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Denver 124, Dallas 110

Streak over Hit streak for Nats’ Zimmerman ends at 30
Page 16

Look who’s talking

ROB CARR / AP JACK DEMPSEY / AP

Erick Dampier and the Mavs were left scratching their heads as they were dispatched by the Nuggets. Page 10

THURSDAY MAY 14, 2009

SEE A DIFFERENT GAME VOLUME 1 ISSUE 296

TALKING BASEBALL Chipper Jones
“There is a lot to be excited about here,” says the reigning N.L. batting champ, who thinks the Braves’ rotation could be something special once Tim Hudson returns from injury and top prospect Tommy Hanson shows he’s ready for the majors. Page 14

Scoreboard
NBA Playoffs
Western Conference semifinals Denver 124, Dallas 110 (Denver wins series 4-1)

PITTSBURGH 6, WASHINGTON 2

Capital punishment
BY CRAIG CUSTANCE ccustance@sportingnews.com

Crosby, Pens deliver a Washington whipping
Game 7s tonight
Anaheim at Detroit 7 p.m., Versus Carolina at Boston 8 p.m., Versus (joined in progress) Previews, Page 8

NHL Playoffs
Eastern Conference semifinals Pittsburgh 6, Washington 2 (Pittsburgh wins series 4-3)

Baseball
American League Cleveland 4, Chicago White Sox 0 Tampa Bay 8, Baltimore 6 N.Y. Yankees 8, Toronto 2 Texas 6, Seattle 5, 11 innings Minnesota 14, Detroit 10, 13 innings L.A. Angels 8, Boston 4 Oakland 7, Kansas City 2 National League Atlanta 8, N.Y. Mets 7, 12 innings Washington 6, San Francisco 3 L.A. Dodgers 9, Philadelphia 2 Pittsburgh 5, St. Louis 2 Milwaukee 8, Florida 6 Houston 15, Colorado 11 Chi. Cubs 6, San Diego 4, 8 innings, rain Cincinnati 10, Arizona 3

WASHINGTON—Moments after Pittsburgh’s convincing 6-2 win over the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Pittsburgh forwards Max Talbot and Tyler Kennedy chatted about the questions they knew would be coming. This series, fairly or unfairly, would be boiled down to a battle between the two biggest superstars in hockey: Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin. The conclusion is inevitable. Crosby won the round, and with that, the title of world’s best player. “We were talking about that before the media came in,” Talbot said. “You look at the way Sid leads and the fire in his eyes. Ovechkin has it, too, but I think by winning that Game 7, Sid won that battle.” And Talbot added one more thing.
“Which is great for us,” he said smiling.

CHARLIE RIEDEL / AP

Q&A Michael Irvin
Terrell Owens’ career in Dallas “was a success … I wouldn’t call it a major failure or disappointment,” says the former Cowboys receiver— and soon-to-be-reality TV star—in a wide-ranging chat. Page 24

BRUCE BENNETT / AP

Alex Ovechkin (8) and Sidney Crosby each had eight goals this series, but Crosby’s team came out on top. goals in the clincher to give him eight overall in the series. He was dominant in front of the net, with seven of his eight goals coming right around the crease. Most importantly, he’s the guy who led his team to a series win over a heated rival. “It feels good just because of the way the series went, not just because it was me and (Ovechkin),” Crosby said. “It was a battle.” Alex Ovechkin: Nobody will fault Ovechkin for his team not advancing. Like Crosby, he had eight goals in the series, including one of Washington’s two in Game 7. Coach Bruce Boudreau revealed after the game that Ovechkin

also was playing hurt. “He had 14 points in seven games playing against their best defensive players all the time,” Boudreau said of his star forward. “His play was what it was: magnificent.” The others: Washington defenseman Mike Green is a Norris Trophy finalist and had one of the best offensive seasons by a defenseman in recent history. But that Green never made it to the playoffs. He was held without a goal in the series and finished the postseason with only one. Pittsburgh’s Hart Trophy finalist, Evgeni Malkin, had 10 points against the Capitals.

MY PROFILE Aaron Rodgers
The Packers QB talks about his favorite movie (The Princess Bride), why he’d love to have President Obama’s job (“To learn some of the secrets that the government doesn’t tell us” and which Israeli model he wouldn’t mind going on a date with. Page 3

How the stars fared:
Sidney Crosby: He had a pair of

Sid stole the spotlight, Page 6

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See a Different Game
OFF THE FIELD

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

Celtics at Magic
7 p.m., ESPN
Dwight Howard was disappointed that he didn’t touch the ball more in Game 5, a game in which Orlando blew a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead. Yes, he’s not the best free-throw shooter in the world, but he has a point. If Kevin Garnett isn’t patrolling the middle, Howard should be taking Kendrick Perkins to school. And even if Howard misses his share of free throws, there will come a time where Boston’s bigs run out of fouls.

LeBron gives Akron props in Nike ad
The Ohio hometown of LeBron James is pleased with the latest shout-out from the NBA star. In a new Nike commercial, a puppet version of LeBron teases another depicting James’ rival, Kobe Bryant. The LeBron puppet claps his familiar clouds of chalk into the air and says: “Woo! Chosen One, baby! Ohio ... Akron, Ohio, baby! Come on, Kobe, let’s go down the highway!” Mayor Don Plusquellic says you can’t put a price tag on what James does for Akron and what he means to the Northeast Ohio city and its residents.

— Roger Kuznia NHL

Ducks at Red Wings
7 p.m., Versus
Much like the remarkable Capitals-Penguins series, this physical, wellplayed matchup will be decided in a Game 7. As much as you’d think the Red Wings have the edge with this game being played at Joe Louis Arena, the fact that they’ve been pushed this far says a lot about the strength and resilience of a very talented Anaheim team.

Quick hits
A woman arrested last week at Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki’s house has been transferred to another Texas county to face a theft charge. U.S.gymnast Shawn Johnson, trying to become the fifth athlete to win the competition, is the only remaining sports celebrity on season eight of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars after Professional Bull Riding president Ty Murray was eliminated, SportsBusiness Daily reported. VH1 has confirmed that Buffaloarea filming for a reality TV show starring Bills receiver Terrell Owens will begin Sunday, a day before the team opens minicamp, The Associated Press reported. The series, which will chronicle Owens’ day-to-day life, is set to premiere in July. LOVE SHAQ, a reality series on A&E starring Suns center Shaquille O’Neal and his family, will debut next season, according to the cable channel, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported on its website. — SportsBusiness Daily, sportsbusinessdaily.com

— Roger Kuznia GENERAL

Survivor: Tocantins
8 p.m. ET, CBS
Eddie George ran hard and took plenty of hits in his career as a NFL running back, but his wife is also showing millions of viewers that she’s a gritty competitor. Inspired by an Exile Island visit from the former Titans and Ohio State great in last week’s episode, Taj Johnson-George is among the final five castaways vying for a spot in Sunday’s season finale and the million-dollar prize.

— Vinnie Iyer

GUIDE GOLF
10 a.m. TGC—European PGA Tour, Irish Open, first round, at Baltray, Ireland 1 p.m. TGC—Nationwide Tour, BMW Charity Pro-Am, first round, at Spartanburg, S.C.

3 p.m. TGC—PGA Tour, Texas Open, first round, at San Antonio

NHL
7 p.m. Versus—Playoffs, conference semifinals, Game 7, Anaheim at Detroit 9:30 p.m. (approx.) Versus—Playoffs, conference semifinals, Game 7, Carolina at Boston (joined in progress)

NBA
7 p.m. ESPN—Playoffs, conference semifinals, Game 6, Boston at Orlando 9:30 p.m. ESPN—Playoffs, conference semifinals, Game 6, L.A. Lakers at Houston

Watch the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race for your chance to win $25,000! Go to SPEEDtv.com for details.

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My Profile

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

3

SINCE YOU ASKED ...
You have questions, we have answers
TO: Sporting News Today FROM: Sam Green, Boothwyn, Pa. While looking at the Dolphins’ draft recap I saw that they got a talented and speedy QB in Pat White. While White will probably be a third-stringer, I think he will be good with their offensive scheme, the Wildcat. Do you think that this will be good for the Dolphins?

Aaron Rodgers
Packers quarterback
(What you won’t find on Facebook … even if you are approved as a friend)
Born: Dec. 2, 1983, in Chico, Calif. Alma mater: Cal What’s on TV: SportsCenter, The Office, Summer Heights High, Jeopardy! What’s in my iPod: Ray LaMontagne, Pete Murray, Anberlin, Ryan Adams, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley What I drive: 2009 BMW M3 Favorite flick: The Princess Bride What I’m reading: The Art of War, by Sun Tzu Magazine subscription: Outside Bookmarks: ESPN.com, YouTube.com, ultimateguitar.com On my office walls: Pictures of friends and family Love to trade places for a day with … Barack Obama. It would be fun to learn some of the secrets that the government doesn’t tell us. First job: Working for the athletic director at my high school. $4 an hour. Talent I’d most like to have: Play golf like Tiger Favorite meal: Steak and potatoes Favorite athlete to watch in another sport: Tiger Woods Favorite city to visit: San Diego Favorite team as a kid: 49ers Favorite value in others: Honesty Dream date: Moran Atias My greatest love: Challenges My hero: My dad My motto: “Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” — St. Francis of Assisi — Jeff D’Alessio
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SN’s NFL expert Clifton Brown answers ... Sam, Do not be surprised if Pat White gets 10 to 15 snaps per game this season from the Wildcat formation. Not only can White run, but his ability to throw will make it difficult for safeties to cheat toward the line of scrimmage, like the Ravens did effectively against the Wildcat during the playoffs. Meanwhile, do not underestimate White’s chance to become a starting quarterback one day. He has a lot to learn, but he threw better than scouts expected at the Combine. At worst, I think he will eventually become the Dolphins’ backup QB. And if Chad Henne is not the real deal, White could be next in line after Chad Pennington.

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Got something you’d like to ask Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan or Raiders first-round pick Darrius HeywardBey? E-mail your Matt Ryan Heyward-Bey questions, along with your name and hometown, to editor-in-chief Jeff D’Alessio at jdalessio@sportingnews.com. We’ll take five questions to both players and run them in an upcoming issue of Sporting News Magazine.

Have you noticed all the empty seats around the field at the new Yankee Stadium? Columnist Will Leitch has, which is why he wrote about the $2,500 experience in SN Magazine.

