louis PostDispatch, the Cardinals are in “factgathering” mode with SS Khalil Greene. Greene suffers from anxiety problems that have affected him on the field and off, and he was held out of the lineup Wednesday after what manager Tony La Russa called a “tough game” on Tuesday.

A little support
Few will claim Barry Zito still has the stuff he did in his prime, but his 1-5 record this season is deceiving. The Giants have scored a total of 23 runs in his nine starts, and twice Zito has settled for a no-decision despite tossing seven scoreless innings. Tonight, he will make only his second start against a non-A.L./N.L. West foe this season when the Cardinals visit AT&T Park. Taking the hill for St. Louis will be Chris Carpenter, who has yet to allow an earned run in 23 innings pitched this season and has a 23:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Palm ball
Who is Matt Palmer, and what is he doing in the Angels’ rotation? Because of the injuries (and tragedy) that decimated Los Angeles’ starting five, the team had to dig deep into its system to find a capable arm. At the time of his callup, the 30-year-old Palmer had an 11.74 ERA in two starts at Class AAA. Going into tonight’s start against Seattle, Palmer is 5-0 with a 4.82 ERA, though the Mariners roughed him up (five earned runs in five innings) earlier this month. Unlike Zito, Palmer gets plenty of run support (46 runs in his six starts).

— Chris Bahr

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Q&A with ... Orioles RF Nick Markakis

Markakis excited about his start, organization’s future
As the new face of the Baltimore Orioles, courtesy of the six-year, $66.1 million contract extension he signed in the offseason, Markakis is following in the footsteps of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken—perhaps the most beloved figure in Baltimore’s tradition-rich baseball history. Markakis recently spoke with Sporting News’ Bill Eichenberger about where he and the Orioles stand as they attempt to reclaim past glory.

pitcher should. It’s different once you get to the outfield. You work on being accurate. You don’t necessarily have to have the strongest arm, but I like to be accurate, get rid of the ball quickly and make a good throw every time.

Often overlooked
Why should Nick Markakis get more attention as a superstar in the game? A few of his teammates weigh in: “You look at his credentials, not only offensively, but I think people don’t pay as much attention defensively. I think he had 17 outfield assists last year. And it’s not just throwing. He plays a great outfield when it comes to fly balls, sinking line drives that he catches. Plus, he hits lefties as good as he hits righties. He hits for power. He hits for average. He gets on base. He drives in runs. All those things are hard to come by in one player. When a guy can hit .300, hit 20-plus home runs, drive in 100 runs, be on base 40 percent of the time and play great defense, how can you not mention him as one of the game’s greats?” — Orioles 2B Brian Roberts “He puts up consistent numbers. He hasn’t hit 30 homers yet, but I think he is on his way. He’s just one of those guys who’s not just a bat. It’s just something you see. He’s just one of those guys who will dive for you, slide for you, go into a wall for you. Then he has the bat to back it up.” — Orioles RP George Sherrill “Nick is one of my favorite players. He is a great teammate. He works hard. He plays hard. He’s ready to play every day and gives us 100 percent on and off the field. He’s a great player, and I believe he is truly one of the superstars in the game. He deserves everything he’s getting with his new big contract.” — Orioles RP Danys Baez

You’ve been red hot and are on pace to establish new career highs in just about every key offensive category. Is this your best start? If you’ve looked at my track record, yes, absolutely 100 percent. It’s my best start ever—college, minors, high school, here in pro ball. I can’t complain.

Q: A:

Q: A:

Q: A: Q: A: Q: A:

What about the team’s start? It’s early. We have great potential, great guys here. It’s going to be a grind. But we’re going to play hard every day.

You’ve obviously accomplished that, leading the majors with 17 outfield assists last season. But do you ever have to fight the urge to get back on the mound? It’s always in the back of my mind. I’ve done it for so long it’s kind of hard to let it go. I mess around with it. I go in the bullpen sometimes and mess around. But as far as that goes, I know it’s behind me. I’ll always have a love for it. But I’ve moved on. How long will it be before the Orioles are back in contention in the A.L. East? It’s hard to say. Baseball is a game of having everybody clicking at the right time. Once we get some of these guys up here and establish a lineup, a rotation and a bullpen, I wouldn’t say it’s out of the question next year. It’s all a matter of getting everybody up here, so we can know what everybody can and can’t do. How does it make you feel when your teammates and others in baseball mention you and your allaround game as belonging among the elite players in the game? It makes you feel good. It makes you appreciate all the hard work you’ve done to get here. You grow up watching these guys play, and you never think you are going to be out there playing with them one day. And when it does come, you make the best of it. You go out there and have fun, and whatever happens, happens.

Is it hard to not get frustrated that the team is not improving more quickly? No. Baseball is a game of being patient. It’s a long season. A lot can happen. If you get frustrated, it just makes it worse, makes it a lot harder. That’s one thing that I’ve learned. You just have to compete every day. That’s all you can do. With the long-term contract that you agreed to in the offseason, you obviously see a bright future for this franchise. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for this team? Absolutely. I’ve said it a thousand times. (President of baseball operations) Andy (MacPhail) has come in and has done nothing but make this team better. And he’s going to continue to do

Q: A:
ROB CARR / AP

The Orioles’ Nick Markakis is on pace to tie his career high in homers (23) and set a career-best with 129 RBIs. that. We have great young guys in the minor leagues, great pitchers. Everybody has heard about (catcher Matt) Wieters. We’re excited about getting those guys up and contributing any way they can. weird. Every time he comes in, we don’t talk about baseball. It’s just small talk. He comes in and chats with us. But it’s really just normal conversation.

Q: A:

Q: A:

Have you talked to Cal Ripken Jr. about being the face of the franchise, about what that entails and how to handle it? I talk to Cal every so often. He pops his head in every now and then. It’s

Q: A:

Do you still have that 96-mph fastball you threw as a pitcher for Greece in the 2004 Olympics? Right now, no. Whenever I was pitching, I was in a pitching routine, running every day, long tossing, throwing bullpens, just keeping my arm like a

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Baseball
Batting Average Home Runs
A.L. N.L.

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

15
Away 14-11 11-15 11-17 12-17 7-15 Away 11-14 5-15 8-12 10-15 10-17 Away 12-11 11-12 11-14 7-15

Fantasy Focus
Hitter rankings

LEAGUE LEADERS
A.L. N.L.

American League Standings
Team San Diego Philadelphia Washington Cincinnati St. Louis Arizona East New York Boston Toronto Tampa Bay Baltimore Central Detroit Minnesota Kansas City Chicago Cleveland West Texas Los Angeles Seattle Oakland 16 12 11 11 11 11 11 W 28 28 28 24 23 W 26 24 23 22 21 W 29 24 23 18 L 20 21 23 27 26 L 21 26 25 25 29 L 19 23 26 28 Pct .583 .571 .549 .471 .469 Pct .553 .480 .479 .468 .420 Pct .604 .511 .469 .391 GB WCGB L10 — — 7-3 ½ — 5-5 1½ 1 1-9 5½ 5 4-6 5½ 5 7-3 GB WCGB L10 — — 5-5 3½ 4½ 6-4 3½ 4½ 3-7 4 5 7-3 6½ 7½ 7-3 GB WCGB L10 — — 6-4 4½ 3 5-5 6½ 5 5-5 10 8½ 4-6 Str W-2 L-1 W-1 W-1 W-5 Str L-2 L-2 L-2 W-1 L-1 Str W-2 L-1 W-2 L-3 Home 14-9 17-6 17-6 12-10 16-11 Home 15-7 19-11 15-13 12-10 11-12 Home 17-8 13-11 12-12 11-13

Player Bartlett MiCabrera AdJones VMartinez Morneau ISuzuki AHill
NAM Y. HUH / AP

Team Tampa Bay Detroit Baltimore Cleveland Minnesota Seattle Toronto

.373 .363 .360 .352 .346 .344 .341

Player Beltran Pence Tejada Ibanez Hudson JUpton Two tied

Team New York Houston Houston Philadelphia Los Angeles Arizona

.358 .351 .344 .343 .338 .337 .335

Player CPena Teixeira Bay Morneau Four tied

Team Tampa Bay New York Boston Minnesota

16 15 14 14 13

Player AdGonzalez Ibanez Dunn Bruce Pujols Reynolds Two tied

18 17 16 14 14 13 12

Alexei Ramirez has been swinging a hot bat. A glance at the movers and shakers in the latest hitter rankings:

Runs
A.L. N.L. A.L.

Stolen Bases
N.L.

UP

▲ 2B/SS Alexei Ramirez, White Sox.
Ramirez has moved up to No. 2 in the order just in time to capitalize on his hot hitting. ▲ C Joe Mauer, Twins. Mauer has been an absolute beast since returning from the D.L. and leads all true catchers in home runs despite missing all of April.

Player BRoberts Scutaro AdJones Morneau Crawford Markakis Four tied

Team Baltimore Toronto Baltimore Minnesota Tampa Bay Baltimore

43 41 40 40 39 38 37

Player Ibanez Pujols Zimmerman Hudson ASoriano AdGonzalez Werth

Team Philadelphia St. Louis Washington Los Angeles Chicago San Diego Philadelphia

39 39 39 37 36 35 34

Player Crawford Ellsbury Figgins Abreu BUpton Bartlett Two tied

Team Tampa Bay Boston Los Angeles Los Angeles Tampa Bay Tampa Bay

30 21 19 15 15 14 11

Player Bourn Taveras Burriss Fowler Kemp JosReyes DWright

Team Houston Cincinnati San Francisco Colorado Los Angeles New York New York

National League Standings
East New York Philadelphia Atlanta Florida Washington Central Milwaukee St. Louis Cincinnati Chicago Pittsburgh Houston W 27 26 24 22 13 W 28 28 26 24 21 19 L 20 20 24 27 34 L 20 20 21 23 27 27 L 16 23 24 28 28 Pct .574 .565 .500 .449 .277 Pct .583 .583 .553 .511 .438 .413 GB WCGB L10 — — 6-4 ½ 1 6-4 3½ 4 5-5 6 6½ 4-6 14 14½ 2-8 GB WCGB L10 — — 4-6 — — 7-3 1½ 1½ 6-4 3½ 3½ 3-7 7 7 4-6 8 8 2-8 Str W-4 W-1 W-1 L-1 L-4 Str W-1 L-1 L-1 W-1 L-3 W-1 Str L-1 W-4 L-1 L-1 W-1 Home 16-8 10-14 11-12 9-14 7-16 Home 14-9 17-9 13-12 15-9 11-10 9-15 Home 18-5 17-8 17-6 11-18 8-13 Away 11-12 16-6 13-12 13-13 6-18 Away 14-11 11-11 13-9 9-14 10-17 10-12 Away 16-11 7-15 7-18 10-10 11-15

RBIs
A.L. N.L. A.L.

Pitching (5 decisions)
N.L.

▲ 3B Mark Reynolds, Diamondbacks.

Reynolds is flashing speed to go with his power, and should soon gain 1B eligibility.

DOWN ▼ SS Khalil Greene, Cardinals. Greene has seen decreased playing time in the past two weeks because of his anxiety disorder and was put on the D.L. Friday. ▼ OF Adam Lind, Blue Jays. Lind’s bat has cooled off this month, but he has been given a chance to work through this slump. ▼ 1B/OF Nick Swisher, Yankees. Alex Rodriguez’s return sparked Mark Teixeira, but it sent Swisher’s average and power plummeting. — Brad Pinkerton

Player Longoria Bay Morneau Hunter Markakis CPena Teixeira

Team Tampa Bay Boston Minnesota Los Angeles Baltimore Tampa Bay New York

54 48 45 40 40 40 40

Player Ibanez Fielder Dunn Pujols Hawpe Loney Two tied

Team Philadelphia Milwaukee Washington St. Louis Colorado Los Angeles

46 45 42 40 36 36 35

Player Palmer Greinke Halladay Slowey Buehrle Pettitte Penny

Team Los Angeles Kansas City Toronto Minnesota Chicago New York Boston

5-0 8-1 8-1 7-1 6-1 5-1 5-1

1.000 .889 .889 .875 .857 .833 .833

Player Martis Broxton Cain Pelfrey LiHernandez Stults Lincecum

Team Washington Los Angeles San Francisco New York New York Los Angeles San Francisco

5-0 5-0 6-1 4-1 4-1 4-1 4-1

1.000 1.000 .857 .800 .800 .800 .800

West W Los Angeles 34 San Francisco 24 San Diego 24 Arizona 21 Colorado 19 z-first game was a win

Pct GB WCGB L10 .680 — — 7-3 .511 8½ 3½ 5-5 .500 9 4 8-2 .429 12½ 7½ 6-4 .404 13½ 8½ 4-6

HIts
A.L. N.L. A.L.

Strikeouts
N.L.

Pitching Matchups Today’s Games (All times Eastern)
Team New York San Diego San Francisco Atlanta Los Angeles Arizona Florida 86 84 84 78 76 71 59 American League Boston (Penny 5-1) at Toronto (Tallet 2-3), 1:07 p.m. Minnesota (Liriano 2-6) at Tampa Bay (Price 0-0), 4:10 p.m. Detroit (Verlander 5-2) at Baltimore (Guthrie 4-4), 7:05 p.m. N.Y. Yankees (Sabathia 4-3) at Cleveland (Carmona 2-4), 7:05 p.m. Chicago White Sox (Buehrle 6-1) at Kansas City (Meche 2-5), 7:10 p.m. Oakland (Bre.Anderson 2-4) at Texas (McCarthy 4-2), 8:05 p.m. Seattle (F.Hernandez 5-3) at L.A. Angels (Palmer 5-0), 9:05 p.m. National League Florida (Jo.Johnson 3-1) at N.Y. Mets (Redding 0-1), 1:10 p.m. Atlanta (J.Vazquez 4-4) at Arizona (D.Davis 2-6), 4:10 p.m. L.A. Dodgers (Stults 4-1) at Chicago Cubs (Dempster 3-3), 4:10 p.m. Cincinnati (Harang 5-4) at Milwaukee (Bush 3-1), 7:05 p.m. Houston (W.Rodriguez 5-3) at Pittsburgh (Karstens 1-2), 7:05 p.m. Washington (Martis 5-0) at Philadelphia (Hamels 2-2), 7:05 p.m. San Diego (Geer 1-1) at Colorado (Hammel 1-3), 8:10 p.m. St. Louis (C.Carpenter 2-0) at San Francisco (Zito 1-5), 9:05 p.m. The Line at Tor -115 Bos +105 at TB -115 Min +105 Det -135 at Bal +125 NYY -160 at Cle +150 at KC -105 ChW -105 at Tex -145 Oak +135 Sea -115 at LAA +105 The Line at NYM -110 Fla +100 Atl -125 at Ari +115 at ChC -135 LAD +125 at Mil -120 Cin +110 Hou -130 at Pit +120 at Phi -220 Was +200 at Col -135 SD +125 St.L -140 at SF +130

Player AHill VMartinez Crawford MiCabrera Morneau Longoria Four tied

Team Toronto Cleveland Tampa Bay Detroit Minnesota Tampa Bay

76 69 66 65 65 64 63

Player Hudson Zimmerman Tejada Beltran FSanchez Ibanez Two tied

Team Los Angeles Washington Houston New York Pittsburgh Philadelphia

69 66 65 62 62 61 59

Player Verlander Greinke Halladay FHernandez Lester Garza Beckett

Team Detroit Kansas City Toronto Seattle Boston Tampa Bay Boston

85 81 68 66 62 60 59

Player JSantana Peavy Lincecum JVazquez Billingsley Haren JoJohnson

Doubles
A.L. N.L. A.L.

Saves
N.L.

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Player Longoria Callaspo MYoung Byrd Lind BRoberts Seven tied

Team Tampa Bay Kansas City Texas Texas Toronto Baltimore

20 17 17 16 16 16 15

Player FSanchez Tejada Hudson Kotchman Beltran FLopez HaRamirez

Team Pittsburgh Houston Los Angeles Atlanta New York Arizona Florida

18 17 16 16 15 15 15

Player Fuentes Papelbon FFrancisco MaRivera Jenks Sherrill Three tied

Team Los Angeles Boston Texas New York Chicago Baltimore

13 13 11 10 10 10 8

Player Bell FrRodriguez Cordero Qualls Hoffman Franklin Two tied

Team San Diego New York Cincinnati Arizona Milwaukee St. Louis

14 13 13 12 12 12 11

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AMERICAN LEAGUE Toronto 6, Boston 3

Jays glad to be back home again
TORONTO—With some good pitching and timely hitting, the Toronto Blue Jays finally got back in the win column. Scott Rolen and Rod Barajas each had two RBIs, righthander Casey Janssen won for the first time in more than two years and Toronto snapped a ninegame losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday. The Blue Jays returned home after losing all nine games on a three-city trip to Boston, Atlanta and Baltimore that dropped them from first to third in the AL East. Toronto won its fifth straight at Rogers Centre, where it is 17-6 overall, and ended a four-game skid against Boston. “It’s a relief to finally get (a win),” Janssen said. “Against Boston, it’s big for us.” Things might have gone differently had slumping Red Sox slugger David Ortiz got any more of the ball on a firstinning, bases-loaded drive to center. Vernon Wells turned Boston away empty-handed with a warning-track catch. “I can’t swing the bat better than that,” Ortiz said. “Things just aren’t happening. Where you hit the ball, you have no control over that. You have to wait for the ball to go somewhere nobody’s at. They get paid to catch it. I get paid to hit it.” Wells, a two-time Gold Glove winner, guessed Ortiz’s drive didn’t have enough to clear the fence. “I knew he got under it but I figured it was going to stay in the park,” Wells said. “It was just a matter of getting back there and catching it.” It still made for a nervous moment
Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 3 Boston AB R H Ellsbury cf 5 0 2 Pedroia 2b 5 0 1 J.Drew rf 4 1 1 Youkilis 1b 3 0 1 Bay lf 4 0 2 D.Ortiz dh 4 0 0 Lowell 3b 4 1 1 Kottaras c 4 1 1 Lugo ss 3 0 2 Totals 36 3 11 Toronto Scutaro ss A.Hill 2b Rios rf V.Wells cf Lind lf Rolen 3b Millar dh Overbay 1b Barajas c Totals Boston Toronto AB 5 5 4 3 4 4 2 3 4 34 R 0 0 0 2 0 1 1 1 1 6 H 2 1 1 1 1 2 0 1 1 10 BI 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 BI 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 2 6 BB 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 BB 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 1 0 5 SO 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 3 SO 1 1 0 1 1 1 2 1 3 11 Avg. .304 .330 .252 .374 .287 .189 .302 .205 .276 Avg. .294 .341 .262 .270 .283 .302 .279 .275 .295 3 11 1 6 10 0

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The Blue Jays have won five straight at the Rogers Centre and are 17-6 at home. for Janssen. “I thought it was staying in and then Vernon started drifting back and I didn’t know,” Janssen said. “Then I was just hoping.” Batting sixth for the fourth straight game, Ortiz finished 0-for-4, dropping his average to .189. After his near-miss in the first, Ortiz lined to first in the third, popped to center in the fifth and flied to left in the eighth. “All I can do about myself right now is laugh because I ain’t gonna cry,” Ortiz said. Janssen (1-1), who missed the 2008 season after shoulder surgery, started for the second time since being called up from Triple-A Las Vegas last Friday. He won for the first time since May 24, 2007, at Baltimore. — The Associated Press

E: Pedroia (3). LOB: Boston 8, Toronto 10. 2B: Ellsbury (10), Bay (12), Kottaras (5), Scutaro (15), Rios (12), Rolen 2 (15), Overbay (11). HR: J.Drew (7), off Janssen. RBIs: Ellsbury 2 (15), J.Drew (22), Scutaro (25), Rolen 2 (18), Overbay (23), Barajas 2 (26). SB: V.Wells (9). Runners left in scoring position: Boston 6 (D.Ortiz 3, J.Drew 2, Pedroia); Toronto 8 (Lind 2, Scutaro 2, Millar 2, A.Hill, V.Wells). DP: Boston 1 (Pedroia, Lugo, Youkilis); Toronto 2 (Scutaro, A.Hill, Overbay), (Scutaro, A.Hill, Overbay). Boston Wakefield L, 6-3 D.Bard Saito Toronto Janssen W, 1-1 League H, 2 Downs S, 6-7 IP H 4 2⁄3 9 2 1⁄3 0 1 1 IP H 7 11 1 0 1 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 6 6 4 5 101 4.55 0 0 1 5 32 1.08 0 0 0 1 22 3.00 R ER BB SO NP ERA 3 3 2 2 108 4.15 0 0 0 1 10 4.15 0 0 0 0 10 2.45

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Inherited runners-scored: D.Bard 1-0. HBP: by Wakefield (Rios). PB: Kottaras. Umpires: Home, Ted Barrett; First, Tim McClelland; Second, Andy Fletcher; Third, Scott Barry. T: 2:43. A: 32,026 (49,539).

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AMERICAN LEAGUE N.Y. Yankees 3, Cleveland 1

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

17

Tampa Bay 5, Minnesota 3

Chicago White Sox 11, Kansas City 2

Rays end five-game slump
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.—Back home following a calamitous trip, the Tampa Bay Rays righted themselves. Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford homered, James Shields pitched into the eighth inning, and the defending A.L. champs ended a season-high, five-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over Minnesota on Friday. “This was a make-us-feel-good type of game,” Crawford said. “We really needed it.” Shields (4-4) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven-plus innings to get his first win since May 3. The righthander gave up a solo homer to Michael Cuddyer in the sixth and a second run that scored on Justin Morneau’s RBI double off reliever J.P Howell in the eighth. The Rays stopped their longest skid since dropping seven straight heading into last season’s All-Star break. They went 2-5 on a disappointing road trip that concluded with four straight losses at Cleveland, which entered the series with the worst record in the league. “We definitely needed a win. ... It’s a good way to start a homestand,” said Shields, who had been 0-2 over his last four starts. “You just have to keep plugging away,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “We had a tough go up in Cleveland. That stuff happens during a season. I thought our guys were in good order, we just lost some games.” — The Associated Press
Rays 5, Twins 3 Minnesota AB Span lf 5 Mauer c 5 Morneau 1b 4 Kubel dh 4 Cuddyer rf 4 Crede 3b 4 B.Harris ss 4 Tolbert 2b 2 Gomez cf 3 b-Buscher ph 0 Totals 35 Tampa Bay B.Upton cf Crawford lf Longoria 3b C.Pena 1b W.Aybar dh Zobrist 2b Gross rf a-Kapler ph-rf Navarro c Brignac ss Totals AB 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 3 3 32 R 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 R 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 H 0 3 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 8 H 2 2 3 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 10 BI 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 BI 0 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 BB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 BB 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 SO 0 1 0 2 0 2 3 1 0 0 9 SO 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 5 Avg. .303 .417 .346 .323 .283 .241 .274 .194 .217 .183 Avg. .199 .320 .333 .233 .283 .305 .256 .186 .211 .167 3 8 0 5 10 1

Yanks on top for first time since ’06
Yankees 3, Indians 1 New York AB R Jeter ss 5 0 Damon lf 5 0 Teixeira 1b 5 0 A.Rodriguez 3b 4 0 Cano 2b 4 1 Posada c 3 0 H.Matsui dh 4 0 Swisher rf 2 1 Gardner cf 3 1 Totals 35 3 H 2 1 1 1 1 2 0 1 1 10 BI 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 BB 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 3 SO 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 5 Avg. .299 .299 .273 .257 .318 .325 .250 .227 .279 Avg. .323 .223 .352 .262 .267 .267 .286 .229 .171 .293 3 10 0 1 8 0

Guillen has reason to smile
KANSAS CITY—Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen was pleased with 17 hits, delighted with how his White Sox used them. “We did something we don’t do this year,” Guillen said after Chicago pounded slumping Kansas City 11-2 on Friday night. “Three times we went first-to-third, four times. We put the pressure on the guy. When we got people on base, we’d drive them in.” Starting with Jermaine Dye’s first-inning homer off Brian Bannister, everybody in Chicago’s starting lineup got involved. Everyone had at least one hit and scored at least one run. Everybody drove in a run except Brian Anderson and Jim Thome—who has 1,514 career RBIs. “We did a lot of good things,” said Guillen, whose White Sox have won seven of their last 10. Alexei Ramirez, A.J. Pierzynski and Josh Fields each had three hits. Paul Konerko, Ramirez, Dye and Fields each had two RBIs. Chicago also got good pitching. Clayton Richard (2-0) went seven innings for his second straight victory. He gave up six hits, including Billy Butler’s two-run homer, walked only one and struck out seven in his 12th major league start. The White Sox also got some good defense early, including a 6-4-3 double play to end the second inning while the outcome was still in doubt. — The Associated Press
White Sox 11, Royals 2 Chicago AB R H BI Podsednik lf 6 1 1 1 Al.Ramirez ss 6 1 3 2 Dye rf 3 2 1 2 Betemit 1b 1 0 0 0 Thome dh 3 1 1 0 a-J.Nix ph-dh 1 0 0 0 Konerko 1b 3 1 2 2 1-Wise pr-rf 1 0 0 0 Pierzynski c 5 1 3 1 Bri.Anderson cf 4 1 2 0 Getz 2b 5 1 1 1 Fields 3b 5 2 3 2 Totals 43 11 17 11 BB 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 SO 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 5 Avg. .275 .250 .277 .209 .254 .205 .315 .227 .286 .284 .244 .241 Avg. .287 .293 .238 .288 .281 .000 .250 .281 .313 .225 .176

TONY DEJAK / AP

Andy Pettitte left with a bad back, but picked up his fifth win. CLEVELAND—New York manager Joe Girardi was more concerned with Andy Pettitte’s health than the Yankee moving back atop the A.L. East for the first time in more than two years. Girardi lifted Pettitte (5-1) with a three-run lead in the sixth inning to keep the lefthander from further straining his lower back and New York moved into first place in the division with a 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night. “Andy didn’t want to come out, but I was thinking long-term and said, ‘That’s enough,’” Girardi said after New York snapped the Indians’ season-high winning streak at four games. The Yankees took a halfgame lead over Boston, which lost in Toronto 6-3. New York has won 13 of 17 since May 13 and have sole possession of first place for the first time since the final day of the 2006 season. “It’s better than not being in first place,” Girardi said. “I’m OK,” the 36-year-old Pettitte said. “I guess it’s a little bit of old age. I strained it in Texas earlier this week, then slipped a few times on the wet mound tonight. I was over-striding and the dirt was loose. Joe made the right decision.” Jorge Posada had two hits in his return to the Yankees’ lineup. The catcher missed 22 games with a strained right hamstring. Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances. —The Associated Press

Cleveland AB R H BI BB SO A.Cabrera ss 5 0 2 0 0 2 Sizemore dh 5 0 1 0 0 1 V.Martinez 1b 4 0 0 0 1 0 Jh.Peralta 3b 3 0 0 0 1 0 DeRosa lf 3 1 1 0 1 1 B.Francisco rf-cf 3 0 2 0 1 0 J.Carroll 2b 3 0 0 0 1 1 Shoppach c 4 0 1 0 0 1 Crowe cf 2 0 0 0 0 0 a-Choo ph-rf 1 0 1 1 0 0 Totals 33 1 8 1 5 6 New York Cleveland 021 000 000 — 000 001 000 —

Minnesota 000 001 020 — Tampa Bay 001 003 01x —

a-was announced for Gross in the 6th. b-walked for Gomez in the 9th. E: Longoria (5). LOB: Minnesota 8, Tampa Bay 5. 2B: Mauer (6), Morneau (15), B.Harris (6), W.Aybar (6), Zobrist (13). 3B: Mauer (1). HR: Cuddyer (9), off J.Shields; Crawford (2), off S.Baker; Longoria (13), off S.Baker. RBIs: Morneau (45), Cuddyer (33), Crawford (23), Longoria 3 (54), W.Aybar (13). CS: Zobrist (2), Kapler (1). S: Tolbert. Runners left in scoring position: Minnesota 5 (Cuddyer, Gomez 2, Kubel, B.Harris); Tampa Bay 2 (Kapler 2). DP: Minnesota 1 (Mauer, Mauer, B.Harris). Minnesota S.Baker L, 2-6 Henn Crain Mijares Guerrier Tampa Bay J.Shields W, 4-4 Howell H, 4 Wheeler H, 7 Choate S, 1-1 IP 5 2⁄3 1⁄3 1 1⁄3 1⁄3 1⁄3 IP 7 1 2⁄3 1⁄3 H 7 0 2 1 0 H 7 1 0 0 R ER BB SO 4 4 0 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 R ER BB SO 2 2 1 5 1 0 0 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 NP ERA 96 6.32 4 3.86 29 7.36 15 2.30 5 3.70 NP ERA 99 3.53 24 2.52 13 4.67 4 3.86

a-hit a sacrifice fly for Crowe in the 6th. LOB: New York 10, Cleveland 11. 2B: Posada (7). RBIs: Jeter (23), Teixeira (40), Swisher (28), Choo (29). SB: B.Francisco (8). S: Gardner. SF: Swisher, Choo. Runners left in scoring position: New York 8 (Posada 2, A.Rodriguez 2, Gardner, H.Matsui 2, Damon); Cleveland 6 (Shoppach 2, DeRosa 2, A.Cabrera, V.Martinez). DP: New York 1 (Jeter, Cano, Teixeira). New York IP Pettitte W, 5-1 5 Aceves H, 2 3 Ma.Rivera S, 10-11 1 Cleveland IP Cl.Lee L, 2-6 6 Herges 2 R.Perez 1 H 6 1 1 H 9 1 0 R 1 0 0 R 3 0 0 ER 1 0 0 ER 3 0 0 BB 5 0 0 BB 2 1 0 SO NP 1 84 3 42 2 16 SO NP 5 112 0 28 0 11 ERA 4.10 2.75 2.61 ERA 3.16 1.17 13.89

Kansas City AB R H BI BB SO Bloomquist cf 3 0 0 0 0 1 b-Maier ph-cf 0 0 0 0 1 0 DeJesus lf 4 1 0 0 0 2 Butler 1b 4 1 2 2 0 0 J.Guillen rf 3 0 0 0 0 0 c-Hulett ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 Jacobs dh 4 0 0 0 0 2 Teahen 3b 3 0 2 0 1 1 Callaspo 2b 3 0 2 0 1 0 Olivo c 4 0 0 0 0 1 Lu.Hernandez ss 2 0 0 0 1 0 Totals 31 2 6 2 4 7

Chicago 130 016 000 — 11 17 0 Kansas City 000 002 000 — 2 6 1 b-walked for Bloomquist in the 8th. c-flied out for J.Guillen in the 9th. 1-ran for Konerko in the 6th. E: Bannister (1). LOB: Chicago 9, Kansas City 6. 2B: Pierzynski (5), Bri.Anderson 2 (4), Fields (4), Callaspo (17). HR: Dye (13), off Bannister; Butler (4), off Richard. RBIs: Podsednik (6), Al.Ramirez 2 (22), Dye 2 (33), Konerko 2 (33), Pierzynski (11), Getz (7), Fields 2 (18), Butler 2 (23). SF: Konerko. Runners left in scoring position: Chicago 4 (Dye, Podsednik, Betemit, Getz); Kansas City 4 (Olivo 3, Butler). DP: Chicago 2 (Al.Ramirez, Getz, Konerko), (Fields, Getz, Konerko); Kansas City 1 (Olivo, Olivo, Lu.Hernandez, Olivo). Chicago Richard W, 2-0 Dotel Gobble Kansas City Bannister L, 4-2 Ponson Farnsworth J.Wright Mahay Bale IP 7 1 1 IP 5 1⁄3 2⁄3 1 1 1 H 6 0 0 H 9 4 1 2 1 0 R 2 0 0 R 7 4 0 0 0 0 ER BB 2 1 0 1 0 2 ER BB 6 1 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 SO NP ERA 7 92 3.38 0 19 1.10 0 15 11.81 SO NP ERA 4 87 3.64 0 24 7.27 1 9 3.57 0 19 3.70 0 15 4.08 0 11 0.00

Pettitte pitched to 3 batters in the 6th. Inherited runners-scored: Aceves 3-1. Umpires: Home, Tim Tschida; First, Bob Davidson; Second, Jeff Nelson; Third, Mark Carlson. T: 3:05. A: 32,802 (45,199).

J.Shields pitched to 1 batter in the 8th. Inherited runners-scored: Henn 1-0, Mijares 2-1, Guerrier 3-0, Howell 1-1, Choate 1-0. IBB: off Mijares (Zobrist). Umpires: Home, Dale Scott; First, Jerry Meals; Second, James Hoye; Third, Mike DiMuro. T: 3:03. A: 19,358 (36,973).

Bannister pitched to 2 batters in the 6th. Inherited runners-scored: Ponson 1-1, Farnsworth 2-1. WP: Ponson. Balk: Dotel. Umpires: Home, Ed Rapuano; First, Chad Fairchild; Second, Paul Nauert; Third, Paul Schrieber. T: 2:39. A: 26,495 (38,177).

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AMERICAN LEAGUE

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

18

Texas 6, Oakland 3, 1st game; Texas 5, Oakland 2, 2nd game

Doubleheader sweep continues hot start for Rangers
ARLINGTON, TEXAS—Scott Feldman overcame a shaky first inning to solidify his spot in the Texas Rangers rotation. Feldman scattered five hits over six innings, and the Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 to complete a doubleheader sweep on Friday night. In the first game, Andruw Jones hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth to send Texas to a 6-3 victory. Feldman (4-0) gave up two runs, struck out two and walked three to help the Rangers win for the sixth time in eight games. He allowed four baserunners in the first inning, but gave up only one run before settling down. “I thought he did an excellent job to hang in there the way he did,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. Feldman has pitched at least five innings in each of his seven starts since being inserted into the rotation on April 25 when Kris Benson went to the disabled list because of right elbow tendinitis. Feldman has a 2.59 ERA this season since coming out of the bullpen. “I started behind in the count on too many guys, and that will drive your pitch count up,” Feldman said of his early struggles. “But anytime your team wins, you’ve got to be grateful.” Jason Jennings allowed a walk in two relief innings in the second game. C.J. Wilson worked the ninth of the second game for his fourth save in five chances after earning the win in the first game. Texas (29-19) has matched the 1996 team for the second-best start in club history. The A’s had won three of their previous four, but strong Rangers pitching stopped any momentum Oakland carried into the series. “It’s a letdown,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “We’ve been playing pretty good. That puts a damper on things.” In the second game, Ryan Sweeney’s RBI double gave the A’s the lead in the first inning, but the Rangers jumped on righthander Edgar Gonzalez (0-1) for four runs in the bottom half. Josh Hamilton and Hank Blalock had RBI doubles and Taylor Teagarden added a two-run single. Geren ordered Gonzalez to intentionally walk lefthanded batter Chris Davis to pitch to the righty swinging Teagarden, but the move backfired when Gonzalez hung a slider to Teagarden. Davis went 0-for-7 with six strikeouts in the doubleheader, upping his majorsleading total to 77 Ks. “You’ve got a guy (Davis) who has 12 home runs, two in the last week, against a guy who doesn’t play that often,” Geren said. “If you can face the next guy, you do it.” Oakland’s Orlando Cabrera scored from third in the third inning as Jason Giambi grounded into a double play to make it 4-2. Michael Young’s sacrifice fly in the fourth stretched Texas’ lead to 5-2. Gonzalez, making his second start of the season, gave up five runs and eight hits in five-plus innings, striking out four and walking three. With the score 3-all in the opener, Santiago Casilla (1-2) walked Hamilton leading off the eighth. Jones followed, pulling a 2-1 fastball off the screen on the left-field pole for his fifth homer. Nelson Cruz, who had three RBIs, followed Jones with his 13th homer. —The Associated Press
Rangers 6, Athletics 3, 1st Game Oakland AB R H BI BB SO O.Cabrera ss 5 0 0 0 0 1 Kennedy 2b 4 0 3 0 1 0 Cust dh 1 0 0 0 0 0 a-Crosby ph-dh 4 0 0 0 0 1 Holliday lf 5 0 1 0 0 1 Giambi 1b 3 1 0 0 2 1 K.Suzuki c 4 1 1 0 0 0 R.Sweeney cf 3 0 1 1 1 1 T.Buck rf 4 1 3 2 0 0 Hannahan 3b 3 0 0 0 1 0 Totals 36 3 9 3 5 5 Texas AB R H BI BB SO Kinsler 2b 2 1 0 0 2 0 M.Young 3b 4 0 0 0 0 0 Hamilton cf 3 1 0 0 1 2 An.Jones dh 3 2 2 2 1 1 N.Cruz rf 4 1 2 3 0 0 Byrd lf 4 1 1 1 0 1 C.Davis 1b 4 0 0 0 0 4 Saltalamacchia c 3 0 1 0 1 2 Andrus ss 3 0 0 0 1 0 Totals 30 6 6 6 6 10 Oakland Texas 020 001 000 — 200 000 13x — Avg. .234 .408 .253 .217 .271 .208 .285 .247 .235 .200 Avg. .279 .328 .235 .303 .298 .287 .198 .254 .277 3 9 0 6 6 0 Rangers 5, Athletics 2, 2nd Game Oakland AB R H BI BB SO O.Cabrera ss 4 1 2 0 0 0 Kennedy 2b 4 0 0 0 0 0 Holliday lf 1 1 0 0 3 0 Giambi dh 3 0 1 0 0 0 R.Sweeney rf 2 0 1 1 2 0 Crosby 1b 4 0 0 0 0 2 Powell c 4 0 0 0 0 1 Hannahan 3b 3 0 1 0 0 0 R.Davis cf 3 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 28 2 5 1 5 3 Texas Kinsler 2b M.Young 3b Hamilton cf N.Cruz rf Blalock dh Dav.Murphy lf C.Davis 1b Teagarden c Vizquel ss Totals Oakland Texas AB 3 3 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 31 R 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 5 H 0 0 1 1 1 2 0 2 1 8 BI 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 5 BB 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 3 SO 0 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 5 Avg. .240 .387 .269 .211 .250 .209 .190 .207 .150 Avg. .275 .323 .235 .297 .245 .233 .194 .256 .340 2 5 1 5 8 1

101 000 000 — 400 100 00x —

LOB: Oakland 11, Texas 6. 2B: Kennedy (7), Holliday (6), K.Suzuki (14), N.Cruz (11). HR: T.Buck (3), off Hunter; Byrd (3), off Outman; An.Jones (5), off S.Casilla; N.Cruz (13), off S.Casilla. RBIs: R.Sweeney (14), T.Buck 2 (9), An.Jones 2 (14), N.Cruz 3 (35), Byrd (22). SB: Kennedy 2 (5), R.Sweeney (4). Runners left in scoring position: Oakland 7 (Holliday 2, Hannahan, O.Cabrera, K.Suzuki, Giambi 2); Texas 3 (Byrd, M.Young 2). Oakland Outman Wuertz S.Casilla L, 1-2 Gray Texas Hunter Guardado O’Day C.Wilson W, 3-2 F.Francisco S, 11-11 IP 6 2⁄3 1⁄3 2⁄3 1⁄3 IP 5 1⁄3 2⁄3 1 1 1 H 3 0 3 0 H 7 1 0 0 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 3 3 3 9 101 3.06 0 0 2 0 16 1.93 3 3 1 1 22 4.74 0 0 0 0 3 0.00 R ER BB SO NP ERA 3 3 3 1 90 5.06 0 0 0 0 11 4.76 0 0 1 1 12 1.13 0 0 0 1 12 3.20 0 0 1 2 20 0.00

E: E.Gonzalez (1), Teagarden (2). LOB: Oakland 5, Texas 6. 2B: O.Cabrera (5), R.Sweeney (8), Hamilton (5), Blalock (10). RBIs: R.Sweeney (15), M.Young (19), Hamilton (22), Blalock (26), Teagarden 2 (6). SB: Holliday (3). SF: M.Young. Runners left in scoring position: Oakland 4 (Crosby 3, Giambi); Texas 2 (Vizquel, M.Young). DP: Texas 4 (Feldman, Vizquel, C.Davis), (C.Davis, Vizquel, C.Davis), (Vizquel, C.Davis), (M.Young, Kinsler, C.Davis). Oakland IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA E.Gonzalez L, 0-1 5 8 5 5 3 4 97 5.40 K.Cameron 1 2⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 20 1.72 Breslow 1 0 0 0 0 0 9 5.12 Ziegler 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 4 3.92 Texas IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Feldman W, 4-0 6 5 2 2 3 2 104 3.91 Jennings H, 4 2 0 0 0 1 1 29 3.52 C.Wilson S, 4-5 1 0 0 0 1 0 17 3.05 E.Gonzalez pitched to 1 batter in the 6th. Inherited runners-scored: K.Cameron 1-0. IBB: off E.Gonzalez (C.Davis). HBP: by Feldman (Giambi). Umpires: Home, C.B. Bucknor; First, Mike Everitt; Second, Gerry Davis; Third, Mike Muchlinski. T: 2:37. A: 30,496 (49,170).

Guardado pitched to 1 batter in the 7th. Inherited runners-scored: Wuertz 1-0, Gray 1-0, Guardado 2-0, O’Day 1-0. WP: Wuertz. Umpires: Home, Brian Gorman; First, Mike Muchlinski; Second, Mike Everitt; Third, Gerry Davis. T: 2:46. A: 0 (49,170).

TONY GUTIERREZ / AP

Texas C Taylor Teagarden had two hits and two RBIs to help the Rangers sweep a doubleheader.