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Next Gen
RECRUITING DISH

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

4

Sooners land commitments from two Texas prospects
Oklahoma picked up a pair of commitments earlier this week, adding Cedar Hill (Texas) G Adam Shead and Steele (Cibolo, Texas) WR Sheldon McClain, Rivals.com reported, to what is shaping up as an impressive 2010 class for Sooners coach Bob Stoops. Shead (6-4, 315) got his scholarship offer on Tuesday when Oklahoma called his high school coach, and he committed immediately. He is listed as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com “I’m the first Cedar Hill guy to go to OU,” Shead told Rivals.com. “We have a wall with all of the guys who went to college, and there is no one who went to Oklahoma.” McClain (6-2, 175) has excellent speed. He said his final three schools were Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Baylor. “I looked at some places I knew I wasn’t going to go to. I mean, I didn’t want to get too far from home,” McClain told Rivals.com. “The places I was most comfortable with were Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Baylor, and I pretty much studied all three. “This summer I wasn’t feeling all the visits, it was getting pretty tiring and I knew what I wanted to do, so I did it.”
JEFFREY BOAN / AP

Budgets for recruiting big for North Carolina schools
BY CHRIS BAYSDEN TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL

Northview (Duluth, Ga.) DT Denzel McCoy told Sporting News Today he has gotten a scholarship offer from his childhood favorite, Clemson, but said it won’t change his commitment to Georgia Tech. McCoy (6-4, 275) is ranked No. 89 in the Sporting News 100, a preseason list of the nation’s top high school recruits for 2010. He committed to Georgia Tech in early April and said then that he liked being close enough to home for his family and friends to come to his games.

Bob Stoops is entering his 11th season as Sooners coach, but Oklahoma hasn’t won a national title since Stoops’ second year in Norman (2000). “Clemson was just my No. 1 for a while, but I’m committed now,” McCoy said. Cape Coral (Fla.) WR Jeremy Davis has committed to Miami, The NewsPress of Fort Myers, Fla., reported. He said he committed on the spot Tuesday when the Hurricanes offered a scholarship. Davis, who played at Fort Myers High last season but has transferred to Cape Coral, is the half-brother of former Miami star and current Detroit Lions CB Phillip Buchanon. “It’s the happiest day of my life,” Davis told the newspaper. “When (Miami) offered, I said, ‘Well, I’m committed.’ It’s a deal. It’s done and over with. I’m not looking at any other school, at least not yet.” Davis (6-1, 170) also reported scholarship offers from West Virginia and Syracuse. Santiago (Corona, Calif.) pro-style QB Brandon Connette has committed to Duke, the Los Angeles Times reported. He also seriously considered Stanford, and other schools recruiting him included Boise State, South Carolina, Washington and UCLA. Connette (6-2, 190) is returning to his home state—he was born in Charlotte, N.C. — Brian McLaughlin

RALEIGH, N.C.—As local college coaches work to woo prized recruits to their programs, bean counters at those same schools are making sure that recruiters have the greenbacks they need to land blue-chip talent. That money isn’t used to pay players—relax, NCAA watchdogs—but does foot the bill for travel expenses, long-distance phone calls, postage and even recruiting software packages. The three Triangle universities in the ACC spent more than $1 million each to recruit players across all sports in the 2007-08 school year, according to financial information the schools report to the U.S. Department of Education. Those numbers did not include salaries for coaches or recruiters, which are under a separate line item. Duke led the ACC by shelling out $1.56 million in the 200708 year. Duke also outspent many other big-name programs, including Ohio State ($1.14 million), Texas ($1.29 million) and Florida ($1.47 million). Why does a relatively small, private school spend more on recruiting than its larger public rivals? Jon Jackson, associate A.D. for communication at Duke, said the Blue Devils’ budget is bigger because Duke recruits across the country, not just in a two- or three-state footprint. Notre Dame, another private school that recruits nationally, managed to top the Blue Devils by spending $2.29 million on recruiting. Duke’s rival, North Carolina, spent $1.13 million on recruiting. “It’s mostly travel,” said Martina Ballen, a senior associate athletic director at UNC. That’s because the school has to pay for a lot of airplane rides, hotel rooms and eating expenses for coaches who are on the road visiting prospects. Schools also pay similar expenses for kids who make official visits to campus. Those trips often will take place over a period of time that stretches from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. There is a pecking order for recruits, and it can affect the cost of the official visit. Associate athletic director Diane Moose said that when coveted recruits in revenue sports visit North Carolina State, they often have dinner at swanky Sullivan’s Steakhouse. Non-revenue sport athletes are more likely to end up at Applebee’s. — Chris Baysden writes for the Triangle Business Journal. E-mail him at cbaysden@bizjournals.com

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Overnight Report
L.A. Angels 8, Boston 4

BASEBALL / AMERICAN LEAGUE Oakland 7, Kansas City 2

A’s bats come alive
OAKLAND—The Oakland Athletics appear to be coming out of their season-long offensive slump. A day after pounding out 13 hits and scoring a season-high 12 runs, the A’s took advantage of a Kansas City fielding error to score five runs in the seventh inning on the way to a 7-2 win over the Royals on Wednesday night. “It’s just a matter of time,” said Oakland designated hitter Jack Cust, whose three-run double broke open the game and helped Josh Outman win his first of the season. “Guys have been swinging the bats better and doing the little things ... trying to push across runs any way we can instead of waiting for the home run or the big hit.” The A’s went into the series ranked last in the AL in multiple offensive categories, but pounded out 20 runs and 20 hits in the two games against Kansas City. — The Associated Press
Athletics 7, Royals 2 Kansas City AB R Crisp cf 4 0 Bloomquist lf-ss 3 0 Teahen 3b 4 0 J.Guillen rf 4 0 Butler 1b 3 1 J.Buck dh 2 0 a-Jacobs ph-dh 2 1 Callaspo 2b 4 0 Olivo c 3 0 Aviles ss 1 0 b-DeJesus ph-lf 1 0 Totals 31 2 H BI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 4 2 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .252 1 0 .350 0 3 .290 0 0 .260 1 1 .278 0 2 .212 0 0 .262 0 2 .324 0 0 .233 1 0 .202 0 0 .221 3 8

L.A.’s Palmer throws CG
ANAHEIM—It took Matt Palmer 30 years to get his first major league victory, and now he has four in a span of just 21 days—including a complete game against the Boston Red Sox. The Los Angeles Angels’ righthander overcame a shaky start, pitching a five-hitter and retiring the last 19 batters in an 8-4 victory on Wednesday night. “It’s amazing. The story writes itself. But I don’t have a chance to pinch myself,” Palmer said. “I don’t have a chance to sit here and relax. I’ve got to pitch hard every game. If I don’t, then I’m out. That’s just the way it is. So I’ll keep going hard as long as I can and try to impress and try to keep my team where they need to be.” After throwing 38 pitches in the first two frames, Palmer threw 71 over the final seven. “I’ve got to commend him. He’s a journeyman who’s been around the minor leagues for seven or eight years, and right now he’s fulfilling his dream and pitching his butt off,” teammate Torii Hunter said. — The Associated Press
Angels 8, Red Sox 4 Boston AB R Ellsbury cf 4 0 Lugo ss 4 0 D.Ortiz dh 4 1 Bay lf 4 1 Lowell 3b 4 0 J.Drew rf 3 0 J.Bailey 1b 2 1 Kottaras c 2 1 N.Green 2b 3 0 Totals 30 4 H BI 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 4 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .295 0 1 .270 0 0 .220 0 2 .319 0 1 .301 0 1 .245 1 0 .175 1 1 .143 0 1 .293 2 8

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Oakland AB R H BI BB SO Avg. O.Cabrera ss 5 2 1 0 0 0 .237 K.Suzuki c 3 2 1 1 0 0 .325 Giambi 1b 4 0 1 1 0 0 .214 Hannahan 3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167 Holliday lf 3 1 1 1 1 1 .240 Cust dh 3 0 1 4 0 2 .291 R.Sweeney cf 3 0 0 0 1 0 .248 Kennedy 2b 3 1 2 0 1 0 .286 T.Buck rf 4 0 0 0 0 0 .200 Crosby 3b-1b 3 1 0 0 1 0 .250 Totals 31 7 7 7 4 3 Kansas City 010 000 001 — 2 4 1 Oakland 000 002 50x — 7 7 0 b-grounded out for Aviles in the 8th. E: Teahen (1). LOB: Kansas City 5, Oakland 6. 2B: Giambi (6), Cust (5), Kennedy (1). HR: Jacobs (7), off A.Bailey. RBIs: Jacobs (21), Olivo (9), K.Suzuki (15), Giambi (16), Holliday (23), Cust 4 (21). SF: Cust. Runners left in scoring position: Kansas City 2 (Aviles, Olivo); Oakland 5 (O.Cabrera, T.Buck, R.Sweeney 2, Kennedy). Kansas City IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Bannister L, 3-1 5 2⁄3 5 2 2 1 3 87 1.80 Ho.Ramirez 2⁄3 0 1 0 1 0 11 6.75 J.Wright 1⁄3 2 4 0 1 0 19 1.80 J.Cruz 1 1⁄3 0 0 0 1 0 18 1.72 Oakland IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Outman W, 1-0 6 3 1 1 2 4 78 4.05 Wuertz H, 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 11 1.45 Springer 1 0 0 0 1 1 21 2.40 A.Bailey 1 1 1 1 0 2 21 1.61 Outman pitched to 1 batter in the 7th. Inherited runners-scored: Ho.Ramirez 2-0, J.Wright 1-1, J.Cruz 1-0, Wuertz 1-0. HBP: by J.Wright (K.Suzuki). WP: J.Wright. Umpires: Home, Brian O’Nora; First, Fieldin Culbreth; Second, Mike Muchlinski; Third, Jim Wolf. T: 2:36. A: 16,057 (35,067).

Los Angeles AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Figgins 3b 4 0 1 0 1 0 .246 Willits rf 5 1 2 1 0 0 .333 Abreu dh 3 1 1 0 2 0 .302 Hunter cf 4 3 2 2 1 0 .308 K.Morales 1b 5 1 3 1 0 1 .287 Napoli c 5 1 2 3 0 1 .318 J.Rivera lf 4 0 1 1 0 0 .271 Kendrick 2b 3 1 1 0 1 0 .243 E.Aybar ss 4 0 1 0 0 1 .306 Totals 37 8 14 8 5 3 Boston 220 000 000 — 4 5 0 Los Angeles 005 111 00x — 8 14 0 LOB: Boston 1, Los Angeles 12. 2B: N.Green (8), K.Morales (10). HR: Bay (10), off Palmer; Napoli (6), off Wakefield; Hunter (9), off Wakefield. RBIs: Ellsbury (11), Bay 2 (37), N.Green (13), Willits (1), Hunter 2 (24), K.Morales (20), Napoli 3 (17), J.Rivera (9). SB: Figgins (13), Willits (1). CS: Ellsbury (4). SF: J.Rivera. Runners left in scoring position: Boston 1 (Lugo); Los Angeles 6 (Figgins 2, Willits, Abreu, Kendrick, Hunter). DP: Los Angeles 1 (K.Morales, E.Aybar, Palmer). Boston IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Wakefield L, 4-2 4 2⁄3 11 7 7 3 2 91 4.03 H.Jones 1⁄3 1 1 1 1 0 10 8.00 Bard 2 1 0 0 1 1 38 0.00 Saito 1 1 0 0 0 0 15 4.15 Los Angeles IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Palmer W, 4-0 9 5 4 4 2 8 109 3.38 H.Jones pitched to 2 batters in the 6th. Inherited runners-scored: H.Jones 2-0, Bard 2-1. HBP: by Wakefield (Kendrick). Umpires: Home, Brian Runge; First, Bill Miller; Second, Derryl Cousins; Third, Jim Joyce. T: 2:26. A: 35,666 (45,257).