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AMERICAN LEAGUE Houston 6, Pittsburgh 1

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

19

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Baltimore 7, Detroit 2

Wieters hitless, but Scott powers Orioles
BALTIMORE—The game began with the sizable crowd buzzing about Matt Wieters, who was about to make his much-anticipated major league debut. Most of the 42,704 fans left the stadium talking about Luke Scott and Wieters’ batterymate, Brad Bergesen. Scott extended his recent power surge with a grand slam and a solo shot off Dontrelle Willis, and the surging Baltimore Orioles received a fine pitching performance from Bergesen in a 7-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night. Wieters went 0-for-4, the only Baltimore starter without a hit. “I felt like I saw the ball well tonight,” he said. “It’s something that, an 0-for-4 day, you are going to have a lot of them in this game. You just got to go out there and try to find some holes.” Wieters’ hitless debut might have been the only negative for the Orioles, who stretched their season-high winning streak to five games behind Scott and Bergesen (2-2)—who both received shaving-cream pies in the face during their post-game interviews. It’s a fun tradition that the Orioles began early in their five-game run, the team’s longest winning streak since April 2-7, 2008. Since coming off the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday, Scott has five home runs and 12 RBIs in three games. His second consecutive two-homer game included his first lifetime grand slam, a third-inning shot that put Baltimore up 5-0. In the fifth, Scott hit a drive over the right-field scoreboard to become the first Oriole to have successive multihomer games since Albert Belle in 2000. The last three of Scott’s seven career multihomer games have come against Detroit. “I feel good and I’ve been seeing the ball
Orioles 7, Tigers 2 Detroit AB J.Anderson lf 4 Polanco 2b 4 Ordonez dh 4 Mi.Cabrera 1b 4 Granderson cf 4 Inge 3b 4 Thomas rf 3 Laird c 3 Everett ss 3 Totals 33 Baltimore B.Roberts 2b Ad.Jones cf Markakis rf A.Huff 1b Mora 3b Scott dh 1-Pie pr-dh Wieters c Reimold lf C.Izturis ss Totals Detroit Baltimore AB 3 4 4 4 3 3 0 4 3 4 32 R 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 R 1 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 7 H 0 1 3 1 1 0 1 0 0 7 H 1 2 1 1 1 3 0 0 1 1 11 BI 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 BI 1 0 1 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 7 BB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 BB 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 4 SO 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 4 SO 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 4 Avg. .289 .262 .275 .363 .254 .262 .267 .232 .288 Avg. .307 .360 .296 .273 .277 .336 .195 .000 .268 .255 2 7 0 7 11 0

Moehler helps end slide
PITTSBURGH—Brian Moehler was walking down the dugout steps after the eighth inning when he turned and told Astros manager Cecil Cooper to not even think about taking him out. Cooper wavered, but gave in. After all, it’s not often a pitcher lobbies to go after his first shutout in nearly 10 years. Moehler didn’t manage that, but pitched his first complete game in nearly nine years to help Houston end a seven-game losing streak by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 on Friday night. Edwin Maysonet, a rookie making only his third career start, homered while going 4 for 4 and driving in four runs to support Moehler. “We all wanted him to finish it. He came in after the eighth and said, ‘I’m going back’ before I could even say anything to him,” Cooper said. “He’s pretty excited about it, and we’re glad he got the complete game.” Moehler, who had a 27.00 ERA in his two most recent starts in PNC Park, was two outs away from his first shutout since Aug. 30, 1999, until the Pirates scored on Jason Jaramillo’s runscoring grounder. Moehler’s last previous complete game, while with the Tigers, was against the Orioles on Aug. 8, 2000. “Yeah, it’s been a long time— I’ve been in the ninth a few times since then and couldn’t close it out,” Moehler said. — The Associated Press
Astros 6, Pirates 1 Houston AB Bourn cf 5 Tejada ss 4 Berkman 1b 5 Ca.Lee lf 4 Pence rf 3 I.Rodriguez c 5 Keppinger 3b 4 Maysonet 2b 4 Moehler p 4 Totals 38 R 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 2 0 6 H 2 1 2 1 1 3 1 4 0 15 BI 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 6 BB 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 4 SO 0 0 2 0 0 1 1 0 3 7 Avg. .289 .344 .234 .315 .351 .271 .311 .429 .000 Avg. .281 .330 .250 .229 .263 .302 .257 .243 .056 --.235 --.250 --6 15 0 1 7 0

000 000 200 — 005 110 00x —

GAIL BURTON / AP

Although he went 0-for-4, Baltimore rookie C Matt Wieters made a quick impression on the fans. well. I’m kind of excited to get back to playing,” said Scott, who was sidelined from May 11-27 with a shoulder strain. “I’ve been chewing my fingernails off for the last two weeks.” Scott, a lefthanded batter, usually fares better against righties. But he had no trouble against the left-handed throwing Willis (1-2). “When he’s hot and he’s in one of his streaks, it doesn’t matter who’s pitching,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “You keep running him out there because he’s a threat.” Willis allowed seven runs and 10 hits, his poorest outing in four starts since getting off the disabled list on May 13. “Dontrelle didn’t have his good stuff,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “They scored five runs on two swings of the bat.” Willis said, “I had a tough time getting my rhythm. When I got my rhythm, it was too late. The damage was done.” Much of the pregame hype surrounded Wieters, but another 23-year-old— Bergesen—was far more impressive. The righthander allowed two runs and seven hits over eight-plus innings to earn his first win in seven starts since his debut on April 21. “Obviously we would have liked for him to have a complete game,” Trembley said. “But I like the mindset that Bergesen had. He expected to go out in the ninth. He wanted it, and that’s what we’re trying to develop.” — The Associated Press

1-ran for Scott in the 8th. LOB: Detroit 4, Baltimore 6. 2B: Polanco (15), Mi.Cabrera (11), Reimold (2). HR: Scott 2 (10), off Willis 2. RBIs: Granderson (28), B.Roberts (22), Markakis (40), Scott 5 (27). SF: B.Roberts. Runners left in scoring position: Detroit 1 (Inge); Baltimore 2 (Markakis, B.Roberts). GIDP: Inge, Markakis. DP: Detroit 2 (Thomas, Thomas, Inge), (Polanco, Everett, Mi.Cabrera); Baltimore 1 (C.Izturis, B.Roberts, A.Huff). Detroit Willis L, 1-2 Miner N.Robertson Baltimore Bergesen W, 2-2 Ji.Johnson IP 5 1 1⁄3 1 2⁄3 IP 8 1 H 10 0 1 H 7 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 7 7 2 1 75 5.56 0 0 0 1 15 4.55 0 0 2 2 32 4.50 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 0 3 103 4.94 0 0 0 1 9 3.16

Pittsburgh AB R H BI BB SO Morgan lf 3 0 0 0 1 0 F.Sanchez 2b 4 0 2 0 0 0 McLouth cf 4 0 0 0 0 2 Ad.LaRoche 1b 3 1 1 0 1 0 Moss rf 4 0 1 0 0 1 An.LaRoche 3b 4 0 2 0 0 0 Jaramillo c 4 0 0 1 0 0 Ja.Wilson ss 4 0 0 0 0 0 Ohlendorf p 1 0 0 0 0 1 J.Chavez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 a-R.Vazquez ph 1 0 1 0 0 0 Veal p 0 0 0 0 0 0 b-Hinske ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 Meek p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 33 1 7 1 2 4 Houston 010 202 100 — Pittsburgh 000 000 001 —

a-singled for J.Chavez in the 6th. b-flied out for Veal in the 8th. LOB: Houston 9, Pittsburgh 7. 2B: Berkman (7), Maysonet 2 (2), F.Sanchez (18), An.LaRoche (12). HR: Maysonet (1), off Ohlendorf. RBIs: Bourn (12), I.Rodriguez (22), Maysonet 4 (5), Jaramillo (6). Runners left in scoring position: Houston 4 (I.Rodriguez 3, Keppinger); Pittsburgh 5 (Moss, McLouth 3, Ja.Wilson). DP: Houston 1 (Tejada, Maysonet, Berkman); Pittsburgh 1 (McLouth, McLouth, F.Sanchez). Houston Moehler W, 2-3 Pittsburgh Ohlendorf L, 5-5 J.Chavez Veal Meek IP 9 IP 5 1 2 1 H 7 H 8 3 3 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 2 4 123 6.43 R ER BB SO NP ERA 4 4 3 5 97 4.45 1 1 0 0 16 3.00 1 1 1 2 50 4.26 0 0 0 0 9 2.70

Bergesen pitched to 2 batters in the 9th. Inherited runners-scored: Ji.Johnson 2-0. Umpires: Home, Larry Vanover; First, Dan Iassogna; Second, Sam Holbrook; Third, Adrian Johnson. T: 2:12. A: 42,704 (48,290).

Ohlendorf pitched to 2 batters in the 6th. Inherited runners-scored: J.Chavez 2-1. WP: Moehler, Ohlendorf. Umpires: Home, Marty Foster; First, Marvin Hudson; Second, John Hirschbeck; Third, Wally Bell. T: 3:04. A: 18,236 (38,362).

Q&A with O’s RF Nick Markakis, Page 14

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NATIONAL LEAGUE

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

20

Milwaukee 3, Cincinnati 2

Chicago Cubs 2, L.A. Dodgers 1

Hart’s homer ‘gift’ for Looper to grandfather
MILWAUKEE—Braden Looper was upset he’d let down his grandfather. Corey Hart picked up his hurting teammate. While most of the Brewers took Thursday off to rest, Looper attended a funeral for 84-year-old LaVerne Looper of Granite, Okla., the man who bought Braden his first Wilson A2000 glove and took him to a pitching camp at Wichita State, where he eventually played college baseball. Hart homered in the seventh after Looper left and the veteran righthander outpitched Johnny Cueto to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-2 victory over Cincinnati on Friday night, snapping the Reds’ four-game winning streak. “Essentially, he was my father, he was the guy who got me started in baseball. That home run by Corey was a gift,” Looper said. “I got that two-run lead and I was feeling pretty good. I’m glad that mistake didn’t cost me the game.” The Brewers, who had hit .204 with just two homers while going 1-5 in their last six games, only had three hits, but two of them left the ballpark. Hart’s go-ahead homer came in the seventh inning came after Prince Fielder hit a two-run shot in the first. “It’s special,” said Looper, who got the game ball from Trevor Hoffman after the career saves leader notched his 12th consecutive save since joining the Brewers. “It’s one of the games I’ll remember for a long time.” Looper (5-3) and Cueto were sharp, matching zeros and mistakes until Hart’s hit. Hart, hitting .176 in his previous 17 games, drove Cueto’s slider 435 feet over the Milwaukee bullpen and just below the motorcycles that sit in left-center field.
Brewers 3, Reds 2 Cincinnati AB Taveras cf 4 Hairston Jr. 2b 4 Votto 1b 1 Hanigan c 0 c-B.Phillips ph 1 R.Hernandez c-1b 4 Bruce rf 4 L.Nix lf 3 Ale.Gonzalez ss 3 A.Rosales 3b 3 Cueto p 2 b-Dickerson ph 1 Rhodes p 0 Totals 30 Milwaukee Counsell 2b Hardy ss Braun lf Fielder 1b M.Cameron cf Gamel 3b Hall 3b Hart rf Kendall c Looper p a-Gerut ph Coffey p Hoffman p Totals AB 3 4 3 3 3 2 0 3 2 1 1 0 0 25 R 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 R 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 H 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 5 H 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 BI 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 BI 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 BB 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 BB 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 SO 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 5 SO 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 Avg. .266 .263 .357 .328 .273 .299 .235 .276 .214 .250 .143 .226 --Avg. .314 .240 .315 .267 .280 .160 .223 .244 .203 .067 .215 .000 --2 5 0 3 3 0

Lilly helps restore order
CHICAGO—Ted Lilly had no reason to argue with umpires Friday. Four days after getting thrown out of a game he wasn’t even pitching for arguing balls and strikes, the Cubs’ lefthander threw seven strong innings and got a win over the team with the best record in the majors. Koyie Hill homered and Kosuke Fukudome hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh, rallying Chicago Cubs over the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. After a wild week that saw Lilly jump the dugout railing to yell at umpire Bob Davidson, Ryan Dempster attack a dugout Gatorade machine, and Carlos Zambrano throw an alltime temper tantrum, the Cubs needed a quiet, solid performance from a starter. “Obviously we haven’t been playing real well, so it’s been emotional,” Lilly said. Lilly (6-4) and the Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley (6-3) each opened with six scoreless innings. Cubs manager Lou Piniella called his performance “professional,” a high compliment on a Cubs team that has teetered on the edge while fighting to stay above .500. “I’ve got a lot of work left to do,” Lilly said. “I’m happy today with the way we competed and the way I threw the ball.” — The Associated Press
Cubs 2, Dodgers 1 Los Angeles AB Pierre lf 3 Martin c 3 Hudson 2b 4 Loney 1b 4 Blake 3b 3 Ethier rf 4 Kemp cf 3 J.Castro ss 3 Leach p 0 c-Loretta ph 1 Billingsley p 2 b-Furcal ph-ss 0 Totals 30 R 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 H 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 BI 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 BB 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 SO 0 0 1 4 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 7 Avg. .397 .264 .338 .292 .302 .257 .296 .357 --.326 .208 .240 Avg. .253 .268 .311 .244 .287 --.221 .289 .111 .095 .750 --.239 1 5 1 2 8 1

Chicago AB R H BI BB SO A.Soriano lf 4 0 1 0 0 2 Scales 3b 4 0 1 0 0 1 Fukudome cf-rf 3 0 1 1 0 0 D.Lee 1b 3 0 0 0 1 1 Hoffpauir rf 4 0 2 0 0 0 Gregg p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Fontenot 2b 4 0 1 0 0 0 K.Hill c 3 1 1 1 1 2 A.Blanco ss 3 0 0 0 0 0 Lilly p 2 0 0 0 0 2 a-J.Fox ph 1 1 1 0 0 0 Marmol p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Re.Johnson cf 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 31 2 8 2 2 8 Los Angeles 000 000 100 — Chicago 000 000 20x —

Cincinnati 000 200 000 — Milwaukee 200 000 10x —
MORRY GASH / AP

Milwaukee’s Corey Hart, above, hit a homer in the seventh to make a winner out of P Braden Looper. “When you make those kind of mistakes to hitters like that, you’re going to pay the consequences,” Cueto said through an interpreter. “I missed my location on both of them.” That was all Milwaukee needed. Brewers reliever Todd Coffey worked around consecutive singles to start the eighth after a nice double play by second baseman Craig Counsell and Hoffman allowed a two-out single but struck out Jay Bruce to end it. Bruce, who went 0 for 4, said before the trip began that Cincinnati would return home with the NL Central lead after the seven-game trip to Milwaukee and St. Louis. He said afterward that he wasn’t guaranteeing the Reds would come home in first, but he meant that they should have high expectations. “I said that given that given what we’ve been doing as a team—we’ve been playing well—I think the attitude that all of us have going on this road trip is that we should expect to come back in first place,” Bruce said. “To be a good team, you have to expect to be successful and I think we are a good team.” Cueto left after the seventh, scattering three hits and four walks while striking out three. — The Associated Press

a-grounded out for Looper in the 7th. b-grounded into a double play for Cueto in the 8th. c-bunted out for Hanigan in the 9th. LOB: Cincinnati 3, Milwaukee 3. 2B: Braun (10). HR: R.Hernandez (3), off Looper; Fielder (11), off Cueto; Hart (5), off Cueto. RBIs: R.Hernandez 2 (20), Fielder 2 (45), Hart (19). CS: Hairston Jr. (1). S: Looper. Runners left in scoring position: Cincinnati 1 (Taveras); Milwaukee 2 (Hardy 2). DP: Cincinnati 1 (L.Nix, L.Nix, Hanigan); Milwaukee 1 (Counsell, Fielder). Cincinnati Cueto L, 4-3 Rhodes Milwaukee Looper W, 5-3 Coffey H, 8 Hoffman S, 12-12 IP 7 1 IP 7 1 1 H 3 0 H 2 2 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 3 3 4 3 104 2.53 0 0 0 1 8 0.53 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 2 4 95 4.24 0 0 0 0 14 2.59 0 0 0 1 10 0.00

a-singled for Lilly in the 7th. b-walked for Billingsley in the 8th. c-grounded into a fielder’s choice for Leach in the 9th. E: Ethier (3), Scales (2). LOB: Los Angeles 7, Chicago 8. 2B: Fukudome (10), Hoffpauir (7). HR: Kemp (5), off Lilly; K.Hill (2), off Billingsley. RBIs: Kemp (29), Fukudome (20), K.Hill (7). SF: Fukudome. Runners left in scoring position: Los Angeles 2 (Martin, Loretta); Chicago 6 (A.Blanco 4, Fontenot, D.Lee). GIDP: Pierre, Ethier, Billingsley. DP: Chicago 3 (A.Blanco, Fontenot, D.Lee), (A.Blanco, D.Lee), (Fontenot, A.Blanco, D.Lee). Los Angeles Billingsley L, 6-3 Leach Chicago Lilly W, 6-4 Marmol H, 12 Gregg S, 8-9 IP 7 1 IP 7 1 1 H 8 0 H 4 0 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 2 7 111 2.80 0 0 0 1 13 5.14 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 3 5 102 3.50 0 0 2 1 17 3.27 0 0 0 1 28 4.87

Umpires: Home, Fieldin Culbreth; First, Gary Cederstrom; Second, Jim Wolf; Third, Brian O’Nora. T: 2:14. A: 42,186 (41,900).

WP: Lilly. Umpires: Home, Tim Timmons; First, Jeff Kellogg; Second, Rob Drake; Third, Mark Wegner. T: 2:40. A: 40,148 (41,210).

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NATIONAL LEAGUE
Mets 2, Marlins 1, 11 innings Florida AB R H BI BB Bonifacio ss 5 0 1 0 0 Coghlan lf 3 1 1 0 2 Uggla 2b 4 0 0 1 0 Cantu 1b 5 0 1 0 0 Jo.Baker c 4 0 0 0 0 e-R.Paulino ph-c 1 0 0 0 0 C.Ross cf 3 0 1 0 0 Hermida rf 4 0 1 0 0 Helms 3b 4 0 1 0 0 West p 2 0 0 0 0 a-Gload ph 1 0 0 0 0 Calero p 0 0 0 0 0 Nunez p 0 0 0 0 0 d-Ha.Ramirez ph 1 0 0 0 0 Meyer p 0 0 0 0 0 Sanches p 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 37 1 6 1 2 New York AB Pagan rf 5 Castillo 2b 3 Beltran cf 4 Sheffield lf 4 D.Wright 3b 5 Tatis 1b 4 Santos c 5 R.Martinez ss 3 b-Dan.Murphy ph 1 W.Valdez ss 0 Pelfrey p 2 Parnell p 0 Fr.Rodriguez p 0 c-F.Martinez ph 1 Putz p 0 Feliciano p 0 Totals 37 Florida New York R 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 H 1 1 0 1 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 BI 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 BB 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

21

N.Y. Mets 2, Florida 1, 11 innings

Philadelphia 5, Washington 4
SO 0 0 2 1 2 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 SO 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 Avg. .245 .217 .211 .268 .268 .242 .265 .260 .242 .000 .270 ----.318 .000 --Avg. .306 .295 .358 .293 .335 .262 .276 .167 .260 .000 .067 ----.000 ----1 6 2 2 7 0

Santos rewarded for sparking win
NEW YORK—Omir Santos was supposed to go back to the minors once Brian Schneider came off the disabled list. The catcher played so well that he forced the New York Mets to change their plans. Santos hit a game-ending single in the 11th inning and also homered in the fifth, leading New York to a 2-1 victory over the Florida Marlins on Friday night. Santos was rewarded after the game when the Mets traded backup catcher Ramon Castro and about $1.4 million to the Chicago White Sox for righthander Lance Broadway, ensuring the rookie will stay with the club when Schneider is activated today. “On a night like tonight, when Omir Santos plays the way he has, it makes the decision easy for us,” said general manager Omar Minaya, who acknowledged being surprised by Santos’ speedy progress. Gary Sheffield led off the 11th with a single to left off Brian Sanches (1-1), who threw over to first several times to check on the aging slugger with David Wright up. After Wright struck out—smashing his bat when he reached the dugout— Sheffield stole second and went to third when Ronny Paulino’s errant throw went into center field. “We knew that he was trying to inch off and take a bag there,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He still has that capability in him. We just threw the ball away. We threw the ball out of the infield, and got ourselves in a situation nobody wants to be in.” Fernando Tatis was hit by a pitch before Santos dumped Sanches’ first pitch into left field to give New York its fourth consecutive win and sixth in seven games. “Santos will be on this team, no doubt about it,” manager Jerry Manuel said

Phillies now 8-2 vs. Nats
PHILADELPHIA—The Philadelphia Phillies must love facing Washington pitchers. Shane Victorino had four hits and the Phillies tied a season high with 16 hits in their 5-4 victory over the Nationals on Friday night. It was the second straight win for Philadelphia, 8-2 against the Nationals this season. The Phillies have reached double-digit hits in seven of their eight victories over Washington, while averaging 12.75 hits in those wins. Overall, the Phils have averaged 11.4 hits in 10 games against the Nationals this season. “Sixteen hits is a good indication we will score a lot of runs if we keep hitting the ball like that,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “Our offense, when all is said and done, we’re going to score some runs.” Washington has lost four straight to drop to 13-34. Jimmy Rollins had two hits and two RBIs, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth, Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz also each had two hits, and every Philadelphia position starter had at least one. The Phillies stranded 13 runners while going 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position. J.A. Happ (3-0), making his second start of the season and seventh of his career, went 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on three hits while matching his career high with five strikeouts. — The Associated Press

000 100 000 00 000 010 000 01

One out when winning run scored. a-flied out for West in the 8th. b-flied out for R.Martinez in the 9th. c-flied out for Fr.Rodriguez in the 9th. d-grounded out for Nunez in the 10th. e-flied out for Jo.Baker in the 11th. E: Helms (3), R.Paulino (2). LOB: Florida 7, New York 10. 2B: Cantu (9). 3B: Coghlan (1). HR: Santos (3), off West. RBIs: Uggla (33), Santos 2 (17). SB: C.Ross (2), Sheffield (2). S: Castillo, Pelfrey. SF: Uggla. Runners left in scoring position: Florida 4 (Hermida 2, Uggla, R.Paulino); New York 4 (R.Martinez, Castillo, Tatis 2). DP: New York 1 (Beltran, Castillo). Florida West Calero Nunez Meyer Sanches L, 1-1 New York Pelfrey Parnell Fr.Rodriguez Putz Feliciano W, 2-1 IP 7 1 1 1 1⁄3 IP 7 2⁄3 1⁄3 1 1 2⁄3 1⁄3 H 4 1 0 0 2 H 5 0 1 0 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 1 2 91 2.25 0 0 2 1 26 2.25 0 0 0 0 10 3.55 0 0 0 0 15 2.45 1 0 0 1 14 0.00 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 1 6 108 3.88 0 0 0 0 6 2.18 0 0 0 2 20 0.76 0 0 1 1 30 3.21 0 0 0 0 6 2.37

PAUL J. BERESWILL / AP

Omir Santos drove in both Mets’ run, and it looks like he’ll stick around for a while. before the trade was announced. “He’s a major league hitter. The surprising thing is he has hit and hit well. It looks as if there is no panic or anxiety when he is in those situations.” The injury riddled Mets welcomed AllStar center fielder Carlos Beltran back to the lineup and Schneider could return for the second game of the series. Beltran, who missed two games with a bone bruise below his right knee, went 0-for-4 but made a nice running catch on Emilio Bonifacio’s sinking liner in the third before throwing to second to double off Wes Helms. — The Associated Press

Inherited runners-scored: Parnell 2-0, Feliciano 1-0. IBB: off Calero (Beltran). HBP: by Sanches (Tatis), by Pelfrey (C.Ross). Umpires: Home, Angel Hernandez; First, Bill Welke; Second, Tim Welke; Third, Jim Reynolds. T: 3:15. A: 40,677 (41,800).

Phillies 5, Nationals 4 Washington AB R H BI BB SO Avg. C.Guzman ss 5 0 0 0 0 1 .329 N.Johnson 1b 4 0 1 0 1 1 .335 Zimmerman 3b 3 1 1 0 1 1 .333 Dunn rf 4 0 0 0 0 1 .276 Willingham lf 2 2 2 1 0 0 .243 J.Bard c 3 1 1 1 1 0 .190 A.Hernandez 2b 4 0 1 1 0 1 .277 Maxwell cf 4 0 0 0 0 3 .125 Detwiler p 1 0 0 0 0 1 .000 a-Kearns ph 0 0 0 0 1 0 .213 Bergmann p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 b-Belliard ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .162 Villone p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --MacDougal p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Beimel p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Tavarez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 e-W.Harris ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .257 Totals 32 4 6 3 4 9 Philadelphia AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Rollins ss 5 1 2 0 0 0 .227 Victorino cf 5 1 4 0 0 0 .293 Utley 2b 5 1 1 1 0 0 .286 Howard 1b 5 0 1 0 0 1 .261 Ibanez lf 4 1 2 2 1 0 .343 Werth rf 5 1 2 0 0 0 .259 Feliz 3b 4 0 2 1 0 1 .312 Ruiz c 2 0 2 1 1 0 .299 Happ p 3 0 0 0 0 2 .000 Durbin p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 S.Eyre p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --c-Dobbs ph 0 0 0 0 0 0 .135 d-Mayberry ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .222 Madson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Lidge p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Totals 39 5 16 5 2 5 Wash 010 003 000 — 4 6 0 Phil 013 100 00x — 5 16 1 a-walked for Detwiler in the 5th. b-lined out for Bergmann in the 6th. c-was announced for S.Eyre in the 7th. d-struck out for Dobbs in the 7th. e-flied out for Tavarez in the 9th. E: Werth (1). LOB:Washington 7, Philadelphia 13. 2B: J.Bard (4), Rollins 2 (12), Utley (7), Howard (13), Ruiz 2 (9). 3B: Feliz (1). HR: Willingham (7), off Happ. RBIs: Willingham (10), J.Bard (5), A.Hernandez (12), Utley (32), Ibanez 2 (46), Feliz (26), Ruiz (10). SB: Rollins (8). CS: N.Johnson (1). Runners left in scoring position: Washington 4 (A.Hernandez, N.Johnson, Belliard, Maxwell); Philadelphia 8 (Howard, Rollins 4, Happ 2, Werth). DP: Washington 1 (A.Hernandez, C.Guzman, N.Johnson). Washington IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Detwiler L, 0-1 4 10 5 5 1 2 68 4.80 Bergmann 1 1 0 0 0 1 13 4.82 Villone 1 2 0 0 0 0 11 0.00 MacDougal 1⁄3 1 0 0 0 1 911.57 Beimel 1 1⁄3 2 0 0 1 1 30 4.66 Tavarez 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 3 5.59 Philadelphia IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Happ W, 3-0 5 1⁄3 3 3 3 3 5 96 3.00 Durbin H, 4 2⁄3 2 1 0 0 1 26 4.50 S.Eyre H, 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 3.18 Madson H, 10 1 1 0 0 1 1 20 2.70 Lidge S, 10-14 1 0 0 0 0 2 17 8.44 Villone pitched to 1 batter in the 7th. Inherited runners-scored: MacDougal 1-0, Beimel 3-0, Tavarez 2-0, Durbin 2-2. IBB: off Detwiler (Ruiz). HBP: by MacDougal (Ruiz), by Happ (Willingham, Willingham). Umpires: Home, Hunter Wendelstedt; First, Brian Knight; Second, Dana DeMuth; Third, Doug Eddings. T: 3:00. A: 45,202 (43,647).

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NATIONAL LEAGUE Atlanta 10, Arizona 6

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

22

Colorado 3, San Diego 0

New manager, new lineup leads to new result
DENVER—Jim Tracy put his fingerprints on his new team by tweaking the lineup and turning to seldom-used players for late defensive help. Jason Marquis pitched eight sharp innings, making Tracy’s debut as the Rockies manager a success in a 3-0 win over the San Diego Padres on Friday night. “I’m anxious to find out exactly how good this team is,” Tracy said. “Tonight for me is a step in the right direction.” Tracy was promoted to interim manager Friday following the firing of Clint Hurdle, who had been in charge of the Rockies since three weeks into the 2002 season. Tracy said his first managerial win with Colorado was rewarding yet bittersweet because it came at Hurdle’s expense. For the players, Tracy’s promotion was viewed as a new beginning. “The way I look at it is we’re 1-0 right now,” Troy Tulowitzki said. “Try to build off that and see where it can take us.” Tracy juggled the lineup, putting the slumping Garrett Atkins back into the cleanup spot and sliding Tulowitzki down to seventh. His intention is to keep the lineup pretty much in tact. “I’d like to stabilize some things,” Tracy said. “I sat over on the other side of the field in this ballpark for a number of years and I watched Garrett Atkins drive in over 200 and some odd runs over the course of a couple of different seasons. If we’re going to turn some things around, he needs to be in the middle of our order.” Atkins, who saw his average dip to .191 after an 0-for-3 night, put some good swings on the ball, just had nothing to “I felt good enough to go out there,” Marquis said. “It’s the manager’s decision. I’m fine with that.” Yorvit Torrealba had two hits, including an RBI single in the second. He also bounced a two-out, bases loaded grounder that third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff mishandled, allowing two runs to score. It was Kouzmanoff’s first error of the season. Young (4-3) allowed just Torrealba’s two hits and one earned run in six innings. He also walked a season-high six batters. “Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the other guy. You have to tip your hat to Marquis,” Young said. “He outpitched us. I got outpitched.” With his team slumping, Hurdle was relieved of his duties Friday after sevenplus seasons in Denver. He led the Rockies to their only World Series appearance in 2007, where the team was swept by Boston. This is Tracy’s third stint as manager in the big leagues. The 53-year-old Tracy took over the Rockies after going 562-572 as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers (2001-05) and Pittsburgh Pirates (200607). Tracy inherited a squad that resides in last place in the N.L. West. Although the managerial move was made, Marquis said he didn’t detect anymore energy in the clubhouse. “Whether it’s Tracy at the helm or Hurdle, we should expect 100 percent, full energy every time we step on the field,” Marquis said. “I try to take the same approach every game, whether it’s Game 1 of a World Series or Game 15 of the season.” — The Associated Press
Rockies 3, Padres 0 San Diego AB R Giles rf 4 0 Eckstein 2b 3 0 Hairston lf 4 0 Ad.Gonzalez 1b 1 0 Kouzmanoff 3b 4 0 Hundley c 4 0 Gwynn cf 4 0 C.Burke ss 4 0 C.Young p 2 0 a-Headley ph 1 0 Thatcher p 0 0 Meredith p 0 0 Totals 31 0 Colorado AB Fowler cf 3 Barmes 2b 4 Helton 1b 3 Atkins 3b 3 1-Quintanilla pr-3b 0 S.Smith lf 1 b-Murton ph-lf 1 Spilborghs rf 4 Tulowitzki ss 2 Torrealba c 4 Marquis p 2 Street p 0 Totals 27 San Diego Colorado R 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 H 1 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 6 H 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 4 BI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 BI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 BB 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 BB 1 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 7 SO 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 6 SO 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 Avg. .192 .241 .316 .283 .229 .241 .313 .206 .300 .242 ----Avg. .260 .235 .321 .191 .211 .268 .270 .273 .224 .222 .211 --0 6 1 3 4 0

Jurrjens gets support, then holds on
PHOENIX—Starved for run support much of the season, Atlanta’s Jair Jurrjens almost didn’t know what to do when Yunel Escobar’s three-run homer gave him a nine-run lead. Jurrjens struggled through five innings, then turned the game over to the bullpen as the Braves hung on for a 10-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night, snapping a four-game losing streak. “I was so close to blowing up,” said Jurrjens (5-2), who helped his cause with a two-run double. “Baseball is so funny. You ask for runs, they give you a lot of runs, then you give back a lot of runs.” In one stretch of six starts this year, the Braves scored a total of nine runs while Jurrjens was in the game. They topped that in four innings, hammering Arizona’s Jon Garland (4-4). Escobar’s shot off Garland capped a five-run third inning and gave the Braves and Jurrjens what looked like a comfortable 9-1 lead. Jurrjens entered with a 2.07 ERA, third in the NL, and left with a 2.59 ERA. “He had probably his worst game of the year,” Cox said. “But he got it all together in the fifth inning. He really sucked it up. He deserved that win.” — The Associated Press

Braves 10, Diamondbacks 6 Atlanta AB R H BI K.Johnson 2b 5 1 1 2 Escobar ss 5 1 2 3 C.Jones 3b 3 0 1 0 McCann c 5 1 2 0 G.Anderson lf 5 1 1 0 R.Soriano p 0 0 0 0 M.Gonzalez p 0 0 0 0 Kotchman 1b 5 2 2 0 Francoeur rf 5 1 2 2 Schafer cf 4 2 1 0 Jurrjens p 2 1 1 2 Bennett p 0 0 0 0 a-Norton ph 1 0 0 0 Moylan p 0 0 0 0 O’Flaherty p 0 0 0 0 M.Diaz lf 0 0 0 0 Totals 40 10 13 9

BB 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 4

SO 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 6

Avg. .248 .297 .305 .321 .263 ----.281 .251 .206 .143 .000 .100 .000 --.288 Avg. .370 .317 .337 .210 .259 .171 .203 .260 .237 --.321 --.000 .000 --.216

Arizona AB R H BI BB SO R.Roberts 2b 5 1 2 0 0 1 G.Parra lf 5 0 3 2 0 1 J.Upton rf 4 0 0 0 1 1 S.Drew ss 5 1 1 0 0 2 Reynolds 3b-1b 3 1 0 0 1 2 C.Young cf 4 1 1 0 0 1 Tracy 1b 4 1 3 4 0 0 Ojeda 3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 Snyder c 3 0 1 0 0 0 Rauch p 0 0 0 0 0 0 b-F.Lopez ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 Zavada p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Garland p 0 0 0 0 0 0 L.Rosales p 2 0 0 0 0 2 Schlereth p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Montero c 1 1 0 0 1 1 Totals 37 6 11 6 3 11 Atlanta Arizona

WILL POWERS / AP

000 000 000 — 010 002 00x —

Interim Colorado manager Jim Tracy picked up his first victory on Friday. show for it. “He just needs to find some green grass,” Tracy said. Late in the game, Tracy inserted Omar Quintanilla at third for defensive help. The slick-fielding infielder doesn’t play all that often. Now, he may see more time. “He can flat catch the ball,” Tracy said. Behind a six-hit performance from Marquis, the Rockies snapped a threegame skid. Marquis (7-3) struck out a season-high six to pick up his third straight win. He wanted to finish off the game, but Huston Street came on instead and pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save.

045 100 000 — 10 13 2 010 310 100 — 6 11 2

a-singled for C.Young in the 7th. b-flied out for S.Smith in the 7th. 1-ran for Atkins in the 7th. E: Kouzmanoff (1). LOB: San Diego 8, Colorado 8. RBIs: Torrealba (6). SB: Eckstein (2), Barmes (4). S: Marquis. Runners left in scoring position: San Diego 4 (Kouzmanoff 2, C.Young, C.Burke); Colorado 5 (Marquis 3, Barmes, Murton). DP: San Diego 1 (Kouzmanoff, Eckstein, Ad.Gonzalez); Colorado 2 (Barmes, Tulowitzki, Helton), (Tulowitzki, Barmes, Helton). San Diego C.Young L, 4-3 Thatcher Meredith Colorado Marquis W, 7-3 Street S, 8-8 IP 6 2⁄3 1 1⁄3 IP 8 1 H 2 1 1 H 6 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 3 1 6 2 102 4.45 0 0 1 0 18 0.00 0 0 0 0 12 3.06 R ER BB SO NP ERA 0 0 4 6 105 3.93 0 0 0 0 9 3.10

a-flied out for Bennett in the 7th. b-grounded out for Rauch in the 8th. E: K.Johnson (4), Jurrjens (1), Garland (3), G.Parra (2). LOB: Atlanta 7, Arizona 7. 2B: G.Anderson (6), Jurrjens (1), R.Roberts (5), C.Young (11), Snyder (5). HR: Escobar (5), off Garland; Tracy (4), off Jurrjens. RBIs: K.Johnson 2 (17), Escobar 3 (24), Francoeur 2 (23), Jurrjens 2 (3), G.Parra 2 (15), Tracy 4 (17). Runners left in scoring position: Atlanta 3 (McCann 2, G.Anderson); Arizona 2 (S.Drew 2). DP: Atlanta 1 (C.Jones, K.Johnson, Kotchman); Arizona 1 (Tracy, S.Drew, Garland). Atlanta Jurrjens W, 5-2 Bennett Moylan O’Flaherty R.Soriano M.Gonzalez Arizona Garland L, 4-4 L.Rosales Schlereth Rauch Zavada IP 5 1 2⁄3 1⁄3 1 1 IP 2 2⁄3 2 1⁄3 1 2 1 H 8 0 2 0 1 0 H 9 3 0 1 0 R ER BB SO 5 5 1 5 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 3 R ER BB SO 9 8 3 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 3 NP ERA 88 2.59 14 2.05 20 5.40 4 3.12 17 1.31 22 3.60 NP ERA 78 5.75 36 5.73 14 0.00 32 6.23 17 0.00

Inherited runners-scored: Meredith 2-0. IBB: off Thatcher (Atkins), off Marquis (Ad.Gonzalez). Umpires: Home, Jerry Layne; First, Tony Randazzo; Second, Chris Guccione; Third, Todd Tichenor. T: 2:28. A: 23,239 (50,449).

Rockies part ways with Hurdle, Page 13

Inherited runners-scored: O’Flaherty 1-0. Umpires: Home, Tom Hallion; First, Jerry Crawford; Second, Angel Campos; Third, Phil Cuzzi. T: 3:10. A: 26,146 (48,652).

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SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

23

Q&A with ... Lance McGrew, new crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

‘It’s only the most famous driver in the United States’
When team owner Rick Hendrick decided to replace Tony Eury Jr. this week, Dale Earnhardt Jr. got more than a new crew chief—he got a brain trust. After Sunday’s Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway, Lance McGrew takes over as interim crew chief for Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevrolet. As additional resources, Earnhardt can draw on Brian Whitesell, manager of the No. 5 and 88 teams, and long-time Hendrick Motorsports engineer Rex Stump, who designed the controversial T-Rex chassis Jeff Gordon drove to victory in the 1997 all-star race. Whitesell will serve as Earnhardt’s crew chief on Sunday, since McGrew already was committed to working with the No. 25 Hendrick Chevy driven by Brad Keselowski. Starting next week at Pocono, however, it will be McGrew’s responsibility to help Earnhardt bridge the performance gap between the No. 88 car and the Chevys driven by teammates Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin. Sporting News’ Reid Spencer caught up with McGrew in the Sprint Cup garage Friday morning at Dover.

the cars go around the racetrack. Which perception is more accurate, that all the Hendrick drivers have the same equipment, or that Earnhardt and Eury were running something substantially different from the setups of the other three Hendrick drivers? Every situation’s different. Ultimately, a driver’s looking for a ‘feel,’ and sometimes it takes you down different paths. Jimmie doesn’t drive exactly the same thing as Jeff. Jeff doesn’t drive exactly the same thing as Mark Martin or any of the three. You can’t really say that they were off the page in that regard, because ultimately, everybody’s trying to achieve the same thing. The driver’s feeling one thing, and the crew chief’s making adjustments for how he feels. Sometimes it leads you down the right path. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Q: A:

Are you ready to go from under the radar to under the microscope? It’s only the most famous driver in the United States of America. Are you a candidate for the job full-time? I believe so. It’s not something that I’ve 100 percent asked to do, but I think that Mr. Hendrick, in his infinite wisdom, always has a master plan. He has a very unique way of putting the right people together in a situation. A lot of times he can see things far enough out ahead that he’ll make the right decision for you.

Q: A: Q: A:

Q:
JASON SMITH / GETTY IMAGES FOR NASCAR

Lance McGrew said he’s not the most outgoing person in the world, but that figures to change now that he’s the crew chief for NASCAR’s most popular driver. not a little daunting to have the most popular driver in your stable. It’s a challenge. The reason why we do what we do for a living is because, ultimately, we want a challenge. Unfortunately for this business, every Monday morning the report card is out, and we have to jump back on the horse and get ready for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday of the next week. For me, I’m not the most outgoing person in the whole world, and obviously the media blitz is not exactly what I prefer to be doing right now. It’s part of the job, and it’s something I’ll have to work on as well. Rex Stump is credited with designing the T-Rex car that Jeff Gordon drove in the 1997 all-star race. Is there room for any of that kind of creativity with NASCAR’s new racecar?

A:

Q: A:

Are you intimidated by this opportunity? Well, I don’t know if any crew chief would sit here and tell you it’s

Q:

I think more than anything else, the R&D group in itself—I feel like that’s why Hendrick has really thrived. The simple fact is that Rex was so involved in it (the development of the new car) from the very beginning. We did a ton of testing before this car was ever unveiled, and it shows on the racetrack. Rex has a wealth of knowledge in a lot of areas, and he’s a tremendous resource standing next to you when you’re on top of the trailer watching

You’ve had the opportunity to work with a couple of the most talented, high-profile drivers in the garage in Kyle Busch and now Dale Jr. What do you see as the fundamental differences between the two? They’re apples and oranges. It’s kind of hard to make that comparison with anybody, let alone two racecar drivers. They’re different people. Kyle’s very aggressive. Junior’s more methodical, I believe. He’s definitely a thinker. He’s a racecar driver that thinks as he drives around the racetrack, and he understands the fact that it’s a long race, and he’s trying to set himself up to be where he wants to be at the end of the race. Kyle definitely wants to lead every lap. If you watched the video from the Coke 600 last week, when he was leading, he wrecked three or four times off Turn 4 but didn’t hit anything. You could definitely tell he was driving hard.