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NHL
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

6

Pittsburgh 6, Washington 2

NOTEBOOK

Crosby steals spotlight in Game 7 showdown Fleury’s early
WASHINGTON—As the media filed into the Verizon Center workroom to dissect exactly how the series of the century ended in not-so-dramatic fashion on Wednesday night, someone offered the right conclusion. It was the perfect sixgame series. Pittsburgh’s dominance in Game 7 made the finale anticlimactic. It was the only game that didn’t have at least one lead Craig Custance change. In a series where there were HOCKEY three overtimes, and multiple hat tricks by the biggest stars in hockey, the conclusion was a bit of a dud. But that doesn’t diminish the impact of the most important playoff showdown since the lockout. It was the first chapter in hockey’s version of Bird vs. Magic, and it was a heck of a start. Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby didn’t disappoint. Neither did their teammates. There were endless storylines. There was Sergei Gonchar’s injury and Gonchar’s dramatic return from injury. Heck, there was even a death threat. This series didn’t lack drama and that’s why we’re willing to overlook the Capitals’ collapse when assessing the greatness of these seven games. “It was obviously a great series for us, but for the fans, too, and for hockey in general,” Pittsburgh forward Max Talbot said. “Talking to are the moments when players learn something about themselves. Kris Letang said one of the Pittsburgh coaches put it best. “He said, ‘You’re not going anywhere in life without a Game 7,’” Letang said. “It was pretty smart.” This was Crosby’s Game 7. Ovechkin matched Crosby goalfor-goal in the series. Both finished with eight. But it was Crosby’s ability to elevate his game—along with the game of his teammates—that was the difference in the conclusion. To outsiders, Ovechkin’s goal late in the second period, one that made the score 5-1, looked meaningless in a game the Penguins dominated. But when Crosby got to the dressing room following the second period, he was livid. “You could tell he was like, ‘Ok, let’s get that straight,’ ” Talbot said. Crosby took care of it himself, scoring Pittsburgh’s sixth goal only 2 minutes into the third period. It quashed even the most optimistic hopes of a comeback. “He has this thing in his eyes that you just follow,” Talbot said. “The way he leads this team is unbelievable. I’ve played with good players, but Sid is something else.” It wasn’t the thrilling ending we all wanted—even demanded—of this series. Crosby made sure of that and, in the process, established himself as the best. “He’s our captain, our leader,” goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. “He showed it again in this series.”
ccustance@sportingnews.com

stop saves the day
In a game where there were eight goals, it’s hard to imagine one save being a difference-maker. But Marc-Andre Fleury’s first-period stop on Alex Ovechkin helped decide the series. Three minutes into the game, Ovechkin charged toward Fleury on a breakaway—what looked like a sure goal that would have given the Caps a 1-0 lead in front of a boisterous home crowd. Instead, Fleury made a huge glove save on Ovechkin, sucking the energy out of the Verizon Center in the process. “I didn’t score on the breakaway, so if I score the first goal, maybe a different game,” Ovechkin said. Pittsburgh forward Bill Guerin, who scored his fifth goal of the playoffs, agreed with Ovechkin’s assessment of Fleury’s save. “Huge, that was huge,” Guerin said. “That would’ve gotten them right in it and really changed the game. Flower really stepped up and helped us out there.”

Gonchar returns
Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh’s invaluable defenseman, returned to the lineup for the first time since getting injured on a knee-to-knee hit from Alex Ovechkin in Game 4. Gonchar admitted that he wasn’t 100 percent, but it helped him to make a contribution early. He assisted on the first goal of the game when he sent a power play shot in the direction of Sidney Crosby, who gathered it and beat Washington goalie Simeon Varlamov. Gonchar played 15:06, including 4:56 on the power play. “Obviously, having a good start always helps,” Gonchar said. “We started well, not only me but as a team. … It’s always easier when your team is rolling.”

PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS / AP

Between two goals and some locker-room leadership, Game 7 belonged to Penguins C Sidney Crosby. family back home, friends, everybody’s watching and everybody is excited. When you’re into it, I don’t think you realize how big of a show we gave and how good it was from the outside. … It was great for the league.” And for one night, anyway, it settled the question of who is the best player in the game. On the morning of his first NHL playoff Game 7, Crosby said these

No curse for Pittsburgh
The curse of the Stanley Cup runner-up missed the Pittsburgh Penguins. With their win over the Capitals, the Penguins became the first team since the 1996 Detroit Red Wings to return to the conference finals after losing in the Stanley Cup final the previous season. — Craig Custance

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THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

7

Pittsburgh 6, Washington 2

Pens end back-and-forth battle with exclamation point
WASHINGTON—For a guy who supposedly shies from the limelight, Sidney Crosby was as good as could be in the first Game 7 of his career. The rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins were pretty close to perfect, too. Crosby scored twice to raise his NHL-leading playoff goal total to 12, his teammates shut down his big rival, Alex Ovechkin, most of the night, and the Penguins beat the Washington Capitals 6-2 on Wednesday to reach the Eastern Conference finals for the second consecutive season. Crosby “won’t say he likes front and center, the big stage, or anything like that,” Penguins forward Bill Guerin said. “But he really knows how to perform in it.” That’s for sure. Still, Crosby took no outward pleasure in coming out ahead in the second-round series otherwise known as Sid the Kid vs. Alexander the Great. “It feels good, just because of the way the series went,” Crosby said, “not particularly because it was me and him.” Everyone chipped in for the Penguins, from the stars to the second thoughts, from regular-season scoring leader Evgeni Malkin’s two assists, to fourth-line forward Craig Adams’ first goal in 42 career postseason games. Second-year defenseman Kris Letang, 38-year-old Guerin and Jordan Staal scored, too. Marc-Andre Fleury made 19 saves and didn’t allow a goal until his team led 5-0. Indeed, plenty of Penguins considered the key moment Fleury’s nervewere decided by one goal—and three went to overtime. “I can’t describe the ups and downs of the series,” Crosby said. Nothing but ups for his team on this night, in part because Pittsburgh scored goals 8 seconds apart in the first period. And just kept on scoring. Crosby put the visitors ahead 1-0 with a power-play goal about 7½ minutes in from his favorite spot on the ice: the net’s doorstep. He assisted on Pittsburgh’s third goal, then added something of a finishing touch with another power-play goal in the third period. Crosby stole the puck from his rival, Ovechkin, before beating Varlamov’s replacement, Jose Theodore, to make it 6-1. That truly was an unimaginable margin in this tight-as-could-be series: Entering Wednesday, the teams were tied or separated by one goal 92 percent of the time. Neither team had led by three goals at any point in Games 1-6. “It just hurts,” Ovechkin said. “I don’t want to talk about me, personally. It’s all about team.” His too-late-to-mean-anything goal, in the second period, allowed Ovechkin to finish the series with 14 points—one more than Crosby and the first time an NHL player reached that total since 1995. But that’s little consolation, of course. When the game ended, Crosby and Ovechkin met at center ice for the customary post-series handshakes. They’ve traded hits on the ice and trash talk off it this season, yet both said the right things Wednesday. “I just said, ‘Great series.’ There was a lot of eyes on the series,” Crosby said. “It was a battle for both teams. Individually, we both wanted to make sure we did a great job.” And what did Ovechkin tell Crosby, his predecessor as league MVP? “I just wished him good luck,” Ovechkin said, “and told him to win the Stanley Cup.” — The Associated Press

Series glance
(Pittsburgh wins series 4-3) May 2: Washington 3, Pittsburgh 2 May 4: Washington 4, Pittsburgh 3 May 6: Pittsburgh 3, Washington 2, OT May 8: Pittsburgh 5, Washington 3 May 9: Pittsburgh 4, Washington 3, OT May 11: Washington 5, Pittsburgh 4, OT Wednesday: Pittsburgh 6, Washington 2

NICK WASS / AP

Pittsburgh needed less than 23 minutes to forge a four-goal lead, and the line of Bill Guerin, left, Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby did its share. testing save on two-time NHL goal leader Ovechkin on a breakaway all of 3:01 into a still-scoreless game. “That sends your team a message right away,” Crosby said. “It allows you to calm down a little.” Even Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said: “It didn’t seem like we had a lot of emotion, but if Alex would have put that one in on the breakaway, who knows? It might have been a different story.” Perhaps. But the Penguins dominated at both ends, and needed less than 22½ minutes to forge a fourgoal lead that moved Boudreau to switch goalies. “We were surprised” at how easy things went, Malkin said. Pittsburgh’s 4-3 series victory after trailing 2-0 moves it closer to a second consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup finals, something the team last did in 1991 and 1992. The Penguins will face the Bruins or Hurricanes, who play their secondround Game 7 at Boston tonight. For the Capitals, the setback extends some dispiriting trends. They are 2-6 in Game 7s, including 0-3 against the Penguins. And they have lost seven of eight playoff series against Pittsburgh—including four times after Washington held a two-game lead. Five of the series’ first six games

Pittsburgh Washington

2 0

3 1

1 1

— —

6 2

First Period: 1, Pittsburgh, Crosby 11 (Gonchar, Malkin), 12:36 (pp). 2, Pittsburgh, Adams 1 (Fedotenko, Orpik), 12:44. Penalties: Morrisonn, Was (slashing), 11:29; Fedorov, Was (interference), 16:37. Second Period: 3, Pittsburgh, Guerin 5 (Crosby), :28. 4, Pittsburgh, Letang 3 (Malkin, Satan), 2:12. 5, Pittsburgh, Staal 2 (Satan), 11:37. 6, Washington, Ovechkin 11, 18:09. Penalties: None. Third Period: 7, Pittsburgh, Crosby 12, 2:02 (pp). 8, Washington, Laich 3 (Fleischmann), 6:36. Penalties: Laich, Was, double minor (high-sticking), :26. Shots on Goal: Pittsburgh 16-8-6: 30. Washington 5-7-9: 21. Power-play opportunities: Pittsburgh 2 of 4; Washington 0 of 0. Goalies: Pittsburgh, Fleury 8-5-0 (21 shots-19 saves). Washington, Varlamov 7-6-0 (18-14), Theodore (2:13 second, 12-10). A: 18,277 (18,277). T: 2:21. Referees: Dan O’Halloran, Bill McCreary. Linesmen: Brad Lazarowich, Jay Sharrers.