A:

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SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

24

Mayfield’s temporary restraining order denied
BY LEE MONTGOMERY AND BOB POCKRASS SceneDaily.com

Reutimann on a roll, wins Dover pole
BY REID SPENCER rspencer@sportingnews.com

Autism Speaks 400
at Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del. When: Sunday, 2 p.m. ET TV: FOX, 1:30 p.m. Radio: MRN/Sirius XM Satellite Ch. 128 Track layout: 1-mile oval Race distance: 400 laps/400 miles 2008 winner: Kyle Busch 2008 polesitter: Greg Biffle Sunday’s starting lineup
(Car number in parentheses) 1. (00) David Reutimann, Toyota, 156.794 mph 2. (9) Kasey Kahne, Dodge, 156.542 3. (42) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 156.020 4. (43) Reed Sorenson, Dodge, 155.952 5. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford, 155.932 6. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 155.885 7. (44) AJ Allmendinger, Dodge, 155.689 8. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 155.662 9. (83) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 155.595 10. (19) Elliott Sadler, Dodge, 155.514 11. (39) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 155.447 12. (77) Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 155.440 13. (99) Carl Edwards, Ford, 155.420 14. (17) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 155.313 15. (1) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 155.313 16. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 155.152 17. (07) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 155.086 18. (26) Jamie McMurray, Ford, 155.065 19. (2) Kurt Busch, Dodge, 155.032 20. (47) Marcos Ambrose, Toyota, 154.919 21. (20) Joey Logano, Toyota, 154.812 22. (88) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 154.799 23. (82) Scott Speed, Toyota, 154.706 24. (71) David Gilliland, Chevrolet, 154.593 25. (33) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 154.573 26. (6) David Ragan, Ford, 154.566 27. (96) Bobby Labonte, Ford, 154.434 28. (5) Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 154.328 29. (55) Michael Waltrip, Toyota, 154.242 30. (12) David Stremme, Dodge, 153.932 31. (14) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 153.675 32. (31) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 153.577 33. (78) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 153.446 34. (36) Mike Skinner, Toyota, 153.368 35. (29) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 153.263 36. (98) Paul Menard, Ford, 153.133 37. (09) Mike Bliss, Dodge, 153.120 38. (87) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 152.853 39. (66) Dave Blaney, Toyota, 152.840 40. (7) Robby Gordon, Toyota, Owner Points 41. (34) John Andretti, Chevrolet, Owner Points 42. (24) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, Owner Points 43. (37) Tony Raines, Chevrolet, 152.491 Failed to Qualify 44. (25) Brad Keselowski, Chevrolet, 152.265 47. (13) Max Papis, Toyota, 151.815 48. (75) Derrike Cope, Dodge, 148.014 49. (06) David Starr, Dodge

CHARLOTTE—A North Carolina Superior Court judge Friday denied NASCAR driver/owner Jeremy Mayfield’s request for a temporary restraining order against NASCAR to have his indefinite suspension for a positive drug test overturned. Judge Forrest Bridges set a hearing for Mayfield’s request for a preliminary injunction for Wednesday AP and issued a gag Jeremy Mayfield order preventing both sides from talking about the drug test. Bridges said he denied the temporary restraining order to have Mayfield’s suspension lifted because it “doesn’t serve any practical purpose.” Mayfield’s team was not at Dover International Speedway on Friday and thus could not qualify for this weekend’s Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup race. During Friday’s hearing, Mayfield attorney John Buric disputed the results of the drug test administered May 1, which Buric said resulted in a positive test for amphetamines. NASCAR’s attorney, Paul Hendrick, said in court that the test found a “dangerous, illegal, banned” substance, but did not specify what it was. Hendrick said three drugs were found in Mayfield’s system with the test, and that two were accounted for: Claritin-D allergy medicine and

Adderall, a prescription medicine commonly prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. NASCAR indefinitely suspended Mayfield on May 9 over the positive test. NASCAR chairman Brian France indicated May 15 that an indefinite suspension such as the one Mayfield received is for a positive test of performance-enhancing drugs or illegal recreational drugs. Mayfield denied May 16 that illegal drugs caused the positive test and suggested that a combination of a prescription drug, which he did not specify at that time, and overthe-counter Claritin-D resulted in the positive test. In court Friday, Mayfield’s legal team argued that he had no recourse after a second sample was tested and said that the second sample should have been tested by a second laboratory—other than Aegis Sciences Corp., which tested the first sample. Mayfield’s lawyers also argued that test results of the first sample were inconsistent, showing both positive and negative results for amphetamines. Mayfield’s lawyers also said a second sample never should have been tested because the seal on that sample had been broken. Buric also said Mayfield offered to give a second urine sample but was denied. Hendrick, with NASCAR President Mike Helton seated near him, said the tests were properly administered and disputed claims by Mayfield’s lawyers that NASCAR should have had to conform to federal drug-testing guidelines. lmontgomery@streetandsmiths.com bpockrass@streetandsmiths.com

DOVER, DEL.—When you’re hot… Four days after winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup race, David Reutimann won his second pole of the season and the third of his career, qualifying his No. 00 Toyota in the top spot for Sunday’s Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway. The 12th driver to make a qualifying run, Reutimann turned his lap at the Monster Mile in 22.960 seconds (156.794 mph) to edge Kasey Kahne (156.542 mph) for the No. 1 starting position. Kahne was first on the track for time trials, but only Reutimann could top the No. 9 Dodge, which is powered first the first time this season by the Dodge R6 engine. Juan Pablo Montoya (156.020 mph) qualified third, followed by Reed Sorenson (155.952 mph), Kahne’s teammate at Richard Petty Motorsports. Greg Biffle (155.932 mph), the most recent winner at Dover, claimed the fifth starting position. Kyle Busch, AJ Allmendinger, Jimmie Johnson, Brian Vickers and Elliott Sadler will take the green flag from positions six through 10, respectively. All four RPM drivers—Kahne, Sorenson, Allmendinger and Sadler—earned grid positions in the top 10. Reutimann was concerned about his relatively early qualifying draw, but the concrete surface at Dover didn’t chance much throughout the afternoon. “I worried a little bit about the earlier draw,” Reutimann said. “It seems to be a mindset at most of the tracks we go to that when you go out and it’s hotter, the track is obviously slower. It’s a good thing that concrete surfaces like we have here at Dover don’t seem to react as drastically to temperature changes as a lot of places we go to. “When we went out, the temperature was about three degrees hotter than what it was when we practiced (Reutimann also paced the morning practice session), so it wasn’t a great deal different. At the end of the day, I don’t think going out early was a factor.” Kahne was pleased with the performance of the new engine, which the Penske Racing Dodges already have been using. “So far. . . I can really tell the difference,” he said. “I can really get off the corner and onto the straightaway

RUSS HAMILTON SR. / AP

Just days after winning his first career Sprint Cup race, David Reutimann followed it up with his second career pole win. because of the torque it has compared to the R5 (the engine he has been using). The new engine is something that we’ve needed, and I think that it’s going to be really good with cars around me as well.” Kahne’s RPM teammates are still running the old engine. Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 22nd with team manager Brian Whitesell on the pit box, in the first run since Tony Eury Jr. was replaced as crew chief of the No. 88 Chevrolet on Thursday. Lance McGrew, who will serve as interim crew chief for Earnhardt starting next week at Pocono, will remain at Dover this weekend to work with the No. 88 team. McGrew became available when Brad Keselowski, with whom he was scheduled to work this weekend, failed to qualify the No. 25 Chevrolet for Sunday’s race. — Reid Spencer writes for the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

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SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

25

INSIDE DISH

Kyle Busch takes a shot at Earnhardt
If the crew chief change announced Thursday doesn’t produce performance gains for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch has a strong opinion as to who will take the fall. In Busch’s view, the man on the hot seat will be Lance McGrew, who has been named the interim crew chief for Earnhardt’s No. 88 team, replacing Tony Eury Jr., Earnhardt’s cousin. “He (McGrew) has got his hands full having to deal with what’s going on, and if Junior doesn’t run well, then he’s going to be the problem again. It’s never Junior—it’s always the crew chief.” Busch was released from Hendrick Motorsports after the 2007 season. Since then, he has won 11 Cup points races for Joe Gibbs Racing. Earnhardt, who came to Hendrick when Busch departed, has one victory in a Cup points race and a Budweiser Shootout win since then. — Reid Spencer writes for the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service The rumor mill has free agent driver Martin Truex Jr. as a strong bet to join Michael Waltrip Racing for the 2010 season. Truex was non-committal Friday, reiterating that he won’t have an announcement about his status for next year for a week or two. Asked why a driver like Truex might want to join the organization, MWR driver David Reutimann deadpanned, “Because I’m there.” After the laughter subsided, Reutimann said, “In all honesty, I thought you guys would enjoy that. I actually got that out with a straight
ROB CARR / AP

Leffler celebrating 200th Nationwide start
BY TIM TUTTLE For SN Today

Trucks race postponed
DOVER, DEL.—A heavy afternoon thunderstorm at Dover International Speedway forced postponement of Friday’s scheduled AAA Insurance 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race until 6 p.m. ET today. SPEED, which had planned to televise Friday’s race on tape delay, now will carry the event live, starting with a pre-race broadcast at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Martin Truex Jr. is rumored to be moving to Michael Waltrip Racing next season. face, too, if you can believe.” Reutimann claimed his first Cup win in Monday’s rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. — Reid Spencer Three-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said he was on the path to IndyCar racing before switching to NASCAR and said he would still like to give open-wheel racing a shot. “I would love to,” Johnson said of possibly racing in open-wheel cars some day on Friday at Dover International Speedway. “Growing up, the Indy 500 is what I had my eye on.” — SceneDaily.com Gunselman Motorsports and Sprint Cup driver Todd Bodine have parted ways, the team announced on Friday, so that Bodine can concentrate his efforts on the Camping World Truck Series, where he competes for Germain Racing. Gunselman Motorsports team owner Larry Gunselman has begun the search for a new driver for the team’s No. 64 Toyota in the Cup series. The team withdrew from Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway. — SceneDaily.com

With momentum built from six straight top-10 finishes, Jason Leffler will make his 200th career start today in the Nationwide Series in the Heluva Good! 200 at Dover International Speedway. Leffler, driving Braun Racing’s No. 38 Toyota, has second places at Phoenix and Darlington and sixths at Nashville, Talladega and Lowe’s in his impressive run up to third in the points, but he still trails leader Kyle Busch by 173. “This Great Clips team has been consistently strong all season and we all feel like a win is just around the corner,” Leffler said. “Hopefully, we can get it done at Dover this weekend.” Leffler has two Nationwide victories, at Nashville in 2004 and O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis in 2007. At the Monster Mile, Leffer has three top-fives including a third in 2005 in 11 starts. Leffler has a victory at Dover, in the Camping World Truck Series in 2003. “Dover has been a pretty good track for me over the years,” Leffler said. “My first NASCAR win came at Dover when I was racing in the truck series, so it’s a special place for me. Dover is a really fun racetrack. It’s similar to Bristol with the high banking, but it’s got the feel of a superspeedway. “It’s easy to forget that it’s only a one-mile track because of the speeds you’re carrying. It’s really narrow, so there’s not a whole lot of room to negotiate. Being able to charge hard into the corners so you can keep up your momentum on the straight-

— Reid Spencer

Heluva Good! 200
at Dover International Speedway; Dover, Del. When: Today, 2:30 p.m. ET TV: ABC, 2 p.m. Radio: MRN/Sirius XM Satellite Ch. 128 Track layout: 1-mile oval Race distance: 200 laps/200 miles 2008 winner: Denny Hamlin 2008 polesitter: Carl Edwards Points leaders: 1. Kyle Busch, 1,714; 2. Carl Edwards, 1,641; 3. Jason Leffler, 1,541; 4. Joey Logano, 1,495; 5. Brad Keselowski, 1,473; 6. Jason Keller, 1,296; 7. David Ragan, 1,285; 8. Brendan Gaughan, 1,237; 9. Mike Bliss, 1,234; 10. Justin Allgaier, 1,210
NAM Y. HUH / AP

In 11 Nationwide starts at Dover, Jason Leffler has three Top 5 finishes. aways is really important.” Busch won last fall’s race at Dover, completing a season sweep for the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota. Denny Hamlin won in the spring. Hamlin began a three-race Dover winning streak for Gibbs with a victory in the No. 20 Toyota in the fall race in 2007. “Everyone back at our Nationwide shop does such an outstanding job of having the car prepared for this track that I feel good about it,” Busch said. Jeffrey Earnhardt, the 19-yearold grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt, will make his Nationwide debut today.

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26

Delhomme, Panthers quietly regroup after playoff disaster
BY VINNIE IYER viyer@sportingnews.com

CHARLOTTE—A loss is just a loss, right? Not when it comes in a home playoff game. Not when a potentially special season comes to a sudden, crushing halt against a lowerseeded team. That’s the scenario in which Carolina and three other 2008 NFL playoff teams must rally from this season. The Panthers got the worst of it. Coming off a 12-4 regular season and armed with a perfect home record, they were routed by the visiting, eventual NFC champion Cardinals, 33-13, in the divisional playoffs. It was especially tough for Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme, who struggled with six turnovers on his birthday. “It was such an emotional game, and the emotions were terrible,” Delhomme said. “But that’s what makes our game so popular—that’s part of it.” The Panthers can’t afford to let that loss linger. They’ve got plenty of work to do just to get back to the playoffs. Teammates still have faith in Delhomme, and team officials proved their support of him by signing him to five-year, $42.5 million contract extension in April. Another year removed from the elbow surgery he had in October 2007, Delhomme should be a more consistent passer this season. The biggest challenge for Carolina will be on defense, which has been taken over by former Colts defensive coordinator Ron Meeks. Last season, the Panthers’ D faded down the stretch, giving up points in bunches and ultimately having no answers for Cards wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Adding to the schematic transition is the fact the team’s best defensive player, end Julius Peppers, has yet to sign his franchise tender and isn’t participating in the team’s OTAs. “We can use him. We’re a better team with him,” safety Chris Harris said. “You

Recovering for another run
A look at three other teams that had early exits from the 2008 playoffs:

Dolphins
How they departed: Chad Pennington was intercepted four times in a 27-9 home wild-card loss to the Ravens. Why they might not return: There are persistent rumblings that running back Ronnie Brown will be traded, and Pennington eventually will give way to second-year player Chad Henne. In the AFC East, the Patriots, Jets and Bills all look like improved teams. Why they can return: The team has had another offseason to smooth out issues in the 3-4. Bringing back Jason Taylor as an edge pass rusher helps.

Burress, Amani Toomer and 1,000yard back Derrick Ward. Defensively, they lost ace coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Last time we checked, the Giants also play in the brutal NFC East. Why they can return: The offensive line remains intact to pave the way for backfield hammer Brandon Jacobs. The Giants made several offseason moves to bolster their defensive front and will get a healthy Osi Umenyiora back at right end.

Titans
How they departed: The Titans committed 12 penalties and three turnovers in a 13-10 divisional playoff loss to the Ravens. Why they might not return: Losing Albert Haynesworth creates a huge void in what was a dominant run defense. It’s also uncertain whether Kerry Collins can hold up for another long year. Why they can return: They still have plenty of dynamic playmakers, starting with both backfields. Chris Johnson is determined to trump his great rookie season, and the team added a couple of wideouts—former Steeler Nate Washington and rookie Kenny Britt—to help Collins. — Vinnie Iyer

Giants
How they departed: They failed to score a touchdown in a 23-11 loss to the bigplay Eagles in the divisional playoffs. Why they might not return: Eli Manning struggled without Plaxico Burress, and now the team is moving on without

RICK HAVNER / AP

Jake Delhomme’s last game is one he’d like to forget—a six INT performance in the playoffs against Arizona. see what (ends) Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis did in Indianapolis (under Meeks). They’ve been very productive.” Other than the Peppers’ situation, it has been a rather quiet offseason for the Panthers. The team has a huge amount of

salary-cap dollars tied up in Peppers and hasn’t been able to make any moves of consequence in free agency. In contrast, divisional rivals Atlanta, New Orleans and Tampa Bay all have made some key personnel moves. Carolina’s standout strength remains its running game, the league’s third best last season. With the re-signing of left tackle Jordan Gross, all five starting offensive linemen return to block for DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. That duo

combined for 2,351 yards at 5.1 per rush last season. Carolina even added a speedster to the backfield mix in fourth-round pick Mike Goodson. Despite the way last season ended, there are positives on which to build and a hunger to shake off the playoff disappointment. “It definitely left a bad taste in our mouth,” Gross said. “But it didn’t take away from what we accomplished last season.”

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DEFENSE Defensive ends—Kevin Carter, Tampa Bay; Earl Cochran, Houston; Sean Conover, NY Jets; Nick Eason, Pittsburgh; Kalimba Edwards, Oakland; Ebenezer Ekuban, Denver; John Engelberger, Denver; Simon Fraser, Atlanta; Roderick Green, San Francisco; Brian Johnston, Kansas City; Travis LaBoy, Arizona; Jayme Mitchell, Minnesota; Jerome McDougle, NY Giants; Julius Peppers (F), Carolina; Josh Savage, New Orleans; Anthony Weaver, Houston; James Wyche, Jacksonville. Defensive tackles—Kenderick Allen, Minnesota; Gary Gibson, Carolina; La’Roi Glover, St. Louis; Vonnie Holliday, Miami; Antwan Lake, New Orleans; Langston Moore, Detroit; Kindal Moorehead, Atlanta; Dewayne Robertson, Denver; Orpheus Roye, Pittsburgh; Hollis Thomas, New Orleans; Josh Thomas, Indianapolis; John Thornton, Cincinnati; Casey Tyler, Dallas; Darwin Walker, Carolina; Ellis Wyms, Minnesota; Brian Young, New Orleans; Jeff Zgonina, Houston. Linebackers—Rufus Alexander, Indianapolis; Jason Babin, Kansas City; Rocky Boiman, Kansas City; Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay; Khary Campbell, Washington; Anthony Cannon, Detroit; Dan Cody, Baltimore; Rosevelt Colvin, New England; Donte’ Curry, Carolina; Donnie Edwards, Kansas City; Keith Ellison (R), Buffalo; Troy Evans, New Orleans; Gilbert Gardner, Chicago; Curtis Gatewood, Kansas City; Morlon Greenwood, Houston; Marques Harris, San Diego; Napoleon Harris, Minnesota; Abdul Hodge (R), Cincinnati; Mike Humpal, Pittsburgh; Brad Kassell, NY Jets; Jason Kyle, Carolina; Teddy Lehman, Buffalo; Wesly Mallard, Seattle; Jim Maxwell, Cincinnati; Willie McGinest, Cleveland; Marques Murrell (R), NY Jets; Ryan Nece, Detroit; Shantee Orr, Cleveland; Antwan Peek, Cleveland; Carlos Polk, Dallas; Junior Seau, New England; Matt Sinclair, Washington; Gary Stills, St. Louis; Terrell Suggs (F), Baltimore; Dontarrious Thomas, Minnesota; Marcus Washington, Washington; Nate Webster, Denver. Cornerbacks—David Barrett, NY Jets; Fakhir Brown, St. Louis; Terry Cousin, Cleveland; Jason Craft, St. Louis; Travis Fisher, Detroit; Reynaldo Hill, Tennessee; William James, Jacksonville; Michael Lehan, New Orleans; Sam Madison, NY Giants; Ricky Manning Jr., St. Louis; Derrick Martin (R), Baltimore; Chris McAlister, Baltimore; Mike McKenzie, New Orleans; R.W. McQuarters, NY Giants; Deltha O’Neal, New England; Dunta Robinson (F), Houston; Lewis Sanders, New England; Duane Starks, Jacksonville; Brandon Sumrall, NY Giants; DeJuan Tribble, San Diego; Jason Webster, New England; Jimmy Williams, Houston; Stanley Wilson, Detroit. Safeties—Oshiomogho Atogwe (F), St. Louis; Michael Boulware, Minnesota; Mike Brown, Chicago; Oliver Celestin, Kansas City; Corey Chavous, St. Louis; Will Demps, Houston; Mike Doss, Cincinnati; Hiram Eugene, Oakland; Mike Green, Washington; Rodney Harrison, New England; Terrence Holt, New Orleans; Dexter Jackson, Cincinnati; Sammy Knight, NY Giants; Marquand Manuel, Denver; Marlon McCree, Denver; Lawyer Milloy, Atlanta; Chad Nkang, Jacksonville; Jarrad Page (R), Kansas City; Pierson Prioleau, Jacksonville; Chris Reis (R), New Orleans; Dwight Smith, Detroit; Jimmy Williams, San Francisco; Cameron Worrell, Chicago. SPECIAL TEAMS Kickers—John Carney, NY Giants; Matt Stover, Baltimore. Punters—Mitch Berger, Pittsburgh; Mike Dragosavich, Indianapolis; Sam Koch (R), Baltimore; Kyle Larson, Cincinnati; Ryan Plackemeier, Cincinnati.