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THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

8

EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

Julien can fall back on Game 7 success Former champs take it to the limit
BOSTON—Claude Julien has a score to settle—with himself. Five years ago, he coached the Montreal Canadiens to a Game 7 win after they’d trailed the Boston Bruins 3-1. Now he’s on the verge of a similar comeback as coach of the Bruins. “I’d love to be able to return that favor,” Julien said Wednesday. He gets his chance today when the Bruins hope their revitalized game and their raucous fans will overwhelm and unnerve the Carolina Hurricanes, who failed to wrap up the series on their own ice in a 4-2 loss Tuesday night. “If you said at the start of the series that we had one chance to win one game to go on, we’d have said, ‘Let’s take it,’” Hurricanes captain Rob Brind’Amour said before his team flew to Boston. “What’s done is done. This team has been resilient.” Carolina overcame a 3-2 deficit in the first round and beat New Jersey, scoring twice in the last 80 seconds of Game 7 to take the series. The Bruins won the opener of the semifinal 4-1. Then the Hurricanes outscored Boston 10-3 in taking the next three games. Faced with a clear choice, play better or get eliminated, the Bruins rallied with a 4-0 win in Game 5 and a 2-0 lead in the first 5:04 of Game 6. “This series has (had) more momentum swings during games than any series I’ve probably been involved with,” Boston goalie Tim Thomas said. “So it’s crucial to try to keep that momentum.” The Bruins entered the playoffs as the top-seeded team in the ROMULUS, MICH.—The previous two Stanley Cup champions are meeting in the playoffs for the third time since the NHL expanded four decades ago. Perhaps fittingly, a Game 7 is necessary. The Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks have pushed their Western Conference semifinal series to the limit just as Edmonton and Calgary did in 1991 and Montreal and Boston did in 1971 in the last two matchups of Cup winners. “It should be exciting,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said Wednesday when the team plane landed in rain on a miserable evening that matched its mood following a 2-1 loss. “Game 7s are always a lot of fun. “It’s a good opportunity for us. We played all year to have homeice advantage.” The second-seeded Red Wings will face the eighth-seeded Ducks tonight at home, hoping to follow a trend. Entering Wednesday, home teams had won 63 percent of Game 7s since 1939. However, Pittsburgh beat Washington on Wednesday. And two other exceptions happened when the Oilers defeated the Flames in overtime and the Canadiens beat the Bruins by two goals as road teams in matchups of previous champions. This postseason, the Ducks have proven they can win anywhere and their confidence has grown. “Everyone is believing we can beat this team,” Anaheim star

MARK AVERY / AP

Anaheim’s Todd Marchant, center, and Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk were part of a Game 6 scrap. Ryan Getzlaf said. Anaheim won Game 2 at Joe Louis Arena in triple overtime and opened the playoffs with two road wins against the top-seeded San Jose Sharks. “Nobody expected us to beat San Jose,” Ducks forward Todd Marchant said. “We’re trying to ride the unexpected. “Hopefully, we can pull another one off.” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle hopes his team turns the tide in shots on goal, but said that statistic isn’t foolproof. “They’ve gotten more shots than we have. So did San Jose,” Carlyle said. “But where is San Jose?” The Ducks avoided elimination with a 2-1 win Tuesday night, then Scott Niedermayer roughed up Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, and Corey Perry pounded Detroit’s Brian Rafalski. “I felt that some guys took liberties on certain players unknown to fight,” Red Wings forward Daniel Cleary said. “So, we just have to see (today).” — The Associated Press

GERRY BROOME / AP

Five years ago, Claude Julien coached Montreal out of a 3-1 hole against the Bruins. Eastern Conference and played like it in a four-game sweep of the Montreal Canadiens. Now they have a chance to reach the conference finals for the first time since 1992. The Hurricanes were seeded sixth but finished the season strong and then eliminated the Devils, winning Game 7 on the road. They have a shot at their second Stanley Cup championship in four years. “Yes, we’re home, but they’re a good team on the road as well,” Boston’s Patrice Bergeron said. “So we have to feed off the crowd.” The Hurricanes have to give goalie Cam Ward, the 2006 Stanley Cup MVP, more help. “We forced our goaltender to go post-to-post three times on 15 evenstrength shots” Tuesday, Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. “You have to give your guy that chance to be the difference, especially when you’ve got a goaltender like Cam that’s capable of doing that.” The Hurricanes played well for much of Game 6 and outshot the Bruins 22-10 in the last two periods. They cut the lead to 2-1 on Matt Cullen’s second-period goal, but Boston’s Marc Savard scored six minutes later. Julien said Savard, who left in the third period as a precaution after injuring his knee, is expected to play today. Scoring first may bring momentum but it doesn’t guarantee victory. The Bruins gave up the first goal in the last two games against Montreal. The team that has scored first in the Carolina series has lost two of the six games. — The Associated Press

Today’s games
All Times ET Conference semifinals (Best-of-7) Anaheim at Detroit, 7 p.m., Versus Carolina at Boston, 8 p.m., Versus (joined in progress)

Betting lines
Today FAVORITE ..........LINE at Boston................-220 at Detroit ................-250 UNDERDOG.......LINE Carolina..............+180 Anaheim............+210

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9

Playoff glance
CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
(Best-of-7) All Times ET

Report: Gretzky supportive of Reinsdorf group’s offer
Phoenix coach and part-owner Wayne Gretzky is described as “supportive” of a plan that would have Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf buy the Coyotes, according to sources quoted by the Toronto Star. But the Great One still has not made any public comments on the bankruptcy controversy surrounding the team. The Star also reported that Gretzky could remain as coach under a Reinsdorf group, which has conditionally offered an estimated $130 million for the financially strapped team. The newspaper also said Gretzky might be invited to be part of the team if Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie buys it and moves it to Hamilton. Balsillie has offered $212.5 million, but he also reportedly is seeking more than $120 million in federal and provincial handouts to renovate Hamilton’s Copps Coliseum pending a move. The Hamilton Spectator reports that Balsillie would pay the initial $30 million for arena upgrades and then ask the city to find the rest of the money. According to the Star, neither Gretzky’s support nor Balsillie’s posturing will affect the Arizona bankruptcy hearings that start next week. Boston coach Claude Julien said Wednesday that star F Marc Savard, who was injured Tuesday night in a knee-to-knee collision with Carolina F Chad LaRose, will play in Game 7 tonight at TD Banknorth Garden. the Nashville-based Tennessean that Russian F Alexander Radulov expressed a desire to return to the NHL during a recent meeting at the World Championship tournament in Switzerland. Radulov, who signed with a KHL team last offseason despite having a year remaining on his contract with the Predators, had his firstface-to-face contact with Poile since leaving the team. The G.M. said he told the star winger that he needs to start planning for next season and needs a decision by the end of June. “I’ve said all along that I believe he does (want to return to the NHL) and after meeting with him, I still believe he does,’’ Poile told the newspaper. “But the ball is more in his court to make that overture to us if he wants to do that.’’ Poile said he talked to Radulov regularly in Switzerland, partly because the U.S. and Russian teams were staying at the same hotel. According to TSN, Molson Coors president Peter Swinburn has his company in a holding pattern while he waits to see what George Gillett, majority owner of the Montreal Canadiens, decides to do with his team. Molson Coors, a minority owner, is watching closely as Gillett confers with financial advisers, who are exploring a recapitalization of his assets. Swinson, speaking at the U.S.Canadian brewers’ meeting in Montreal, says company officials have been in contact with Gillett.

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Boston vs. Carolina
(Series tied 3-3) May 1: Boston 4, Carolina 1 May 3: Carolina 3, Boston 0 May 5: Carolina 3, Boston 2, OT May 8: Carolina 4, Boston 1 May 10: Boston 4, Carolina 0 May 12: Boston 4, Carolina 2 Today: Carolina at Boston, 8 p.m.

Washington vs. Pittsburgh
(Pittsburgh wins series 4-3) May 2: Washington 3, Pittsburgh 2 May 4: Washington 4, Pittsburgh 3 May 6: Pittsburgh 3, Washington 2, OT May 8: Pittsburgh 5, Washington 3 May 9: Pittsburgh 4, Washington 3, OT May 11: Washington 5, Pittsburgh 4, OT Wednesday: Pittsburgh 6, Washington 2

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Detroit vs. Anaheim
(Series tied 3-3) May 1: Detroit 3, Anaheim 2 May 3: Anaheim 4, Detroit 3, 3OT May 5: Anaheim 2, Detroit 1 May 7: Detroit 6, Anaheim 3 May 10: Detroit 4, Anaheim 1 May 12: Anaheim 2, Detroit 1 Today: Anaheim at Detroit, 7 p.m.

ROSS D. FRANKLIN / AP

Though he hasn’t made any public comments, Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky is reportedly on board with a deal to keep the team in Arizona. Julien said he kept Savard off the ice after the third-period injury as a precaution. “He’ll be fine for the next game,” he told The Boston Globe. The Bruins could not afford to lose Savard, who scored the Game 6-winning goal. After the collision, Savard remained down for several moments before skating to the bench with assistance from Patrice Bergeron and trainer Don DelNegro. He took two more shifts before leaving for good. Montreal general manager Bob Gainey announced Wednesday that the Canadiens have signed flashy young D P.K. Subban to a three-year contract that will run through the 2011-2012 season. Subban, the team’s second-round pick in the 2007 draft, played last season with Belleville of the OHL and finished second among defensemen with 76 points. He scored 14 goals and was plus-47. The 6-2, 202-pounder won his second gold medal in January at the world junior championship in Ottawa while playing for Team Canada. He led all skaters in that tournament with a plus-12 rating and scored nine points. Predators G.M. David Poile told

Vancouver vs. Chicago
(Chicago wins series 4-2) April 30: Vancouver 5, Chicago 3 May 2: Chicago 6, Vancouver 3 May 5: Vancouver 3, Chicago 1 May 7: Chicago 2, Vancouver 1, OT May 9: Chicago 4, Vancouver 2 May 11: Chicago 7, Vancouver 5

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10

Denver 124, Dallas 110

Anthony, Billups put an end to feisty series
DENVER—Chauncey Billups is taking his hometown team to new heights with a big assist from Carmelo Anthony. Behind 30 points from Anthony and 28 from Billups, the Denver Nuggets beat the Dallas Mavericks 124-110 on Wednesday night to wrap up their semifinal series in five feisty games. So, the Nuggets are leaving all the animosity with the Mavericks’ players, fans and owner behind and heading to their first Western Conference finals since 1985. The Nuggets, who are 8-2 in the playoffs after tying their franchise record with a 54-win regular season, will face either Los Angeles or Houston for the conference title. “It’s special. We worked hard in the offseason and training camp and throughout,” Anthony said. “We stuck to everything, we overcame adversity, we stayed humble and our hard work paid off.” Winners of 16 straight games at the Pepsi Center, where no opponent has won since March 9, the Nuggets would start their next series on the road if the Lakers win, and at home if Houston does. The Lakers lead the series 3-2 with Game 6 tonight in Houston. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said the combination of Billups, a proven winner, and Anthony, “who’s just taking quantum leaps as a great player and leader,” makes the Nuggets a true title contender. “These guys are legitimate, a legitimate championship-caliber team,” Carlisle said. “They’ve got a great shot. They’ve got a real opportunity.” The Nuggets didn’t dare dream of this type of success when the season began following the departures of defensive stalwarts Marcus Camby and Eduardo Najera. “Sometimes when you’re forced to come together and fight together and persevere, your best qualities come forward,” Denver coach George Karl said. The impetus for the transformation came when the team made its biggest trade ever, Allen Iverson to Detroit for Billups, who turned his hometown team from an afterthought into a championship contender after leading the Pistons to six straight Eastern Conference finals and the NBA championship in 2004. “We love Allen, Allen’s family,” Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke said. “But as Allen has said many times it’s still a business. Chauncey was right for us, with the different personalities we have on the club Chauncey was a really important part.” “He’s a leader,” Anthony said of Billups. “He came on this team and he brought a business-like attitude to our team. He brought a defensive mindset we were looking for.” Fired up from the ugliness on and off the court in Dallas in Games 3 and 4, the Nuggets came out in front of their home crowd with a passion and shot 64 percent in the first half while building a 69-55 lead.

Series glance
(Denver wins series 4-1) May 3: Denver 109, Dallas 95 May 5: Denver 117, Dallas 105 May 9: Denver 106, Dallas 105 May 11: Dallas 119, Denver 117 Wednesday: Denver 124, Dallas 110

Dallas Denver

27 34

28 35

25 25 Reb 0-3 3-10 1-2 0-3 0-1 0-2 4-7 1-2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 9-30

30 — 110 30 — 124 A 1 7 0 9 1 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 23 PF 3 5 3 3 4 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 22 PTS 14 32 6 19 11 7 17 4 0 0 0 0 110

DALLAS Min FG FT Howard 32:42 6-13 1-5 Nowitzki 45:17 9-17 12-12 Dampier 24:17 3-3 0-0 Kidd 44:01 6-10 2-2 Terry 33:55 4-13 0-0 Barea 17:30 3-5 0-0 Bass 25:11 5-9 7-8 Wright 14:55 2-4 0-0 Singleton 0:52 0-0 0-0 Green 0:34 0-0 0-2 Hollins 0:23 0-0 0-0 Carroll 0:23 0-0 0-0 Totals 240:00 38-74 22-29

Percentages: FG .514, FT .759. 3-Point Goals: 12-34, .353 (Kidd 5-9, Terry 3-10, Nowitzki 2-5, Barea 1-3, Howard 1-6, Wright 0-1). Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 14 (21 PTS). Blocked Shots: 2 (Kidd, Nowitzki). Turnovers: 13 (Kidd 5, Nowitzki 5, Terry 2, Howard). Steals: 5 (Terry 2, Bass, Dampier, Kidd). Technical Fouls: Howard, 6:29 third; Terry, 2:59 third; Wright, 6:34 fourth. DENVER Min FG FT Reb Anthony 39:51 13-22 0-0 1-5 Martin 38:54 5-11 5-9 1-2 Nene 40:49 8-10 1-2 3-7 Billups 39:45 10-16 5-5 1-7 Jones 18:49 3-4 2-2 0-2 Andersen 14:06 0-0 0-0 2-5 Smith 29:01 5-13 4-4 1-5 Carter 17:03 4-6 0-0 3-5 Balkman 0:34 0-0 0-0 0-0 Petro 0:34 0-0 0-0 0-0 Hart 0:34 0-0 0-0 0-0 Totals 240:00 48-82 17-22 12-38 A 3 4 1 12 1 1 6 3 0 0 0 31 PF 5 3 4 3 0 5 4 0 0 1 0 25 PTS 30 15 17 28 8 0 18 8 0 0 0 124

JACK DEMPSEY / AP

Chauncey Billups, left, and the Nuggets await the winner of the Lakers-Rockets series after taking out the Mavericks in five games. The Mavericks wouldn’t go down easily, though, making five straight 3-pointers, three by Jason Kidd, to pull within 79-72. The Mavericks were within 10397 with seven minutes left but Anthony took the inbounds pass and with two seconds on the shot clock, hit a turnaround 25-foot jumper at the buzzer. Antoine Wright was assessed a technical and Billups’ free throw made it a 10-point game with 6:35 left. “That ’Melo 3 was a killer,” Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki said. “We get the technical on top. Back to 10 points.” “I don’t know how he hit that shot,” Billups said. Anthony said it was pure luck. “Yeah, that was a spark,” Anthony said. “If I told you I knew it was going in, I’d be lying to you. That was a lucky shot. It went in. I think that shot right there sparked the momentum for us.” Carlisle called ’Melo’s shot a microcosm of the series, where Denver had an answer to almost everything the Mavericks threw out. — The Associated Press

Percentages: FG .585, FT .773. 3-Point Goals: 11-26, .423 (Anthony 4-7, Smith 4-10, Billups 3-6, Carter 0-1, Jones 0-1, Martin 0-1). Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 13 (26 PTS). Blocked Shots: 2 (Andersen, Billups). Turnovers: 13 (Nene 4, Billups 2, Carter 2, Martin 2, Anthony, Jones, Smith). Steals: 8 (Martin 4, Nene 2, Anthony, Jones). Technical Fouls: None. A: 19,962 (19,155). T: 2:34. Officials: Joe Crawford, Ron Garretson, Bill Kennedy.

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11

EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Game 6: Boston at Orlando 7 tonight, ESPN

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Game 6: L.A. Lakers at Houston 9:30 tonight, ESPN

Howard, Magic look to avoid meltdown
ORLANDO—Dwight Howard wants the ball more. Stan Van Gundy is telling fans not to panic, and some Orlando Magic players think their series with Boston should already be over. Orlando seems to be teetering on a Magic Meltdown. Howard met with Van Gundy and apologized Wednesday—but did not retract his statements—after publicly challenging the coach’s strategy in their Game 5 collapse. The Magic center even added another bold comment as the Celtics look to close out Orlando in Game 6 today and move on to the Eastern Conference finals. “We can’t give up hope,” Howard said Wednesday. “We’re in this series to win it. We are going to win this series.” That will take quite a turnaround. It was the second time during these playoffs Howard has questioned why the Magic coach doesn’t run more of the offense through him, with the latest being the loudest and most direct. The two met privately Wednesday before the team’s film session and said they resolved their differences. “Getting the ball shouldn’t be a big issue for me,” Howard said. “There’s more ways to dominate the game than scoring. Me and coach, we talked about that. I just can’t let my frustrations get to the point where I’ll say anything.” Howard’s comments come in a season where Shaquille O’Neal criticized Van Gundy, his former coach with the Miami Heat. O’Neal, who openly complained about coaching decisions following Miami’s Game 7 loss to Detroit in the 2005 Eastern Conference finals, went as far as calling Van Gundy a “master of panic” and a “front-runner” after the Magic coach insisted O’Neal flopped in a game in March. Howard’s comments have caused

Undermanned Rockets face elimination
HOUSTON—The shots mindset for the game a stopped falling, the passes “dumb mistake,” and Los that worked in Game 4 Angeles left nothing to were turnovers in Game 5, chance in Game 5, marchand every loose ball or ing to a 25-point halftime whistle seemed to go the lead. Los Angeles’ Lakers way. The Lakers have been Two days after one of the criticized for failure to susmost stirring victories in frantain mental toughness chise history, the Houston throughout playoff series, Rockets suffered one of their and Bryant said he’ll worst postseason defeats and demand that younger playnow face elimination today in ers come out focused in Game 6 of their Western ConGame 6. ference semifinal series with “Every game, you’ve got the Lakers. to rebuild your momenCHRIS CARLSON / AP “We know it’s time to tum,” he said. “It doesn’t man-up or else it’s going to Ron Artest and the Rockets are on the carry over. You’ve got to rebrink of a long summer. be golf time,” said forward establish what you’re trying Shane Battier, held to five to do out there on the floor. points in Game 5 after scoring 23 in Hous- The energy and effort we played with (in Game ton’s 99-87 win Sunday. 5) is not going to be enough on (today).” The Lakers’ 118-78 win on Tuesday So how can Houston extend the series? matched Houston’s most lopsided playoff The first step is getting off to a good start. loss. The Rockets say don’t count them out The team winning after the first quarter has just yet, pointing to their propensity for won all 11 of their postseason games. bouncing back after embarrassing defeats. “That’s a strange stat everybody keeps Houston dropped 11 games by double-dig- throwing out there,” said Houston coach its during the regular season and won the Rick Adelman. “I guess we better pay attennext game 10 times. The Rockets lost 95-84 tion to it. That’s very important. We need to to Dallas in their regular-season finale, then get into the game early.” beat Portland 108-81 in their playoff opener. — The Associated Press “Our margin for error is very slim, so when you have foul trouble and a lot of turnovers it makes our job really tough,” Battier said. “But we’re going to keep shooting 3s and All Times ET we’re going home and we’ve historically CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS (Best-of-7) responded very well to double-digit losses Boston at Orlando, 7 p.m., ESPN this year. That’s our team.” L.A. Lakers at Houston, 9:30 p.m., ESPN At this point, the series may hinge more on how the top-seeded Lakers play. Today They came out flat and uninspired in Game FAVORITE ....................LINE .................... O/U ..............UNDERDOG 4, and the Rockets built a 29-point lead playing at Orlando ............................6½..........................(190) .........................Boston without Yao Ming, who broke his left foot the L.A. Lakers...............................8..........................(197) ..................at Houston previous game. Kobe Bryant called the Lakers’

CHARLES KRUPA / AP

Despite being down 3-2, Orlando’s Dwight Howard (12) is confident his team will win tonight. enough uproar in Orlando that Van Gundy even suggested Wednesday that any Magic fans starting to panic need to keep their cool. “If you’re an Orlando fan and you consider a loss like that on Boston’s home court humiliating, it probably speaks more to the fact that you haven’t seen enough playoff series around here in a long time,” Van Gundy said. “That kind of panic wouldn’t exist in cities that are used to having teams in tough playoff series year after year after year.” The Celtics have to feel confident. The defending champions took Game 4 on a jumper by Glen “Big Baby” Davis as time expired, rallied in Game 5 despite struggling for most of the night and have the Magic on the brink of elimination. Boston is 32-0 when it takes a 3-2 lead in a bestof-seven series. — The Associated Press

Today’s games

Betting line

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12

Playoff glance
CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
(Best-of-7), All times ET EASTERN CONFERENCE Cleveland vs. Atlanta (Cleveland wins series 4-0) May 5: Cleveland 99, Atlanta 72 May 7: Cleveland 105, Atlanta 85 May 9: Cleveland 97, Atlanta 82 May 11: Cleveland 84, Atlanta, 74 Boston vs. Orlando (Boston leads series 3-2) May 4: Orlando 95, Boston 90 May 6: Boston 112, Orlando 94 May 8: Orlando 117, Boston 96 May 10: Boston 95, Orlando 94 May 12: Boston 92, Orlando 88 Today: Boston at Orlando, 7 p.m. Sunday: Orlando at Boston, 8 p.m., if necessary WESTERN CONFERENCE L.A. Lakers vs. Houston (L.A. Lakers lead series 3-2) May 4: Houston 100, L.A. Lakers 92 May 6: L.A. Lakers 111, Houston 98 May 8: L.A. Lakers 108, Houston 94 May 10: Houston 99, L.A. Lakers 87 May 12: L.A. Lakers 118, Houston 78 Today: L.A. Lakers at Houston, 9:30 p.m. Sunday: Houston at L.A. Lakers, 3:30 p.m., if necessary Denver vs. Dallas (Denver wins series 4-1) May 3: Denver 109, Dallas 95 May 5: Denver 117, Dallas 105 May 9: Denver 106, Dallas 105 May 11: Dallas 119, Denver 117 Wednesday: Denver 124, Dallas 110

No surprise: LeBron leads All-NBA first team
2009 All-NBA teams
Selected by a panel of 122 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout North America. Voting on a 5-3-1 basis; first-place votes in parentheses.