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SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

27

Remaining free agents
A quick look at the remaining NFL free agents by position (R-restricted free agent, F-franchise tagged player): OFFENSE Quarterbacks—Brooks Bollinger, Dallas; Ken Dorsey, Cleveland; Gus Frerotte, Minnesota; Charlie Frye, Seattle; Drew Henson, Detroit; Quinn Gray, Kansas City; Trent Green, St. Louis; Rex Grossman, Chicago; Brad Johnson, Dallas; J.P. Losman, Buffalo; Jamie Martin, San Francisco; Craig Nall, Houston; Marques Tuiasosopo, Oakland; Anthony Wright, NY Giants. Running backs—J.J. Arrington, Denver; Darian Barnes, New Orleans; Tatum Bell, Denver; Jon Bradley, Detroit; Brian Calhoun, Detroit; Jesse Chatman, NY Jets; P.J. Daniels, Baltimore; Reuben Droughns, NY Giants; Warrick Dunn, Tampa Bay; DeShaun Foster, San Francisco; Samkon Gado, St. Louis; Nick Goings, Carolina; Ahman Green, Houston; Andre Hall, Denver; Kay-Jay Harris, NY Giants; Maurice Hicks, Minnesota; Edgerrin James, Arizona; Rudi Johnson, Detroit; Deuce McAllister, New Orleans; Travis Minor, St. Louis; Chris Perry, Cincinnati; Andrew Pinnock, Denver; Michael Pittman, Denver; P.J. Pope, Denver; Cecil Sapp, Houston; Aaron Stecker, New Orleans; Selvin Young, Denver. Wide receivers—Drew Bennett, St. Louis; Marty Booker, Chicago; Drew Carter, Oakland; Jason Carter; Carolina; Keary Colbert, Detroit; Jayson Foster, Denver; D.J. Hackett, Carolina; Dante Hall, St. Louis; Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis; Ike Hilliard, Tampa Bay; Darrell Jackson, Denver; Nate Jackson, Denver; Matt Jones, Jacksonville; Joe Jurevicius, Cleveland; Ashley Lelie, Oakland; Brandon Lloyd, Chicago; Dane Looker, St. Louis; Marcus Maxwell, Baltimore; Anthony Mix, Tampa Bay; Ben Obomanu (R), Seattle; Tab Perry, Miami; Jerry Porter, Jacksonville; Kevin Robinson, Kansas City; Koren Robinson, Seattle; Edell Shepherd, Denver; Travis Taylor, Detroit; Amani Toomer, NY Giants; Kelley Washington, New England; Todd Watkins (R), Oakland; Harry Williams, Houston; Reggie Williams, Jacksonville; Wallace Wright (R), NY Jets. Tight ends—Courtney Anderson, Houston; Adam Bergen, Denver; Mark Bruener, Houston; Owen Daniels (R), Houston; Nate Lawrie, Cincinnati; Michael Merritt, Kansas City; Chad Mustard, Denver; Rob Myers, NY Jets; Jeff Robinson, Seattle; Derek Schouman (R), Buffalo; Stephen Spach (R), Arizona; Daniel Wilcox, Baltimore; Kris Wilson, San Diego. Offensive tackles—Tyson Clabo (R), Atlanta; Anthony Davis, St. Louis; Jon Dunn, Detroit; Wayne Gandy, Atlanta; Kwame Harris, Oakland; Jonas Jennings, San Francisco; Levi Jones, Cincinnati; Kyle Link, NY Jets; James Marten (R), Oakland; Fred Miller, Chicago; Rob Petitti, St. Louis; Jon Runyan, Philadelphia; Charles Spencer, Jacksonville; Barry Stokes, New England; Mark Tauscher, Green Bay; Mark Wilson (R), Oakland. Guards—Lennie Friedman, Cleveland; Pete Kendall, Washington; Matt Lentz, Detroit; Terrence Metcalf, Chicago; Edwin Mulitalo, Detroit; Chris Naeole, Jacksonville; Grey Ruegamer, NY Giants; Kendall Simmons, Pittsburgh; Rob Sims (R), Seattle; Jason Whittle, Buffalo. Centers—Brennen Carvalho, Green Bay; Jean-Philippe Darche, Kansas City; Melvin Fowler, Buffalo; Matt Lehr, New Orleans; Andy McCollum, Detroit; Jeremy Newberry, San Diego; Scott Peters, Arizona; Cory Withrow, St. Louis.

Punter rankings: Lechler has the whole package
The importance of the kicking game isn’t lost on any of the head coaches in the NFL. Field position is critical, and to excel in that area you need a punter and coverage units working in lock step. Improving special teams is usually one of the first items on a new head coach’s to-do list, but that won’t happen without a quality punter. RealScouts, SN Today’s team of former NFL scouts, rank their Top 10 punters for ’09: knack for dropping the ball inside the red zone. He’s an unsung hero and an invaluable asset to the Bills. Dustin Colquitt, Chiefs. Like Lechler, Colquitt might have been the best player on his team last season. He ranked in the top 10 in net average and punts inside the 20. With some new energy on both sides of the ball under coach Todd Haley, he should have more chances to affect the field-position battle this year. Jeff Feagles, Giants. Feagles made the Pro Bowl at age 42 last season. A very good directional punter, he ranked in the top five in the NFL in net average and put 23 kicks inside the 20. He considered retirement but is expected to return. With the emphasis coach Tom Coughlin puts on special teams, there’s no reason to expect Feagles to slide. Donnie Jones, Rams. Jones is a big guy (6-3, 222) with a big leg, and he got plenty of work in ’08 because of the Rams’ feeble offense. His 50.0-yard average was best in the league, and his 41.1 net was second only to Lechler’s.

7.

Among players with at least 50 punts, Lechler ranked second in average (48.8), first in net average (41.2) and third in punts inside the 20 (33). Despite Al Davis’ love of the vertical passing game, his team is led by a former offensive line coach and is built to run the ball. The field-position game will be key to the Raiders in 2009, and Lechler will be a huge factor. Brad Maynard, Bears. Maynard doesn’t have a great overall average (41.2), which isn’t a surprise considering the weather issues in Chicago. However, he led the NFL in punts inside the 20 (40), and only 36 of his 96 punts were returned. Sam Koch, Ravens. He ranked in the top 10 in the league with a 45.5-yard average and a 39.9-yard net. His 74-yard boot was the third-longest punt of the season in the NFL. He was also second with 34 punts inside the 20. The Ravens were smart to sign him to an extension this offseason. Mike Scifres, Chargers. Scifres put himself on the map with a stellar playoff performance

1.

Shane

Lechler,

Raiders.

8.

2. 3.

9.

ALBERT DICKSON / SN

Oakland’s Shane Lechler led the NFL in net average at 41.2 per punt. against the Colts, pinning Indy inside the 20-yard line six times and producing a net average of 5l.7. For those who watched him all year, it was nothing new. He had a 40.9-yard net during the season and less than half of his punts were returned. kicker, Zastudil has a powerful leg and gets great hang time. He’s a very good directional kicker who can completely negate the return game when he’s on. Brian Moorman, Bills. Moorman can drive the ball in any weather and consistently produces good hang times. He is also a smart directional kicker who has a

4.

6.

5.

Dave

Zastudil,

Browns.

Another

bad-weather

Hentrich struggled with back issues in 2008 and considered retirement this offseason. Of his 87 punts last season, only 32 were returned and 27 landed inside the 20. He is a wily veteran who can completely negate the opponent’s return game and has long been an overlooked piece in Tennessee’s defensive success. — RealScouts analyzes NFL and college players, coaches and teams exclusively for Sporting News Today.

10.

Craig

Hentrich,

Titans.

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Childress defends Jackson’s work ethic; Dolphins work on ‘WildPat’
At the Vikings’ minicamp Friday, coach Brad Childress defended the work ethic of QB Tarvaris Jackson, who was criticized recently by Pro Bowl DT Pat Williams. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Childress said Jackson puts in as much time at the Vikings’ training facility as anyone on the team. “Tarvaris Jackson is one of hardestworking guys you are going to find in this 85-man roster right now,” Childress said. “Just in terms of the time he spends here, the time he spends in the books, with the wide receivers, in the weight room, strength and conditioning. There’s very few people that work as hard as he does in the offseason.” In an interview last week, Williams said he had told Jackson: “You have to put in more time than you have been putting in.” Jackson and Sage Rosenfels have been splitting the snaps with the first-team offense at minicamp. Meanwhile, Childress told reporters he hasn’t recently spoken to Brett Favre or his agent, Bus Cook, saying: “Nothing has changed.” Though the Dolphins won’t talk about their plans for rookie Pat White in the Wildcat formation, it appears they are adding to plays to the scheme they unveiled last year, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. During a practice session this week, White lined up as the only player in the backfield in the “WildPat” scheme after lining up at wideout in previous practices while RB Ronnie Brown ran the offense. Last year, Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said that the team was “just scratching the surface” of the Wildcat. White told the Sun-Sentinel the Dolphins’ multi-dimensional offense “expands the spread.” More options? “I think so,” he said. agreement to join the Lions, according to the Detroit Free Press. The deal won’t become official until the former University of Michigan lineman passes a physical set for Monday, the newspaper said. Jansen started 122 games for the Redskins, validating his nickname “Rock” by missing only one snap in his first five seasons while playing close to Pro Bowl level. Injuries have taken their toll on him in recent years. The Redskins have three candidates to succeed Jansen at right tackle: third-year player Stephon Heyer and offseason pickups Mike Williams and Jeremy Bridges. Packers WR Donald Driver skipped a voluntary practice on Thursday because he wants to renegotiate his contract, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. Driver’s agent said he has had contract discussions with the Packers. Driver currently is scheduled to make $3.9 million this season and $4 million in 2010. Buccaneers WR Antonio Bryant is lobbying for receiving help. During a recent interview with Sirius NFL Radio, he said he has urged the team to sign WR Plaxico Burress or trade for Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin. Meanwhile, the St. Petersburg Times reported the Bucs may have interest in former Colts WR Marvin Harrison. put the suspensions of five players on hold while the case over use of a banned substance is being appealed. However, NFLPA attorney Jeffrey Kessler said it doesn’t necessary mean the players will miss any games at the start of the 2009 season because there could be action at the appellate court level before the season starts. Vikings CB Antoine Winfield will miss this weekend’s mandatory three-day minicamp. There was speculation Winfield, who is entering the final year of his contract, was skipping workouts because of an impasse in negotiations. However, Childress says the cornerback is out because he is attending the funeral of a close friend’s mother. Browns coach Eric Mangini asked LG Eric Steinbach to bulk up to help implement a more physical style of play, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. Since the start of the offseason program March 15, Steinbach said he has put on 12 pounds, although he is still below 300. Bengals QB Carson Palmer said he can’t wait to play with RB Cedric Benson. Palmer said he is most excited about using Benson on screen passes. Benson caught only 20 passes last year from backup Ryan Fitzpatrick but one went for a 79-yard touchdown. “I love seeing that; those are easy yards,” Palmer said via the team’s website. “They keep you on the field, they tick the defense off. With his speed, it’s hard to stop. Combine that with the way he finishes runs. He puts his shoulder down on DBs and makes safeties a little hesitant about coming to tackle him. It adds a presence and physicality to the game you love seeing as a quarterback.”

PAUL SANCYA / AP

Vikings coach Brad Childress said QB Tarvaris Jackson (7) is one of the hardest-working players on the team. Free-agent linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa agreed Friday to a one-year contract with the Bears after leading the Rams in tackles four of the past six seasons. The Bears also locked up DT Israel Idonije with a two-year extension through 2011 and agreed to contracts with seven of their nine draft picks. Tinoisamoa had a career-high 104 tackles last year before being released by a new coaching staff seeking more size. In Chicago, he will be reunited with coach Lovie

Smith and defensive coordinator Bob Babich, who coached him in St. Louis. Tinoisamoa will probably start at strongside linebacker alongside Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher. Besides adding Tinoisamoa, the Bears committed to an important part of their defense in Idonije, who posted career highs with 28 tackles and 31/2 sacks last season.
Released Friday by the Redskins, veteran OT Jon Jansen quickly reached a verbal

Michael Vick’s father, Michael Boddie, told The Daily Press of Newport News, Va., he believes his son is a “better man” now than when he went to federal prison camp for 19 months. Vick was released earlier this month. “You ever been locked up?” Boddie said. “You have a lot of time to reflect. Looks like he came through it in one piece. I think he’ll be a better man because of it.”
A federal judge denied on Friday a request by the NFL Players Association to

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Texans have Williams’ sidekick
HOUSTON—Mario Williams has become a ferocious pass rusher in his three NFL seasons. Too bad the Texans haven’t had any pressure coming from the opposite end since he was drafted. Antonio Smith is hoping to change that in his first year in Houston after helping Arizona to the Super Bowl last season. The defensive end joined Williams and the rest of the Texans for the first time this week after missing the first week of practices with an injured hamstring. He can’t wait to play with the right end who was drafted first overall in 2006. “I watched him and teams like to double-team him,” Smith said. “That must mean I’m going to get single-teamed most of the time. So, hey, I’ll have fun and once teams realize you can’t single-team either one of us, they’re going to have to find a way to get us blocked.” Williams had 53 tackles and 12 sacks last season despite dealing with near constant double-teams playing opposite Anthony Weaver. Weaver was released in the offseason after getting just one sack in three years with the team. Smith is also an upgrade over Weaver in size. Weaver is 6-2, 270 pounds. Smith is 6-4 and about 290. “He’s a big, strong player,” coach Gary Kubiak said of Smith. “It’s not like we have a small end and a big end now. We’ve got two pretty good-sized bodies out there.” A fifth-round pick in 2004, Smith joins a line full of first-round selections. Along with Williams, the Texans have tackles Amobi Okoye (10th overall in 2007) and Travis Johnson (16th overall in 2005).

DAVID J. PHILLIP / AP

The Texans gave Antonio Smith (94) $35 million to take some pressure off of Mario Williams. Smith had had 41 tackles and 3½ sacks last season and has 125 tackles and 14½ sacks in his five-year career. He broke out in the playoffs last season with several big plays, including two sacks and a tackle for a safety. For now Smith is trying to get a feel for the team and learn the defense. After he gets his bearings, Kubiak plans to move him around some, letting him rush from the inside and drop back in coverage occasionally. It’s a role Smith is comfortable with after the Cardinals used him in much the same way in most of his five seasons with the team. “I’ve never really done just one thing my whole career,” he said. “It’s like second nature to me. Once I learn the technique they want me to use, I think I’ll be fine. I know how to do it all.” Kubiak can’t wait to see how Williams and Smith can work together this season. “He’s the big, strong, powerful guy opposite of Mario,” Kubiak said. “He helps us with the tight end and those types of things, not letting them off the line of scrimmage. He can go inside and rush the passer, which I saw him do throughout the playoffs very effectively. So he’s a key and that’s why we brought him here.” Smith, 27, had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the Cardinals’ Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh. That experience could be invaluable for a team still looking to make its first playoff trip. Though Smith has plenty of advice for his teammates, he’ll hold back until he has been with the team a bit longer. “I’ve been trying to feel everybody out,” he said. “There are some things that I would say, about how to get deep into the playoffs that I learned in the last year. But everything I saw on our team, I see on this team.” — The Associated Press

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Top 100 countdown
Sporting News Today is counting down its Top 100 college football teams for 2009, featuring one team each day leading into the season opener Thursday, Sept. 3.

New Mexico coach Locksley accused of sexual harassment
New Mexico football coach Mike Locksley, on the job less than six months, has been accused of sexual harassment by a former administrative assistant. Sylvia Lopez filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She worked under Locksley at the Lobos football office before transferring last month, then quit her university job May 15. Locksley did not immediately respond to telephone messages left Friday by The Associated Press at New Mexico’s football office and through an athletic department publicist. In a statement released to Albuquerque television station KRQE, Locksley said: “I had always treated everybody with respect. That is who I am. Change and transition is always tough on everybody. Out of respect for all involved, that is all I am going to say.” Athletic director Paul Krebs said the university is taking the complaint seriously. Lost amid the Auburn-Iowa State coach swap—Auburn hired Iowa State coach Gene Chizik, so the Cyclones hired Auburn defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads to replace Chizik—has been the Iowa State side. While Chizik made headlines this offseason by traveling to high schools for recruiting trips in a limo, Rhoads has impressed fans with his unpretentious personality during his current Cyclone Tailgate Tour. Rhoads, a native of

SEC commish: End patsy scheduling
The SEC was nearly absent from the NCAA Tournament and commissioner Mike Slive wants to see tougher nonconference schedules—and soon. “November and December isn’t exhibition season,” Slive told The Associated Press at the SEC’s annual meetings in Destin, Fla., this week. Just three teams made the NCAA Tournament last season— two lost in the first round followed by the other in the second. Slive recently ended his term as chairman of the NCAA Tournament selection committee where he got an up-close look at how important the entire season is to a postseason berth. And weak nonconference schedules—rampant among SEC schools—cannot be overlooked. According to RPI expert Jerry Palm, 55.3 percent of the SEC’s nonconference wins this past season (68-of-123) came against teams with an RPI of 201 or worse. That included a 54-0 record against teams with an RPI of 251 or worse. The lone standout was Tennessee with the third-toughest schedule in the nation. The Vols were seeded No. 9 after a loss in the SEC tournament finals to Mississippi State. Coaches sounded reluctant after listening to Slive. But expect athletic directors to get more involved in scheduling, if the league’s coaches continue dodging stronger nonconference opponents. “I think you need to make your “You’re crazy if you think (that),” Walker told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “Because of guilt by association. …. Anything that comes up gets magnified and rehashed. Cal is a big personality, and Kentucky is a big school. “I’m hopeful (athletic director) Mitch (Barnhart) and (school president) Lee Todd did a thorough search (into the allegations).” The NCAA told Calipari in a letter he must participate in next week’s hearing on alleged major violations at Memphis, but Calipari explained in a letter to the NCAA that he wouldn’t be able to attend due to a previously scheduled trip to China, the AP reported. Calipari said Friday he would call in to participate. USC F Marcus Johnson has been granted another year of eligibility. Coach Tim Floyd said the NCAA granted a “season of competition” waiver for Johnson on the condition that he be withheld from the first two games of the 2009-10 season, when he will be considered a senior. Johnson applied for the waiver because he competed in just one exhibition game during the 2007-08 season at Connecticut before transferring to USC. He averaged 3.1 points and 1.8 rebounds while playing 16 games for the Trojans last season. Johnson sat out the first 11 games after transferring from Connecticut, and then missed seven games with a strained rotator cuff.

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JAY DROWNS / SN

COURTESY IOWA STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Paul Rhoads was an assistant at Iowa State from 1995-99. Ankeny, Iowa, told the Omaha World-Herald during a stop in Nebraska that coaches tend to have the attitude that “the farmer out in the field, or the clerk in the store, those people don’t concern me as much. Well, they absolutely do. They’re the ones that fill our stands and buy our tickets and have conversations with the players in this state we’re going to recruit. You’ve got to give back to all those people.” On the final day of the SEC meeting, league presidents approved a rule limiting conference football teams to signing just 28 players annually. NCAA rules allow teams just 25 scholarships per year, but SEC schools generally over sign players, anticipating a portion of the ones they sign won’t academically qualify. The new SEC rule takes effect immediately.

SKIP PETERSON / AP

Tennessee had the third-toughest schedule in the nation last season. nonconference games more attractive for your season ticket base,” Mississippi State athletic director Greg Byrne said. “Also, some schools make sense for us to schedule. The Big 12 and ACC have teams that are easy for us to get to, and it is easy for those teams to come to us.” Former Kentucky Wildcats are chiming in on the John Calipari situation. Calipari left Memphis for Kentucky following last season, and his former program is being investigated for major violations involving academic fraud and improper payments of travel expenses. Kenny Walker, a former UK AllAmerican, said Wildcats fans are naïve to believe this is simply a Memphis issue.

A thumb injury ended Jake Locker’s season in 2008, but he was healthy in the spring.

WASHINGTON
2008 record: 0-12 overall, 0-9
Pac-10

Coach: Steve Sarkisian Outlook: The wretched Huskies have three reasons to be optimistic: 1. Jake Locker is the Pac-10’s best quarterback, provided he stays healthy; 2. Sarkisian’s debut as head coach should jolt the offense, which was held to 14 or fewer points nine times in 2008; 3. The losing streak, which likely will be at 15 games, should end Sept. 12 against Idaho. — Derek Samson

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College Basketball

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

31

After big whiffs, time for NCAA to start examining itself
Even though he tended to stumble around and talk funny and occasionally destroyed furniture in the process, Inspector Clouseau usually solved the cases he was assigned. So given that he was both funny and proficient, that puts him two up on the NCAA folks who certify incoming freshman for athletic eligibility. Clouseau being entirely made up, though, puts a dent in his advantage. Mike DeCourcy COLLEGE BASKETBALL Oh, if only the NCAA initial eligibility process were fictional, as well. It’s been more than two decades since the NCAA membership passed the odious Prop 48 into Bylaw 5-1(j), which mandated all freshmen meeting national standards before being certified to compete in Division I athletics. Among those requirements was the infamous 700 score on the SAT, which smelled of discrimination from the moment it was adopted. The numbers have changed some over the years, even become more reasonable, and we’ve gotten used to this bad law in the same way we’ve grown to accept the 3-point shot or the NFL’s sudden death overtime. But seeing how it’s all turned out for those two superstar guards from the high school class of 2007—O.J. Mayo and Derrick Rose—raises significant questions about the initial eligibility process. With Mayo, the NCAA was unable to turn up anything to indicate he’d professionalized himself prior to attending Southern California, though it’s subsequently been alleged by one of his associates that Mayo had been provided with cash and gifts by an agent’s representative while still in high school. With Rose, the NCAA examined his academic record and certified him as eligible to compete. Reportedly, the organization then retreated months after the season and charged that he had not taken his own SAT. Folks, that’s a pretty glaring 0-for2. If these folks are swinging and missing at the two biggest pitches they’ll see all year, doesn’t that make them the regulatory equivalent of Alex Rodriguez? And if they’re getting it wrong in such high-profile cases, how is anyone to be sure they’re not whiffing on so many others? It’s not the NCAA’s fault they’re in the business of certifying initial eligibility. The membership forced that on the home office, so they’re doing as they’re told. The schools ought to have enough mutual trust to admit the students they choose to admit. They do it with their medical schools and their journalism schools, but they feel the need to tell one another which point guard can matriculate. It’s ridiculous. Attorney Don Jackson of Montgomery, Ala., has dealt with the NCAA on several of these eligibility matters. He does not agree that the NCAA should be out of the initial eligibility business. “I have a more significant gripe with the way these requirements are enforced and the way they are structured,” Jackson said. “They are structured in a way to induce cheating, in a way to induce bending the rules. “I sympathize with what the NCAA is trying to accomplish. They’re just going about it the wrong way. And they’re providing no guidance.” Jackson’s position is the NCAA needs to do a much better job of providing early education on eligibility matters, reaching deep into the junior highs and middle schools so athletes and their families can make informed decisions about issues regarding amateurism and scholastic pursuits. And he contends that once the NCAA begins taking a high-profile athlete through the process there must be a more even application of justice. He is concerned so many of the athletes who wind up fighting for eligibility are from the South or urban areas and that too many are minorities. “I don’t condone cheating—I don’t condone cheating by colleges, by coaches or anyone,” Jackson said. “I understand they want to combat cheating, but in order to combat cheating you are hurting a bunch of innocent kids.” Jackson contends as this decade has progressed the eligibility cases have grown increasingly bizarre. He is working with the family of basketball recruit Renardo Sidney, who signed at Mississippi State, to establish his initial eligibility. Jackson said his approach has been to provide the NCAA with even more information and documentation than requested—except in one instance. Jackson said the NCAA has requested to review the family’s bank accounts for the past four years. “We are in the process of telling them they’re out of their minds,” he said. The NCAA’s job has grown so much more complicated—so much closer to impossible—as the money associated with youth basketball has escalated. Perhaps if the organization were allowed to spend all the time and money currently allotted to sorting through recruits’ grades and SAT scores on trying to figure out which players are pros, everyone could be more effective. There is an admissions office on every campus. Let those people do their jobs, and let the NCAA get back to policing college sports.
decourcy@sportingnews.com

GUS RUELAS / AP

The NCAA was unable to gather any dirt on O.J. Mayo before he entered USC.

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Golf

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

32

Stricker leads field, takes advantage of good conditions
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
Site: Fort Worth, Texas. Schedule: Through-Sunday. Course: Colonial Country Club (7,054 yards, par 70). Purse: $6.2 million. Winner’s share: $1,116,000. TV: Golf Channel (Today, 2-5 a.m.) and CBS (Today-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).

Woods returns to Memorial, where he’s won 3 times
DUBLIN, OHIO—Tiger Woods is returning to the Memorial, where he is a three-time winner. He has skipped the tournament two of the last three years because of family matters and knee surgery. Woods has not won at Muirfield Village, where Jack Nicklaus is the tournament host, since winning his third in a row at 2001. He did not play in 2006 because of his father’s death. Last year, he was recovering from the first of two knee operations that ultimately caused him to miss the second half of the season. The Memorial will be played June 4-7, with Kenny Perry the defending champion.

— The Associated Press

FORT WORTH, TEXAS—From its Ben Hogan trophy room to its status as the longest-running event at its original site, the Colonial Country Club is among the most venerable stops on the PGA Tour. This week, the ol’ course is playing like a pitch-and-putt. Steve Stricker shot his second straight 63 on Friday morning, giving him a 14-under 126 total that set records for 36 holes and for any consecutive rounds at the Crowne Plaza Invitational—yet was barely enough to top a leaderboard filled with players taking advantage of light wind and pillow-soft greens. Tim Clark, Vijah Singh and Sean O’Hair shot 64s on Friday and were lined up right behind Stricker: Clark was one shot back, Singh one more and O’Hair yet another. Jason Day (65) was 10 under, Woody Austin (68) was another stroke back, and Ryan Palmer (63) was 8 under. “The weather, for two days in a row—well, all week since we’ve been here—has been unbelievable,” Stricker said. “Wind is what this course needs to get difficult, but we haven’t seen it yet. ... I kind of like what’s going on right now.” Clark’s two-round total of 127 matched the previous best for back-to-back rounds set by Justin Leonard in ’03. Singh’s tworound total of 128 matched the previous midway mark set by Kenny Perry in 2005. And they’re only good for footnotes because of Stricker’s 126.

DONNA MCWILLIAM / AP

Steve Stricker’s 63 in the second round gave him a one-shot lead. “I’d rather have the trophy,” Stricker said. “We’re only halfway through. I’d like to keep making putts. That solves a lot of problems.” Colonial members can only shake their heads at these scores, especially after undertaking course alterations that were supposed to make things tougher, not easier. Some West Texas gusts would help show whether they miscalculated or if it really is just the calm conditions. The cut line was further evidence of how tame the course is playing. It was even par (140). To put that in perspective, par would’ve beaten Hogan the last two times he won it, in 1959 and ’53; he was 1 under in all three of his other victories here. “This course really rewards good play,” Clark said. “It favors everyone.” Singh is here for the first time since 2002, having withdrawn right after criticizing

Annika Sorenstam’s spot in the field in 2003 then citing conflicts overseas for his continued absence. He’s been fondly welcomed back by the galleries and has made himself right at home. He’s second-longest off the tee and has taken the sixth-fewest putts, leading Stricker in both categories. “I’m really happy with the way I’m swinging the club,” Singh said. “I’m doing everything pretty good right now. That’s a good feeling.” He finds the conditions a little too good. He’s hoping for some extra heat to firm up greens that he finds too soft and too slow. “If you can hit the fairways, you can really attack the pin because you know they’re going to stop,” he said. Palmer’s low round pushed him up to seventh. It meant even more because this is home course and the gallery was filled with friends and family. He finished with a pair of birdies, capping it with a 16-footer that left him a bit emotional. “To put on a show for them was nice, it was unbelievable,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for this day to come for a long time this year.” Chad Campbell hurt his calf so badly that others had to brace him, then he went down to the ground, while playing the 17th hole. The Masters runner-up withdrew, and hopes to be healed in time for the U.S. Open in three weeks. — The Associated Press

Leaderboard
Friday At Colonial Country Club Fort Worth, Texas Purse: $6.2 million Yardage: 7,204; Par: 70 Second Round Steve Stricker Tim Clark Vijay Singh Sean O’Hair Jason Day Woody Austin Ryan Palmer Luke Donald Paul Casey Kevin Sutherland James Driscoll Steve Marino Jason Bohn Ted Purdy Kevin Na Justin Leonard Lucas Glover John Senden Ian Poulter James Nitties Danny Lee Harrison Frazar Tom Pernice, Jr. Kenny Perry Mike Weir Hunter Mahan Zach Johnson Stephen Ames Jeff Overton Tim Herron Bob Estes John Rollins Charlie Wi Stewart Cink Geoff Ogilvy Anthony Kim Jim Furyk Brian Davis Derek Fathauer Greg Owen Tom Lehman Ryuji Imada Michael Bradley Rocco Mediate Fredrik Jacobson Nick O’Hern Bart Bryant Matt Kuchar Kevin Streelman Mark Wilson Scott Verplank George McNeill Justin Rose David Toms Ben Crane Rod Pampling J.J. Henry 63-63 63-64 64-64 65-64 65-65 63-68 69-63 68-65 66-67 66-67 69-64 66-67 69-65 69-65 66-68 66-68 70-65 68-67 66-69 67-68 69-67 67-69 69-67 64-72 69-67 69-67 69-67 68-68 69-67 71-65 71-66 70-67 67-70 71-66 70-67 69-68 68-69 69-68 68-69 68-69 68-69 69-68 70-67 67-70 68-70 69-69 70-68 70-68 68-70 67-71 70-68 68-70 69-69 67-72 71-68 73-66 71-68 — 126 -14 — 127 -13 — 128 -12 — 129 -11 — 130 -10 — 131 -9 — 132 -8 — 133 -7 — 133 -7 — 133 -7 — 133 -7 — 133 -7 — 134 -6 — 134 -6 — 134 -6 — 134 -6 — 135 -5 — 135 -5 — 135 -5 — 135 -5 — 136 -4 — 136 -4 — 136 -4 — 136 -4 — 136 -4 — 136 -4 — 136 -4 — 136 -4 — 136 -4 — 136 -4 — 137 -3 — 137 -3 — 137 -3 — 137 -3 — 137 -3 — 137 -3 — 137 -3 — 137 -3 — 137 -3 — 137 -3 — 137 -3 — 137 -3 — 137 -3 — 137 -3 — 138 -2 — 138 -2 — 138 -2 — 138 -2 — 138 -2 — 138 -2 — 138 -2 — 138 -2 — 138 -2 — 139 -1 — 139 -1 — 139 -1 — 139 -1

Brian Gay Adam Scott Carl Pettersson John Merrick Tommy Armour III Aron Price Matt Bettencourt Ken Duke Charley Hoffman Richard S. Johnson Chez Reavie Dudley Hart Brandt Jobe Mark Brooks Jason Dufner Bo Van Pelt Corey Pavin Rory Sabbatini Chris DiMarco Joe Ogilvie Mark Calcavecchia Heath Slocum Failed to qualify Rich Beem Mathew Goggin Jerry Kelly Y.E. Yang Jonathan Byrd Paul Goydos D.J. Trahan Steve Flesch Ryan Moore Nicholas Thompson Matt Weibring Alex Cejka Jeff Klauk Marc Turnesa Dean Wilson Brett Quigley Tim Petrovic J.P. Hayes Briny Baird Will MacKenzie Todd Hamilton Vaughn Taylor Webb Simpson Lee Janzen Jeff Maggert Keith Clearwater Johnson Wagner D.A. Points Jeff Quinney Davis Love III Greg Kraft Steve Lowery Cameron Beckman Trevor Immelman J.B. Holmes Troy Matteson Billy Mayfair Fulton Allem Ian Baker-Finch Parker McLachlin Peter Lonard Chad Campbell Scott Piercy

68-71 68-71 71-68 71-68 67-72 67-72 69-70 71-69 73-67 71-69 72-68 74-66 71-69 71-69 69-71 71-69 71-69 71-69 69-71 67-73 68-72 69-71 71-70 68-73 70-71 74-67 72-69 70-71 75-66 71-70 68-73 68-73 71-70 70-71 72-69 69-72 68-73 71-70 72-70 72-70 70-72 72-70 71-71 71-71 71-72 71-72 70-73 70-73 70-73 73-70 70-73 70-73 70-73 75-69 73-71 73-72 71-74 76-69 72-74 74-72 68-78 72-75 74-76 67-WD 73-DQ

— 139 — 139 — 139 — 139 — 139 — 139 — 139 — 140 — 140 — 140 — 140 — 140 — 140 — 140 — 140 — 140 — 140 — 140 — 140 — 140 — 140 — 140

-1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E

— 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 141 +1 — 142 +2 — 142 +2 — 142 +2 — 142 +2 — 142 +2 — 142 +2 — 143 +3 — 143 +3 — 143 +3 — 143 +3 — 143 +3 — 143 +3 — 143 +3 — 143 +3 — 143 +3 — 144 +4 — 144 +4 — 145 +5 — 145 +5 — 145 +5 — 146 +6 — 146 +6 — 146 +6 — 147 +7 —150+10

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Tennis
FRENCH OPEN Results

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

33

Glance
PARIS—A look at the French Open on
Friday:

Venus drubbed; Sharapova fights back
PARIS—Out of breath and out of sorts, Venus Williams played her way right out of the French Open on Friday with her most lopsided Grand Slam loss since 2001. That the No. 3-seeded Williams would exit in the third round at Roland Garros is not quite so extraordinary, perhaps, considering she now has left this particular Grand Slam tournament at this precise stage in four of the past five years. That Williams would lose the way she did—6-0, 6-4—and to the player she did—29th-seeded Agnes Szavay of Hungary, whose resume boasts a lone major quarterfinal appearance—was anything but ordinary. “I’m used to beating people 6-0. I’m not used to my shot not going in and losing a set 6-0,” Williams said. “So it completely was foreign ground for me.” The red clay of Paris often feels that way to the older Williams sister, whose seven Grand Slam singles titles were earned at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Based on seeding and name, her departure qualifies as by far the tournament’s most significant. Hours later, Maria Sharapova appeared headed in the same direction. Like Williams, Sharapova hasn’t won the French Open, and she, too, slogged through three sets in each of her first two matches this week, then looked awful at the start Friday. But Sharapova, surgically repaired right shoulder and all, did what Williams couldn’t: She pulled herself together and moved into the fourth round. Sharapova came back to beat 98th-ranked Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. While Sharapova found herself in yet another two-hour-plus test, No. 1 Dinara Safina and defending champion Ana Ivanovic won easily. Four-time reigning
(10) against Szavay. “She hung in there. She played really well, but I definitely have to attribute that loss to, you know, to me not being able to execute what I wanted to on the court,” Williams said. “It seemed every shot I tried, somehow, it found a way to go out.” Her mother, Oracene Price, offered an explanation: She thought Williams was wiped out after her second-round match began Wednesday, was suspended by darkness, then was completed Thursday. Williams was forced to save a match point before winning that one. “Sometimes a match is so emotional, kind of draining mentally,” Price said. “And then she didn’t really get her real rest.” Williams’ father, Richard, said after Thursday’s victory that his daughter was dealing with a knee problem. She often was out of position against Szavay, who held her own in the kind of baseline exchanges Williams can dominate more easily on faster surfaces. It was the 14th time in 662 career matches that Williams was shut out in a set, and her only worse defeat in Grand Slam play was a 6-1, 6-1 loss to Martina Hingis in the 2001 Australian Open semifinals. “I said, ‘Fight! Try to find some fire!’ She just didn’t have it, couldn’t bring it out today, for some reason,” Price said. “Probably doesn’t understand it herself.” Neither, really, did Szavay, whose only real blip came when she double-faulted, then put a forehand into the net, allowing Williams to break for a 4-3 lead in the second set. But Williams wouldn’t win another game, double-faulting to get broken right back, then adding to her error count the rest of the way. — The Associated Press

Weather: Sunny. High of 72 degrees. Attendance: 34,304. Men’s seeded winners: No. 1 Rafael
Nadal, No. 3 Andy Murray, No. 4 Novak Djokovic, No. 8 Fernando Verdasco, No. 10 Nikolay Davydenko, No. 12 Fernando Gonzalez, No. 13 Marin Cilic, No. 23 Robin Soderling, No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 30 Victor Hanescu. Men’s seeded losers: No. 7 Gilles Simon, No. 14 David Ferrer, No. 17 Stanislas Wawrinka, No. 18 Radek Stepanek, No. 31 Nicolas Almagro. Women’s seeded winners: No. 1 Dinara Safina, No. 8 Ana Ivanovic, No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova, No. 25 Li Na, No. 29 Agnes Szavay. Women’s seeded losers: No. 3 Venus Williams, No. 27 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, No. 32 Iveta Benesova. Stat of the day: 4—The total number of games lost by Safina through three rounds of the tournament. Quote of the day: “It’s hard to play against a player screaming like that.” — Aravane Rezai, after complaining about opponent Michelle Larcher de Brito’s shrieks in their third-round match. Rezai won in two sets. On court today: No. 2 Roger Federer vs. No. 32 Paul-Henri Mathieu, Djokovic vs. No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 6 Andy Roddick vs. Marc Gicquel; No. 2 Serena Williams vs. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, No. 4 Elena Dementieva vs. No. 30 Samantha Stosur, No. 5 Jelena Jankovic vs. Jarmila Groth. Today’s forecast: Sunny. High of 73 degrees. Today’s TV: Tennis Channel, 5 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET; NBC, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m ET.

CHRISTOPHE ENA / AP

Venus Williams has lost at the French Open in the third round in four of the last five years. champion Rafael Nadal made things look simple against former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, beating him 6-1, 6-3, 6-1, and No. 3 Andy Murray, No. 8 Fernando Verdasco, No. 10 Nikolay Davydenko and No. 12 Fernando Gonzalez also reached the fourth round. “I dug a nice pothole for myself there. That’s kind of what I’ve been doing the last few rounds,” Sharapova said. “I don’t think she came up with great shots in order to win that first set. I honestly believe that I was making easy errors.” Williams offered a similar assessment after finishing with more than twice as many unforced errors (23) as winners

Friday At Stade Roland Garros Purse: $21.8 million (Grand Slam) Surface: Clay-Outdoor Singles Men Second Round Novak Djokovic (4), Serbia, def. Sergiy Stakhovsky, Ukraine, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. Philipp Kohlschreiber (29), Germany, def. Juan Carlos Ferrero, Spain, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3. Third Round Fernando Verdasco (8), Spain, def. Nicolas Almagro (31), Spain, 6-2, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8). Fernando Gonzalez (12), Chile, def. Josselin Ouanna, France, 7-5, 6-3, 7-5. Nikolay Davydenko (10), Russia, def. Stanislas Wawrinka (17), Switzerland, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Marin Cilic (13), Croatia, def. Radek Stepanek (18), Czech Republic, 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-3. Victor Hanescu (30), Romania, def. Gilles Simon (7), France, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. Rafael Nadal (1), Spain, def. Lleyton Hewitt, Australia, 6-1, 6-3, 6-1. Robin Soderling (23), Sweden, def. David Ferrer (14), Spain, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-2, 7-6 (5). Andy Murray (3), Britain, def. Janko Tipsarevic, Serbia, 7-6 (3), 6-3, retired. Women, Third Round Aravane Rezai, France, def. Michelle Larcher de Brito, Portugal, 7-6 (3), 6-2. Ana Ivanovic (8), Serbia, def. Iveta Benesova (32), Czech Republic, 6-0, 6-2. Dominika Cibulkova (20), Slovakia, def. Gisela Dulko, Argentina, 6-4, 6-2. Agnes Szavay (29), Hungary, def. Venus Williams (3), United States, 6-0, 6-4. Dinara Safina (1), Russia, def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (27), Russia, 6-2, 6-0. Li Na (25), China, def. Olga Govortsova, Belarus, 7-5, 6-1. Maria Sharapova, Russia, def. Yaroslava Shvedova, Kazakhstan, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. Victoria Azarenka (9), Belarus, vs. Carla Suarez Navarro (22), Spain, 5-7, 7-5, susp., darkness. Doubles Men, First Round Mahesh Bhupathi, India, and Mark Knowles (4), Bahamas, def. Josselin Ouanna and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France, 6-3, 6-2. Second Round Simon Aspelin, Sweden, and Paul Hanley, Australia, def. Frantisek Cermak, Czech Republic, and Michal Mertinak (12), Slovakia, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Pablo Cuevas, Uruguay, and Luis Horna (8),

— The Associated Press

Peru, def. Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer, Austria, 6-3, 6-4. Jaroslav Levinsky, Czech Republic, and Igor Zelenay, Slovakia, def. Marcel Granollers and Santiago Ventura, Spain, 6-3, 6-2. Marc Lopez and Tommy Robredo, Spain, def. Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski (6), Poland, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut, France, def. Travis Parrott, United States, and Filip Polasek (15), Slovakia, 6-2, 6-4. Wesley Moodie, South Africa, and Dick Norman, Belgium, def. Jan Hernych, Czech Republic, and Christophe Rochus, Belgium, 6-4, 6-4. Bruno Soares, Brazil, and Kevin Ullyett (5), Zimbabwe, def. Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi, Italy, 6-3, 6-1. Michael Kohlmann and Alexander Waske, Germany, def. Lukasz Kubot, Poland, and Oliver Marach (9), Austria, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5). Lukas Dlouhy, Czech Republic, and Leander Paes (3), India, def. James Cerretani, United States, and Sergiy Stakhovsky, Ukraine, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitry Tursunov, Russia, def. Fabio Fognini, Italy, and Teimuraz Gabashvili, Russia, 6-2, 6-3. Women Second Round Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual (3), Spain, def. Ekaterina Dzehalevich, Belarus, and Andreja Klepac, Slovenia, 6-2, 6-4. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, United States, and Nadia Petrova (10), Russia, def. Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko, Ukraine, 6-1, 6-3. Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska, Poland, def. Chuang Chia-jung, Taiwan, and Sania Mirza (14), India, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs (4), Australia, def. Lourdes Dominguez Lino, Spain, and Sara Errani, Italy, 6-3, 6-4. Cara Black, Zimbabwe, and Liezel Huber (1), United States, def. Jelena Dokic, Australia, and Alisa Kleybanova, Russia, walkover. Serena and Venus Williams (5), United States, def. Gisela Dulko, Argentina, and Agnes Szavay, Hungary, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2. Mixed First Round Flavia Pennetta, Italy, and Dusan Vemic, Serbia, def. Kveta Peschke and Frantisek Cermak, Czech Republic, 7-5, 6-1. Vania King, United States, and Marcelo Melo, Brazil, def. Virginia Ruano Pascual, Spain, and Stephen Huss (8), Australia, 6-4, 6-3. Liezel Huber and Bob Bryan (1), United States, def. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, United States, and Kevin Ullyett, Zimbabwe, 7-6 (6), 6-3.