First team
F — LeBron James, Cleveland, (122) 610 points F — Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas, (35) 383 C — Dwight Howard, Orlando, (116) 598 G — Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers, (119) 604 G — Dwyane Wade, Miami, (103) 572

Second team
F — Tim Duncan, San Antonio, (39) 378 F — Paul Pierce, Boston, (27) 330 C — Yao Ming, Houston, (8) 354 G — Chris Paul, New Orleans, (32) 424 G — Brandon Roy, Portland, 189

LeBron James should be getting used to sweeps by now. The Cavaliers star was a unanimous selection to the All-NBA first team Wednesday, after leading his team to a franchise-best regular-season record and a pair of playoff sweeps of the Pistons and Hawks. James was put on the first team on every ballot of 122 sportswriters and broadcasters who regularly cover the league. Lakers star Kobe Bryant finished second in voting, making the first team on 119 ballots, while Dwight Howard of the Magic, Dwyane Wade of the Heat and Dirk Nowitzki of the Mavericks rounded out the first team. James, the league’s MVP, was a first-team selection for the second straight season after finishing second in the NBA in scoring at 28.4 points and ranking in the top 10 in steals and assists.
Hundreds of mourners filled a church Wednesday in Tequesta, Fla., to say farewell to Hall of Fame coach Chuck Daly. Among those in attendance were several members of his Pistons championship teams, close friends that included Rollie Massimino and Billy Cunningham, and Dallas coach Rick Carlisle—who left immediately afterward to join the Mavericks in Denver for a playoff game Wednesday night. Daly was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year and died Saturday at age 78 in Jupiter, Fla. Over the course of the playoffs, there has been speculation about injured PF Kevin Garnett’s possible return to the Celtics’ lineup. The team has said it doesn’t plan on

Boston Globe, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Garnett’s rehab is going well, but added, “We still are not planning on him playing.” — Sean Deveney TNT analyst Doug Collins refuted a report that he had spoken to the 76ers about their vacant coaching job. An Associated Press story quoted Collins as saying he had spoken to the team, but Collins told the Philadelphia Daily News on Wednesday that he had “absolutely not talked to the Sixers,” and said the story was “out of line.” Collins also told ESPN. com that “I apologize to (general manager) Eddie Stefanski if they felt like I was putting something out there that was not true.” The Timberwolves still don’t have a general manager, but at least they know who will represent them at the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday. Wolves F Kevin Love wrote on Twitter that he will be in New Jersey for the annual drawing. The team confirmed Love’s announcement. Former NBA player and University of Cincinnati star Corie Blount was sentenced to one year in prison on Wednesday in a plea arrangement resulting from drug charges. Blount, 40, had pleaded guilty in Butler County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court last month to two felony counts of marijuana possession after prosecutors dropped two trafficking charges.

Third team
F — Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers, (2) 165 F — Carmelo Anthony, Denver, (2) 116 C — Shaquille O’Neal, Phoenix, 68 G — Tony Parker, San Antonio, (1) 158 G — Chauncey Billups, Denver, 131
Other players receiving votes: Deron Williams, Utah, 105; Kevin Garnett, Boston, 72; Chris Bosh, Toronto, 56; Joe Johnson, Atlanta, 36, Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City, 34; Danny Granger, Indiana, 25; David West, New Orleans, 12; Mo Williams, Cleveland, 10; Al Jefferson, Minnesota, 8; Steve Nash, Phoenix, 7; Antawn Jamison, Washington, 7; Ray Allen, Boston, 6; Nene, Denver, 6; Devin Harris, New Jersey, 5; LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland, 4; David Lee, New York, 4; Rajon Rondo, Boston, 2; Vince Carter, New Jersey, 1; Paul Millsap, Utah, 1; O.J. Mayo, Memphis, 1; Mehmet Okur, Utah, 1; Jermaine O’Neal, Miami, 1; Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando, 1; Derrick Rose, Chicago, 1; Caron Butler, Washington, 1; Carlos Boozer, Utah, 1; Andre Miller, Philadelphia, 1; Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia, 1.

JOHN AMIS / AP

LeBron James was a unanimous pick for All-NBA first team after averaging 28.4 points. Garnett returning, but Cavs PF Joe Smith—one of Garnett’s closest friends in the game—brought up that scenario at practice Wednesday. When pressed by the media, however, Smith downplayed a possible Willis Reed moment. Meanwhile, according to The

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INSIDE DISH

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

13

THE LAUNCHING PAD
What to expect in the major leagues today

Zambrano set to rejoin Cubs’ rotation next week
Slowly but surely, the Cubs are getting healthy. Although 3B Aramis Ramirez (shoulder) remains out indefinitely, 1B Derrek Lee (neck) return to action Tuesday. And the Chicago Sun-Times reported P Carlos Zambrano (hamstring) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this weekend and should be ready to start for Chicago on May 22. Zambrano, who is 3-1 with a 4.50 ERA this season, injured himself running the bases May 3. The Red Sox, who have been playing without 1B Kevin Youkilis (back/oblique) and 2B Dustin Pedroia (groin), got another scare Tuesday when DH David Ortiz was hit in his troublesome left wrist by a pitch. Ortiz told The Boston Globe that it isn’t anything serious and that he actually feels better physically this season than ever. So, injuries can’t be blamed for his poor start. Before Wednesday’s game, Mets manager Jerry Manuel told reporters that 1B Carlos Delgado (hip) could go on the disabled list as soon as Friday. Delgado was out of the starting lineup Wednesday for the third consecutive game. He injured his hip April 26, missed five consecutive starts, returned for the next seven games (all Mets wins) and then was back on the bench. For the second consecutive game, White Sox OF Carlos Quentin (heel) was out of the starting lineup Wednesday after getting a cortisone shot. However, he pinch hit and stayed in the game defensively. The White Sox are off today and couple of weeks.” Royals senior vice president of baseball operations/general manager Dayton Moore told the team’s website that an MRI exam on P Joakim Soria’s sore shoulder revealed no structural damage. According to an mlb.com report, Braves P Tom Glavine (shoulder) threw a pain-free, 35-pitch bullpen session Wednesday. Glavine likely will throw a simulated game Friday and then head out for at least one rehab start. Barring a setback, he could make his 2009 Braves debut by the end of the month.
PAUL BEATY / AP

ELAINE THOMPSON / AP

Felix Hernandez has given up 11 earned runs in his past 10 innings.

Cracks in the kingdom
Since getting off to a surprising 12-6 start and building a 3 1/2-game lead in the A.L. West, Seattle has struggled. Ace righthander Felix Hernandez has followed a similar trajectory. In his first five starts, he was 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA. However, he is 0-2 with a 9.90 ERA in his past two starts. King Felix will be back on the mound this afternoon at Rangers Ballpark, which isn’t exactly a pitcher’s paradise. It was Texas that began Hernandez’s slump, roughing him up for six earned runs in six innings on May 4.

Carlos Zambrano has not pitched since being injured running the bases on May 3. then have a weekend series in Toronto, where the artificial turf could create more problems for Quentin’s heel. Manager Ozzie Guillen told the Chicago Sun-Times that he was upset at Quentin for keeping the injury a secret for several days. Cardinals OF Ryan Ludwick was placed on the disabled list Wednesday after injuring his hamstring in Tuesday’s game. The team suddenly is short on outfielders with Rick Ankiel (shoulder) also on the D.L. In more promising news, P Chris Carpenter (oblique) threw a 75-pitch bullpen session Tuesday without any discomfort, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Carpenter will throw again Friday and could be ready for a rehab start next week. Things are starting to improve for the injury-depleted Angels. This afternoon against Boston, P Ervin Santana will make his 2009 debut after being sidelined by an elbow injury. And P John Lackey (forearm) will make his first start Saturday at Texas. In addition, OF Vladimir Guerrero (chest) is hitting aggressively off a tee and could begin to take batting practice with the team this week, according to the Los Angeles Times. Just when A’s 3B Eric Chavez was making progress with his strained forearm, an MRI exam revealed a bulging disk in his back, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Manager Bob Geren told the newspaper that there is no timetable for Chavez’s return, but that plans for a rehab assignment will be pushed back “a

Indians DH Travis Hafner (shoulder) will begin a Class AAA rehab assignment Friday, according to the team’s website. He has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 29. Because of a doubleheader Saturday, Phillies P J.A. Happ could get a start, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Happ was a starter during his climb in the Phillies’ system but has been used in relief this season. According to the Tigers’ website, P Jeremy Bonderman (shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment Saturday with a start for Class A West Michigan. Bonderman hasn’t pitched in the majors since June 1, 2008. The Orioles called up OF Nolan Reimold. In 31 games with Norfolk, the 25-year-old Reimold is batting .394 with nine home runs and 27 RBI.

Calm after the storm
So, why are the Rays under .500 a season after their shocking run to the World Series? Although Tampa Bay’s pitching has been a letdown, the schedule-makers didn’t do the team any favors, either. The Rays finished with a major league-best 57 home wins in 2008, but have played only 13 home games this season (compared to 22 road games). In addition, nine of Tampa Bay’s past 13 games have been against the Red Sox and Yankees. Things will get a bit easier starting tonight when the last-place Indians come to Tropicana Field for a four-game set. After this series, the Rays will welcome the last-place A’s.

Kauffman comfort
Kansas City is another team glad to be back home. The Royals are coming off a disastrous West Coast swing that included ace Zack Greinke’s first loss of the season and their first shutout loss of the season. Kansas City is 11-6 at home and brings a six-game home winning streak into tonight’s game against the Orioles at Kauffman Stadium. Royals first baseman Mike Jacobs is especially fond of his new home park, where his batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage are far superior to his road marks.

— Chris Bahr

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THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

14

Q&A with ... Braves 3B Chipper Jones

‘We won with pitching, solid defense and timely hitting’
During his first series at new Citi Field, Jones told Sporting News Today’s Bill Eichenberger that he wouldn’t have signed a three-year contract extension that ensures he will finish his career in Atlanta if he didn’t believe the Braves would reclaim their status as one of the National League’s elite teams. A fortified starting rotation has re-energized Chipper, who knows from experience how crucial that is to long-term success.

Are you surprised the Braves are so close to first place, given the team’s inconsistent start? We feel fortunate. I’ll put it that way. At the beginning of the season, with the start that the Marlins got off to, we knew we were going to be in a hole pretty quick if we didn’t turn things around. Thankfully, they came back to the pack a little bit.

Q: A:

Speaking of the old days, is there any way you’ll have as much fun in this new park as you did at Shea Stadium? Not unless we get back to the top of the National League East. Those were the really fun games. When it was us and Mets fighting tooth and nail. You knew every game was going to be a scrap, was going to be a war. It’s a little different now. That’s because we haven’t been as competitive. You will still have your moments when you get a pitch to hit and drive it out of the park. But I don’t get as excited about those moments as I used to.

Q: A:

If you deliver it daily, they will come.

How do you see the race playing out in the N.L. East? Everybody in this division is pretty competitive. We’ve just been beating up on each other. The Mets had their little streak where they won seven in a row and got into first place. Now we are playing a little better, chasing them just to stay close. We’ve really had to play well the last six or seven games to keep pace with the Mets. Do you feel like the Braves’ starting rotation gives the team a real chance to compete? There is no doubt. The rotation the last couple of years just completely blew out our bullpen. ... There was no one in our starting five last year who could give us six or seven innings consistently. And in order to be successful, you have to have that, and we have it now. We’ve got Derek Lowe. Javier Vazquez is an innings eater. Jair

Q: A:

Q: A:

Still, you remain convinced that this franchise is headed in the right direction, don’t you? I think so. Once we addressed the starting pitching, we immediately took a turn upward. For so long, it was a very simple formula. We won with pitching, solid defense and timely hitting. The year we won the World Series, I think we hit .250 as a club. But you knew every day you had a Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, Avery, Neagle going to the mound, and those guys weren’t going to give up five, six, seven runs. They weren’t going to get knocked out in the fourth inning. They were going to give you six or seven solid innings. And the offense, at some point, you knew somebody was going to connect.
GENE J. PUSKAR / AP

Q: A:

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Chipper Jones had two doubles and 2 RBIs in Wednesday’s win over the Mets. Jurrjens is just growing with every start. He’s been awesome. Kenshin Kawakami has bounced back after a couple of bad starts, and even Jo-Jo Reyes has been competitive.

A:

Q:

Is that old winning feeling returning to this clubhouse?

There is a lot to be excited about here, especially with what could be on the horizon, with the possible return of Tim Hudson, the possible call-up of Tommy Hanson. This rotation—maybe not by the end of this year but next year and for years to come— could be very, very solid.

Q: A:

What was different about those teams? We just had the confidence and trust that we were going to get it done. I think as the names on the backs of the jerseys continued to change, the trust kind of went away. It is what we have gotten away from here, and now after three or four years we are starting to climb back up.

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

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

15
Away 11-8 8-9 10-10 10-12 3-9 Away 9-10 7-10 4-8 7-10 6-11

Fantasy Focus
Stock Watch

LEAGUE LEADERS
A.L. N.L.

American League Standings
Team San Diego St. Louis Washington Chicago Cincinnati Philadelphia Philadelphia East Toronto Boston New York Tampa Bay Baltimore Central Detroit Kansas City Minnesota Chicago Cleveland West Texas Los Angeles Seattle Oakland 11 11 10 10 9 9 8 W 23 21 16 16 14 W 17 18 17 15 13 W 19 17 16 13 L 13 13 17 19 20 L 15 16 17 18 22 L 14 15 18 18 Pct .639 .618 .485 .457 .412 Pct .531 .529 .500 .455 .371 Pct .576 .531 .471 .419 GB WCGB L10 — — 6-4 1 — 6-4 5½ 4½ 3-7 6½ 5½ 6-4 8 7 5-5 GB WCGB L10 — — 6-4 — 3 5-5 1 4 5-5 2½ 5½ 3-7 5½ 8½ 4-6 GB WCGB L10 — — 8-2 1½ 3 8-2 3½ 5 2-8 5 6½ 4-6 Str L-1 L-1 W-1 W-1 L-1 Str L-2 L-5 W-2 L-1 W-1 Str W-3 W-1 L-2 W-2 Home 12-5 13-4 6-7 6-7 11-11 Home 8-5 11-6 13-9 8-8 7-11

Player V.Martinez Ad.Jones Bartlett Mi.Cabrera A.Hill Longoria 2 tied at
MORRY GASH / AP

Team Cleveland Baltimore Tampa Bay Detroit Toronto Tampa Bay

.385 .370 .369 .361 .352 .346 .344

Player Votto Beltran Ha.Ramirez Zimmerman Hudson M.Ramirez Helton

Team Cincinnati New York Florida Washington Los Angeles Los Angeles Colorado

.374 .370 .361 .357 .348 .348 .345

Player C.Pena Longoria Bay 9 tied at

Team Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Boston

13 11 10 9

Player Ad.Gonzalez Pujols Dunn A.Soriano Bruce Ibanez Utley

13 13 11 11 10 10 10

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

Stolen Bases
N.L.

Jerry Hairston Jr. has rebounded from a poor April. A quick look at who’s moving up and down in the fantasy world:

▲ Jerry Hairston, SS/OF, Reds. Hairston hit just .179 in April, but he is 13-for-32 (.406) with two homers and 11 runs scored during an eight-game hitting streak, which increased his average from .156 to .260. The Reds are 6-2 in that stretch, so manager Dusty Baker likely will keep Hairston in the No. 2 spot and let the good times roll. Hairston is an excellent utility player worth picking up for short-term infield help.

Player Ad.Jones Markakis Scutaro Bay Pedroia 5 tied at

Team Baltimore Baltimore Toronto Boston Boston

35 33 32 30 29 27

Player Pujols A.Soriano Hudson Weeks Zimmerman Hart Werth

Team St. Louis Chicago Los Angeles Milwaukee Washington Milwaukee Philadelphia

33 30 29 28 28 27 27

Player Crawford Ellsbury Abreu Figgins Bartlett Crisp 2 tied at

Team Tampa Bay Boston Los Angeles Los Angeles Tampa Bay Kansas City

22 16 13 13 9 9 8

Player Bourn Jose Reyes Fowler Taveras Burriss Morgan Kemp

Team Houston New York Colorado Cincinnati San Francisco Pittsburgh Los Angeles

Home Away 10-6 9-8 11-8 6-7 7-7 9-11 8-10 5-8

National League Standings
East New York Philadelphia Atlanta Florida Washington Central Cincinnati Milwaukee St. Louis Chicago Houston Pittsburgh W 18 16 17 17 11 W 20 20 20 19 15 14 L 15 15 17 17 21 L 14 14 14 14 18 19 L 12 15 19 21 22 Pct .545 .516 .500 .500 .344 Pct .588 .588 .588 .576 .455 .424 Pct .657 .545 .406 .382 .371 GB WCGB L10 — — 8-2 1 2½ 5-5 1½ 3 6-4 1½ 3 3-7 6½ 8 6-4 GB WCGB L10 — — 7-3 — — 8-2 — — 3-7 ½ ½ 7-3 4½ 4½ 6-4 5½ 5½ 2-8 GB WCGB L10 — — 6-4 4 1½ 6-4 8½ 6 4-6 9½ 7 2-8 10 7½ 2-8 Str L-1 L-1 W-1 L-3 W-1 Str W-3 W-2 L-2 W-3 W-1 W-2 Str W-1 L-1 L-1 L-5 L-3 Home 12-8 8-11 5-9 6-7 5-7 Away 6-7 8-4 12-8 11-10 6-14

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

Pitching (3 decisions)
N.L.

Player Longoria Bay C.Pena Huff Lind A.Hill Markakis

Team Tampa Bay Boston Tampa Bay Baltimore Toronto Toronto Baltimore

45 37 32 31 31 30 30

Player Pujols Cantu Fielder Braun Dunn B.Molina 4 tied at

Team St. Louis Florida Milwaukee Milwaukee Washington San Francisco

35 33 31 28 28 28 27

Player Frasor R.Ramirez Palmer ABailey Halladay Greinke

Team Toronto Boston Los Angeles Oakland Toronto Kansas City

4-0 4-0 4-0 3-0 7-1 6-1

1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 .875 .857

Player Martis Meredith Pelfrey T.Pena Jo.Johnson DiFelice

Team Washington San Diego New York Arizona Florida Milwaukee

5-0 4-0 4-0 3-0 3-0 3-0

1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000

Home Away 7-9 13-5 11-7 9-7 12-5 8-9 10-6 9-8 8-10 7-8 9-7 5-12 Home 14-3 12-5 7-9 8-6 9-15 Away 9-9 6-10 6-10 5-15 4-7

West W Los Angeles 23 San Francisco 18 Colorado 13 San Diego 13 Arizona 13 z-first game was a win

Doubles

Strikeouts
A.L. N.L.

▼ Dan Uggla, 2B, Marlins. Last May,
Uggla hit .347 with 12 homers and 26 RBIs. This May, he is hitting .114 with no homers and three RBIs. Uggla owners have learned to deal with the drain in batting average, but there’s no excuse for the missing power. Owners won’t be able to trade Uggla, so they must hope he will find his stroke against the Dodgers this weekend. — Bill Bender

Pitching Matchups Today’s Games (All times Eastern)
Team San Diego New York San Francisco Atlanta Arizona Milwaukee Los Angeles 61 60 58 57 56 47 47 American League Detroit (Verlander 3-2) at Minnesota (S.Baker 1-4), 1:10 p.m. Seattle (F.Hernandez 4-2) at Texas (Harrison 3-2), 2:05 p.m. Boston (Penny 3-1) at L.A. Angels (Santana 0-0), 3:35 p.m. N.Y. Yankees (Sabathia 2-3) at Toronto (Tallet 2-1), 7:07 p.m. Cleveland (Carmona 1-4) at Tampa Bay (J.Shields 3-3), 7:08 p.m. Baltimore (Guthrie 2-3) at Kansas City (Meche 2-3), 8:10 p.m. National League Florida (Jo.Johnson 3-0) at Milwaukee (Bush 1-0), 1:05 p.m. L.A. Dodgers (Billingsley 5-1) at Philadelphia (Hamels 1-2), 1:05 p.m. San Diego (Gaudin 0-2) at Chicago Cubs (Dempster 2-2), 2:20 p.m. Houston (W.Rodriguez 3-2) at Colorado (Hammel 0-1), 3:10 p.m. St. Louis (Boggs 1-0) at Pittsburgh (Karstens 1-1), 7:05 p.m. N.Y. Mets (Maine 3-2) at San Francisco (J.Sanchez 1-3), 10:15 p.m. The Line Det -120 at Min +110 at Tex -105 Sea -105 at LA -120 Bos +110 NY -145 at Tor +135 at TB -150 Cle +140 at KC -140 Bal +130 The Line Flo -115 at Mil +105 at Phi -140 LA +130 at Chi -190 SD +180 Hou -115 at Col +105 STL -110 at Pit +100 NY -125 at SF +115

A.L.

N.L.