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College Baseball
NCAA REGIONAL ROUNDUP

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

34

Virginia beats Strasburg, San Diego State 5-1
IRVINE, CALIF.—San Diego State ace Stephen Strasburg lost for the first time this season as Robert Morey pitched six shutout innings and Steven Proscia hit a two-run homer in Virginia’s 5-1 victory in an NCAA regional Friday night. Strasburg (13-1), the probable No. 1 overall pick in the draft next month, struck out 15 in seven innings. Strasburg said it was difficult to prepare against the Cavaliers. “I was pretty excited to be out there, but it’s pretty tough to pitch against a team that you’ve never really heard of, you don’t really have a good scouting report on them,” Strasburg said. “They put a good bat on the ball.” But San Diego State’s first tournament appearance in 18 years was spoiled by Morey (3-0), who allowed five hits and struck out nine for Virginia (44-12-1). The Cavaliers have won six straight. Phil Gosselin took the first pitch he saw against Strasburg with one out in the first inning and smacked it over the 380-foot sign in left-center field to give the Cavaliers a quick 1-0 lead over the Aztecs (40-22). In the late game, UC Irvine beat Fresno State 4-2.

than he had all season, and the Cowboys put to rest any criticism that they didn’t belong in the NCAA tournament.

Norman (Okla.) Regional
Oklahoma 5, Wichita State 4 Aaron Baker’s double and Garrett Buechele’s two-run single keyed Oklahoma’s three-run sixth inning. Arkansas 10, Washington State 3 Scott Lyons hit a three-run homer and Arkansas rallied for nine runs in the eighth inning to beat Washington State.

Gainesville (Fla.) Regional
Florida 8, Bethune-Cookman 7 Teddy Foster’s two-run single in the ninth inning helped Florida avoid a stunning upset, edging Bethune-Cookman. Miami 9, Jacksonville 4 Jason Hagerty homered from both sides of the plate, Chris Herrman added a tworun shot and Miami opened its 37th NCAA tournament with a win.

Chapel Hill (N.C.) Regional
North Carolina 5, Dartmouth 2 Dustin Ackley drove in two runs to help North Carolina, the No. 4 national seed, beat Dartmouth.
CURTIS COMPTON / AP

Atlanta Regional
Georgia Tech 9, Georgia State 3 Deck McGuire scattered three runs over seven innings and Matt Skole hit a grand slam for Georgia Tech. Southern Mississippi 17, Elon 15 Kyle Maxie had a pinch-hit two-run homer, and Bo Davis added a solo shot to highlight a five-run ninth inning for Southern Miss. Georgia Tech’s Matt Skole, center, is greeted at home plate after his grand slam helped the Yellow Jackets rally to beat Georgia State.

Coastal Carolina 11, Kansas 3 David Anderson homered and drove in three runs, and Big South champ Coastal Carolina won for the 15th time in 16 games.

Kansas State. 16, Xavier 8 Justin Bloxom went 5-for-5 with two home runs, and Kansas State made an impressive NCAA tournament debut with a victory over Xavier.

Boston College 8, Texas State 7 John Spatola hit a three-run homer during a six-run ninth, and Boston College reliever struck out Lance Loftin to strand the tying run on second base.

TCU 6, Wright State 3 Paul Gerrish held Wright State scoreless in six of his seven innings and Chris Ellington had three hits.

Baton Rouge (La.) Regional
Baylor 5, Minnesota 0 Shaver Hansen hit a two-run homer, Baylor starter Willie Kempf pitched six shutout innings and the Bears beat Minnesota. LSU 10, Southern 2 Austin Ross tied a career high with 10 strikeouts, and LSU scored seven two-out runs in the seventh inning for the win. — The Associated Press

Houston Regional
Rice 5, Sam Houston State 2 Mike Ojala pitched seven strong innings and Brock Holt had two hits and scored the go-ahead run to lead Rice.

Austin (Texas) Regional
Texas 3, Army 1 Cole Green struck out six in seven innings and went 1-or-1 in his first collegiate appearance as a hitter to help Texas, the No. 1 national seed, beat Army.

Fort Worth (Texas) Regional
Oregon State 9, Texas A&M 8 John Tommasini’s two-run triple keyed a four-run second inning, and Oregon State held on after Texas A&M scored seven unanswered runs.

Clemson (S.C.) Regional
Clemson 5, Tennessee Tech 4 Jeff Schaus doubled home two runs in the ninth to help Clemson. Oklahoma State 10, Alabama 6 Tom Belza hit three homers, one more

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All times ET, double elimination
LSU 10, Southern U. 2 Baylor 5, Minnesota 0 Today Game 3 — Southern U. (30-16) vs. Minnesota (38-18), 2 p.m. Game 4 — LSU (47-16) vs. Baylor (30-24), 7 p.m Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 2 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary 2 p.m. Game 4 — Boston College (34-24) vs. Texas (42-13-1), 7 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 2 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

35

NCAA Division I regionals glance
At Clark-LeClair Stadium
Greenville, N.C. Friday South Carolina 11, George Mason 3 East Carolina vs. Binghamton, ppd., rain Today Game 2 — East Carolina (42-17) vs. Binghamton (29-20), 10 a.m. Game 3 — George Mason (42-13) vs. Game 2 loser, 2 p.m. Game 4 — South Carolina (39-21) vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 2 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m., if necessary

Oxford (Miss.) Regional
Mississippi 8, Monmouth 1 Drew Pomeranz struck out 10 and held Monmouth scoreless over the first eight innings. Western Kentucky 11, Missouri 5 Wade Gaynor hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Matt Ridings struck out eight to lead the Sunbelt Conference co-champ Hilltoppers.

At McKethan Stadium

Gainesville, Fla. Friday Miami 9, Jacksonville 4 Florida 8, Bethune-Cookman 7 Today Game 3 — Jacksonville (36-21) vs. BethuneCookman (32-27), 1 p.m. Game 4 — Miami (37-20) vs. Florida (40-20), 6:30 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 1 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6:30 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6:30 p.m., if necessary

At Packard Stadium

At L. Dale Mitchell Park

At Dick Howser Stadium

At Boshamer Stadium

Chapel Hill, N.C. Friday Coastal Carolina 11, Kansas 3 North Carolina 5, Dartmouth 2 Today Game 3 — Kansas (37-23) vs. Dartmouth (27-17), 1 p.m. Game 4 — Coastal Carolina (47-14) vs. North Carolina (43-16), 5 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 1 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 5 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m., if necessary

Tallahassee, Fla. Friday Georgia 24, Ohio State 8 Florida State 16, Marist 4 Today Game 3 — Ohio State (40-18) vs. Marist (31-27), Noon Game 4 — Georgia (38-22) vs. Florida State (43-16), 4 p.m Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, Noon Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 4 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

Norman, Okla. Friday Arkansas 10, Washington State 3 Oklahoma 5, Wichita State 4 Today Game 3 — Washington State (31-24) vs. Wichita State (30-26), 2 p.m. Game 4 — Arkansas (35-22) vs. Oklahoma (42-18), 8 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 2 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 8 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 8 p.m., if necessary

Tempe, Ariz. Friday Oral Roberts 13, Cal Poly 3 Arizona State 17, Kent State 6 Today Game 3 — Cal Poly (37-20) vs. Kent State (42-16), 5 p.m. Game 4 — Oral Roberts (32-13) vs. Arizona State (45-12), 10 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 4 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 9 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 9 p.m., if necessary

Tallahassee (Fla.) Regional
Georgia 24, Ohio State 8 Matt Cerione and Joey Lewis homered in Georgia’s eight-run first inning and the Bulldogs used seven home runs to cruise past Ohio State. Florida State 16, Marist 4 Mike McGee and Jason Stidham hit three-run homers as top-seeded Florida State rallied to a victory over Marist in its NCAA regional opener.

At Anteater Ballpark

At Reckling Park

At Jim Patterson Stadium

At Doug Kingsmore Stadium

Clemson, S.C. Friday Oklahoma State 10, Alabama 6 Clemson 5, Tennessee Tech 4 Today Game 3 — Alabama (37-20) vs. Tennessee Tech (30-23-1), 3 p.m. Game 4 — Oklahoma State (33-22) vs. Clemson (41-19), 7 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 3 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

Louisville, Ky. Friday Middle Tennessee 5, Vanderbilt 4 Louisville 8, Indiana 2 Today Game 3 — Vanderbilt (34-26) vs. Indiana (32-26), 3 p.m. Game 4 — Middle Tennessee (44-16) vs. Louisville (45-15), 7 p.m Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 3 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

Houston Friday Kansas State 16, Xavier 8 Rice 5, Sam Houston State 2 Today Game 3 — Xavier (38-20) vs. Sam Houston State (36-23), 3 p.m. Game 4 — Kansas State (42-16-1) vs. Rice (40-15), 7 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 3 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

Irvine, Calif. Friday Virginia 5, San Diego State 1 UC Irvine 4, Fresno State 2 Today Game 3 — San Diego State (40-22) vs. Fresno State (32-29) Game 4 — Virginia (44-12-1) vs. UC Irvine (44-13) Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 7 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 11 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 11 p.m., if necessary

Tempe (Ariz.) Regional
MATT A. BROWN / AP

Cal State Fullerton’s Gary Brown is caught stealing by Utah’s Michael Beltran.

Oral Roberts 13, Cal Poly 3 Juan Martinez, Seth Furmanek and Cody Price each homered in Oral Roberts’ four-run third inning. Arizona State 17, Kent St. 6 Jason Kipnis, Kole Calhoun and Zack McPhee each had three of Arizona State’s 17 hits as the Sun Devils won in a rout.

At Goodwin Field

At Lupton Baseball Stadium

At Oxford-University Stadium

At Russ Chandler Stadium

Atlanta Friday Southern Mississippi 17, Elon 15 Georgia Tech 9, Georgia State 3 Today Game 3 — Elon (40-17) vs. Georgia State (39-21), 3 p.m. Game 4 — Southern Mississippi (36-23) vs. Georgia Tech (36-17-1), 7 p.m Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 3 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

Oxford, Miss. Friday Western Kentucky 11, Missouri 5 Mississippi 8, Monmouth, N.J. 1 Today Game 3 — Missouri (34-26) vs. Monmouth, N.J. (32-24), 2 p.m. Game 4 — Western Kentucky (40-18) vs. Mississippi (41-17), 6 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 2 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 8 p.m., if necessary

Fort Worth, Texas Friday Oregon State 9, Texas A&M 8 TCU 6, Wright State 3 Today Game 3 — Texas A&M (36-23) vs. Wright State (33-29), 3 p.m. Game 4 — Oregon State (36-17) vs. TCU (37-16), 7 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 3 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

Fullerton, Calif. Friday Gonzaga 19, Georgia Southern 10 Cal State Fullerton 18, Utah 2 Today Game 3 — Georgia Southern (42-16) vs. Utah (26-30), 5 p.m. Game 4 — Gonzaga (36-16) vs. Cal State Fullerton (43-14), 9 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 5 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 9 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 9 p.m., if necessary

Meinhart slams Vanderbilt
LOUISVILLE, KY.—Stuart Meinhart hit a grand slam and Taylor Dennis added a solo shot in the seventh inning, helping Middle Tennessee beat in-state rival Vanderbilt 5-4 on Friday in the Louisville regional. The victory snapped a sevengame NCAA tournament losing streak for second-seeded Middle Tennessee (44-16) and made a winner of Kenneth Roberts. Meinhart’s homer was the 100th this season for the Blue Raiders, who came in tied for 10th nationally. Dennis, the No. 9 hitter, hit his fourth of the season. In the other Louisville game, Louisville beat Indiana 8-2 as Justin Marks held Indiana to two runs over seven innings.

Fullerton (Calif.) Regional
Gonzaga 19, Georgia Southern 10 Gonzaga used 18 hits, including three home runs, to win its first NCAA tournament game since 1981. Cal State Fullerton 18, Utah 2 The four-time national champion Titans scored eight runs in the first three innings, quickly taking the suspense out of the Utes first NCAA appearance since 1960. — The Associated Press

Greenville (N.C.) Regional
South Carolina 11, George Mason 3 Parker Bangs’ two-run homer keyed a four-run fourth inning, and South Carolina took advantage of four errors by George Mason. The Binghamton-East Carolina was postponed due to rain and will be played today.

At UFCU Disch-Falk Field

At Alex Box Stadium
Baton Rouge, La. Friday

Austin, Texas Friday Boston College 8, Texas State 7 Texas 3, Army 1 Today Game 3 — Texas State (41-16) vs. Army (34-20),

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SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009

36

Preakness winner won’t run at Belmont
LEXINGTON, KY.—Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra will not run in the Belmont Stakes, opening the way for jockey Calvin Borel to return to Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird in his quest for a personal Triple Crown. Jess Jackson, Rachel Alexandra’s coowner, said Friday the spectacular filly “deserves a well-earned vacation.” Rachel Alexandra had been set to work out Monday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, and no announcement was expected until after that. But Jackson explained the filly simply needed a rest after running—and winning—four graded stakes races since March 14, including a dominating victory in the Kentucky Oaks. “We know the media and many fans would have liked to see her run in the Belmont Stakes—we feel the same,” Jackson said in a statement. “But all of us sincerely interested in the horse must agree that we only want to see her run when it is best for her. While she is in great shape, having strong works, and recovering well from her amazing performances, we feel Rachel deserves a well-earned vacation.”

TRANSACTIONS
BASEBALL American League BALTIMORE ORIOLES: Purchased the contract of C Matt Wieters from Norfolk (IL). Designated C Chad Moeller for assignment. CHICAGO WHITE SOX: Announced the retirement of director of park operations David Schaffer, effective June 1. Named Troy Brown senior director of event operations, Greg Hopwood senior director of stadium operations and Julie Taylor senior director of guest services and diamond suites. Placed OF Carlos Quentin on the 15-day DL, retroactive to May 26. Activated OF DeWayne Wise from the 15-day DL. CLEVELAND INDIANS: Recalled LHP Rafael Perez from Columbus (IL). Designated OF David Dellucci for assignment. NEW YORK YANKEES: Activated C Jorge Posada from the 15-day DL. Optioned C Kevin Cash to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (IL). TEXAS RANGERS: Recalled RHP Tommy Hunter from Oklahoma City (PCL). Placed LHP Matt Harrison on the 15-day DL, retroactive to May 26. National League ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: Purchased the contract of LHP Daniel Schlereth from Mobile (SL). Optioned LHP Doug Slaten to Reno (PCL). COLORADO ROCKIES: Fired manager Clint Hurdle. Named Jim Tracy manager for the remainder of the 2009 season. NEW YORK METS: Acquired OF Emil Brown from San Diego for a player to be named and assigned Brown to Buffalo (IL). ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: Activated OF Ryan Ludwick from the 15-day DL. Placed SS Khalil Greene on the 15-day DL, retroactive to May 28. WASHINGTON NATIONALS: Purchased the contract of RHP Mike MacDougal from Syracuse (IL). Optioned C Luke Montz to Harrisburg (EL). American Association GRAND PRAIRIE AIRHOGS: Released RHP Matt Minor. LINCOLN SALTDOGS: Signed RHP David Humen. Can-Am League NEW JERSEY JACKALS: Released RHP Gary Novakowski. NEW HAMPSHIRE AMERICAN DEFENDERS: Released OF Josh Doane. QUEBEC CAPITALES: Signed RHP Deibis Gomez, C Patrick D’Aoust and INF Morgan Brown. United League RIO GRANDE VALLEY WHITEWINGS: Signed OF Alfred Joseph, RHP Reymond Cruz, RHP Mike Swords, RHP Steve Romero and RHP Fendi Vasquez. FOOTBALL National Football League CHICAGO BEARS: Agreed to terms with DT Israel Idonije on a two-year contract extension and LB Pisa Tinoisamoa on a one-year contract. Agreed to terms with CB D.J. Moore, WR Johnny Knox, LB Marcus Freeman, S Al Afalava, TE Lance Louis and WR Derek Kinder. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Released P Aaron Perez. WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Released T Jon Jansen. Canadian Football League CFL: Named R. John Butler chairman of the board of governors. EDMONTON ESKIMOS: Signed DB Lamar Herron, DB Darrell Hunter and DB Bobby Keyes. HOCKEY National Hockey League FLORIDA PANTHERS: Signed G Alexander Salák. SOCCER Major League Soccer PHILADELPHIA UNION: Named Peter Nowak manager. COLLEGE AUBURN: Announced the resignation of assistant baseball coach Matt Heath. BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN: Named Demarco McNeil, Tim Sanders, and Burt Stuart assistant football coaches. BRIDGEWATER, MASS.: Named John Pringle men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach. DUKE: Dismissed QB Zack Asack from the football team for a violation of team policy. ST. EDWARD’S: Announced the resignation of men’s basketball coach Ryan Marks to become men’s basketball coach at Texas-Pan American. VASSAR: Named Candice Brown women’s basketball coach. XAVIER: Named Amy Waugh women’s assistant basketball coach

Major League Soccer
EASTERN CONFERENCE Chicago D.C. Toronto FC Kansas City Columbus New England New York WESTERN CONFERENCE Chivas USA Seattle Houston Colorado Real Salt Lake Los Angeles FC Dallas San Jose W 5 3 4 4 2 2 2 W 7 4 4 3 3 1 1 1 L 0 1 3 4 2 3 6 L 2 2 2 2 5 1 6 7 T 6 7 4 3 6 4 3 T 3 4 3 4 2 8 3 2 Pts 21 16 16 15 12 10 9 Pts 24 16 15 13 11 11 6 5 GF 20 17 16 15 14 8 10 GF 17 14 11 13 14 12 9 10 GA 13 15 16 13 16 16 13 GA 9 8 7 11 13 12 17 21

AP

Washington’s Danielle Lawrie, left, pitched a two-hitter to beat defending softball champ ASU.

NOTE: Three points for victory, one point for tie. Wednesday’s game Toronto FC at Houston, 8:30 p.m. Columbus 2, San Jose 1 Columbus at Seattle FC, 10:30 p.m. Thursday’s game Kansas City at Los Angeles, 10:30 Chicago 3, Chivas USA 2 p.m. Today’s games Real Salt Lake at San Jose, 10:30 Colorado at New York, 7:30 p.m. p.m. D.C. United at New England, 7:30 Sunday’s game p.m. FC Dallas at Chicago, 3 p.m.

Cycling
MOUNT VESUVIUS, ITALY—Lance Armstrong is getting back in shape after 3½ years of retirement. Staying on his bike is another matter. The seven-time Tour de France winner fell again at the Giro d’Italia on Friday after bumping wheels with the rider in front of him. His tumble came on a day when Spain’s Carlos Sastre captured the 19th stage and Russia’s Denis Menchov all but wrapped up the Giro title as riders headed up the Mount Vesuvius volcano. The race ends Sunday in Rome. Armstrong finished 16th—1 minute, 42 seconds after Sastre—and remained 12th overall, 13:29 behind Menchov. Menchov crossed fourth with the same time as Danilo Di Luca and kept an 18-second lead over the Italian in the overall standings.

Boxing
HELSINKI—Ruslan Chagaev failed a “medical requirement” on Friday, forcing his challenge for Nikolai Valuev’s WBA heavyweight title to be called off a day before the fight. Finnish officials said “Chagaev has been unable to fulfill the Finnish Boxing Federation’s medical requirements,” and gave no further details. “It was a big shock for us today,” said Wilfried Sauerland, Valuev’s manager. Local media reports said Chagaev had a hepatitis infection and that all 11 bouts on the card were canceled.

eighth-seeded giant-killer Georgia 3-1-1, seventh-seeded Texas A&M edged sixthseeded Michigan 3-1-1 in a dramatic finish in the other semifinal. Arkansas and A&M will meet for the title with 18 holes of match play today.

Softball
OKLAHOMA CITY—Washington is closing in on the Women’s College World Series final. The Huskies (48-11) are one victory from the championship round after beating defending champion Arizona State 1-0 in eight innings Friday night. Morgan Stuart singled home the winning run and Danielle Lawrie pitched a twohitter for third-seeded Washington. Arizona State (47-18) must win three in a row to get to the championship game. Later Friday night, No. 1 seed Florida blanked fifth-seeded Michigan, 1-0.

Swimming
LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND—The World Anti-Doping Agency and swimming’s governing body appealed to sports’ highest court to restore Jessica Hardy’s twoyear doping ban. The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Friday that WADA and FINA want the American swimmer barred for two years and ruled out of the 2012 London Games. CAS is expected to rule within four months. Hardy tested positive for the anabolic agent clenbuterol at the U.S. Olympic trials last July and missed the Beijing Games. — The Associated Press

Golf
TOLEDO, OHIO—David Lingmerth aced the third hole and won his match in the semifinals Friday, helping fourth-seeded Arkansas advance to the NCAA Division I men’s team championship against Texas A&M. While the Razorbacks beat

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