Player Longoria Byrd Callaspo Polanco M.Young 4 tied at

Team Tampa Bay Texas Kansas City Detroit Texas

16 13 13 13 13 12

Player Hudson F.Sanchez Kotchman Ha.Ramirez Zimmerman 4 tied at

Team Los Angeles Pittsburgh Atlanta Florida Washington

14 14 13 12 12 11

Player Greinke Verlander Halladay Lester F.Hernandez Bedard 2 tied at

Team Kansas City Detroit Toronto Boston Seattle Seattle

59 56 49 49 47 43 42

Player Peavy Santana Lincecum J.Vazquez Haren Gallardo Billingsley

Triples
A.L. N.L. A.L.

Saves
N.L.

MORE COVERAGE
Get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league at sportingnews.com/fantasy/baseball

Player Crisp Andrus 8 tied at

Team Kansas City Texas

4 3 2

Player Bourn Kemp Morgan Victorino D.Wright 17 tied at

Team Houston Los Angeles Pittsburgh Philadelphia New York

3 3 3 3 3 2

Player Papelbon F.Francisco Fuentes Jenks Soria 4 tied at

Team Boston Texas Los Angeles Chicago Kansas City

9 9 9 8 7 6

Player Cordero Fr.Rodriguez Franklin Bell B.Wilson Broxton Qualls

Team Cincinnati New York St. Louis San Diego San Francisco Los Angeles Arizona

10 9 9 8 8 8 8

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NATIONAL LEAGUE
Nationals 6, Giants 3 Washington AB R H BI C.Guzman ss 5 2 3 0 N.Johnson 1b 5 1 4 2 Zimmerman 3b 3 1 0 0 Willingham lf 5 0 1 1 Dukes cf 5 0 2 3 Kearns rf 4 0 0 0 Belliard 2b 4 0 0 0 Nieves c 4 1 1 0 Martis p 2 1 1 0 a-Dunn ph 1 0 0 0 Beimel p 0 0 0 0 K.Wells p 0 0 0 0 Totals 38 6 12 6 San Francisco Burriss 2b Renteria ss Winn lf Sandoval 3b Ishikawa 1b Valdez p J.Miller p b-B.Molina ph Misch p Rowand cf Schierholtz rf Holm c c-F.Lewis ph Zito p Aurilia 1b Totals AB 4 5 3 4 2 0 0 1 0 3 4 2 1 2 1 32 R 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 H BI 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 6 3

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

16
Avg. .338 .306 .305 .232 .261 .314 .257 .302 .269 .214 .243 .000 .000 --.136 .000 ----.274 --.250 --Avg. .286 .318 .370 .196 .315 .358 .275 .333 .000 .265 .333 ----.275 ----.333 ----.277 8 13 0 7 12 1

Washington 6, San Francisco 3

Zimmerman’s streak ends at 30

BB SO Avg. 0 0 .390 0 0 .333 2 0 .357 0 2 .194 0 1 .280 1 0 .229 0 3 .163 0 1 .276 0 0 .267 0 0 .310 0 0 --0 0 --3 7 BB SO Avg. 1 0 .263 0 1 .259 1 0 .262 0 1 .301 0 0 .241 0 0 --0 0 .000 0 0 .286 0 0 --1 0 .233 0 0 .233 1 0 .286 0 0 .292 0 0 .091 0 1 .156 4 3

Zimmerman’s company
The longest consecutive-game hitting streaks in a single season in baseball history, including 18761900 (x-active):

Atlanta 8, N.Y. Mets 7, 12 innings

Washington 000 010 302 — 6 12 0 San Francisco 000 000 111 — 3 6 1 a-popped out for Martis in the 8th. b-flied out for J.Miller in the 8th. c-doubled for Holm in the 9th. E: Zito (1). LOB: Washington 9, San Francisco 8. 2B: C.Guzman (6), N.Johnson (5), Willingham (3), Dukes (7), Martis (1), Renteria (6), F.Lewis (7). 3B: Schierholtz (1). RBIs: N.Johnson 2 (19), Willingham (8), Dukes 3 (23), Sandoval (15), F.Lewis (3), Aurilia (7). SB: Winn (6). CS: Dukes 2 (6). S: Martis. SF: Aurilia. Runners left in scoring position: Washington 6 (Willingham 3, Zimmerman, Kearns 2); San Francisco 5 (Rowand 2, Ishikawa, Burriss, Renteria). DP: San Francisco 1 (Burriss, Renteria, Ishikawa). Washington IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Martis W, 5-0 7 2 1 1 4 2 109 4.10 Beimel H, 6 1⁄3 2 1 1 0 0 9 4.76 K.Wells S, 2-2 1 2⁄3 2 1 1 0 1 24 4.40 San Francisco IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Zito L, 1-3 6 1⁄3 8 4 4 3 5 114 3.89 Valdez 2⁄3 1 0 0 0 0 14 3.27 J.Miller 1 0 0 0 0 2 8 2.20 Misch 1 3 2 2 0 0 27 18.00 Inherited runners-scored: K.Wells 1-0, Valdez 3-2. IBB: off Zito (Zimmerman). HBP: by Martis (Ishikawa). WP: Martis, Zito. Umpires: Home, Gerry Davis; First, Jeff Kellogg; Second, Mark Wegner; Third, Tim Timmons. T: 3:01. A: 30,120 (41,915).

BEN MARGOT / AP

Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman went 0-for-3 with two walks, one of which was intentional. SAN FRANCISCO—Although Ryan Zimmerman’s 30-game hitting streak ended right before he could carry it home to Washington, he thinks the monthlong experience will benefit him for years to come. Zimmerman got no luck in the Nationals’ 6-3 victory over the Giants on Wednesday, going 0-for-3 with two walks. He never got the ball out of the infield, grounding into a fielder’s choice on his final chance in the ninth. At least Zimmerman slid home with Washington’s sixth run moments later, allowing him to play a part in a rare victory for the frustrated Nationals, who have the majors’ worst record. “I’m not relieved it’s over, because I would have liked to keep it going for as long as I can,” said Zimmerman, who fell just short of Vladimir Guerrero’s franchise-record 31-game streak with Montreal in 1999. “But it’ll be good to go back to the usual routine. ... I’ve said every day that I’d rather win. It’s been a tough year for us. I feel like we’re a lot better than our record.” Zimmerman produced two groundouts and two walks against Giants starter Barry Zito. — The Associated Press

Player, Team, Year Joe DiMaggio, New York (A), 1941 Pete Rose, Cincinnati, 1978 Willie Keeler, Baltimore (N), 1897 Bill Dahlen, Chicago (N), 1894 George Sisler, St. Louis (A), 1922 Ty Cobb, Detroit, 1911 Paul Molitor, Milwaukee, 1987 Tommy Holmes, Boston (N), 1945 Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia, 2005 Chase Utley, Philadelphia, 2006 Luis Castillo, Florida, 2002 Ty Cobb, Detroit, 1917 Fred Clarke, Louisville, 1895 Benito Santiago, San Diego, 1987 Dom DiMaggio, Boston (A), 1949 George McQuinn, St. Louis (A), 1938 George Sisler, St. Louis (A), 1925 Heinie Manush, Washington, 1933 Rogers Hornsby, St. Louis (N), 1922 Hal Chase, New York (A), 1907 George Davis, New York (N), 1893 Vladimir Guerrero, Montreal, 1999 Ken Landreaux, Minnesota, 1980 Rico Carty, Atlanta, 1970 Willie Davis, Los Angeles, 1969 Sam Rice, Washington, 1924 Nap Lajoie, Cleveland, 1906 Ed Delahanty, Philadelphia, 1899 Moises Alou, New York (N), 2007 Ryan Zimmerman, Washington, 2009 Willy Taveras, Houston, 2006 Albert Pujols, St. Louis, 2003 Luis Gonzalez, Arizona, 1999 Sandy Alomar Jr., Cleveland, 1997 Eric Davis, Baltimore, 1997 Nomar Garciaparra, Boston, 1997 Jerome Walton, Chicago (N), 1989 George Brett, Kansas City, 1980 Ron LeFlore, Detroit, 1976 Stan Musial, St. Louis (N), 1950 Goose Goslin, Detroit, 1934 Bing Miller, Phi (A), 1929 Tris Speaker, Boston (A), 1912 Elmer Smith, Cincinnati, 1898

No. 56 44 44 42 41 40 39 37 36 35 35 35 35 34 34 34 34 33 33 33 33 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30

Gonzalez ends see-saw game
NEW YORK—After blowing a save chance about 19 hours earlier, Mike Gonzalez was determined. “It happened last night. It wasn’t going to happen again today,” the Atlanta Braves reliever said. “We work too hard.” After allowing Jose Reyes’ leadoff double in the 12th inning and Luis Castillo’s sacrifice, Gonzalez struck out Carlos Beltran and froze Gary Sheffield with a called third strike, preserving an exhausting 8-7 win over the New York Mets on Wednesday. “I’m glad that game is over,” Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. “I think both teams were out of pitchers, position players and just about everything else.” After wasting leads of 2-0, 4-2 and 7-6, Atlanta went ahead for good when Martin Prado homered off Ken Takahashi (0-1) with one out in the 12th. Reyes had three doubles but again cost the Mets with foolish baserunning. A day after he was thrown out at third trying to stretch a two-run double that pulled the Mets within a run in the eighth, Reyes was out trying to cross to third on a grounder to shortstop with the score tied and one out in the seventh. — The Associated Press

Braves 8, Mets 7, 12 innings Atlanta AB R H BI BB SO Infante 2b-cf 6 2 2 0 0 2 Escobar ss 3 2 1 0 3 0 C.Jones 3b 3 2 2 2 2 0 G.Anderson lf 5 0 3 3 0 0 M.Diaz rf 3 0 1 1 0 1 b-Kotchman ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 Francoeur rf 2 0 0 0 0 1 Prado 1b 6 2 2 1 0 0 D.Ross c 5 0 0 0 1 2 Schafer cf 3 0 0 0 0 1 d-K.Johnson ph-2b 3 0 2 1 0 0 Jo-.Reyes p 2 0 0 0 0 2 Carlyle p 0 0 0 0 0 0 O’Flaherty p 0 0 0 0 0 0 a-Norton ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 Moylan p 1 0 0 0 0 1 R.Soriano p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Parr p 0 0 0 0 0 0 f-McCann ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 Bennett p 0 0 0 0 0 0 i-Kawakami ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 M.Gonzalez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 46 8 13 8 6 11 New York AB R H BI BB SO Jos.Reyes ss 5 1 3 0 1 1 Castillo 2b 4 1 1 1 1 1 Beltran cf 4 1 1 0 2 2 Sheffield lf 6 2 2 1 0 2 D.Wright 3b 4 1 1 0 0 1 Tatis 1b 5 1 3 4 0 0 R.Castro c 3 0 0 0 1 1 g-Reed ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 Takahashi p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Church rf 5 0 1 0 0 2 Niese p 1 0 0 0 0 0 Stokes p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Parnell p 0 0 0 0 0 0 c-Dan.Murphy ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 Putz p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Fr.Rodriguez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 e-Cora ph 0 0 0 0 0 0 S.Green p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Feliciano p 0 0 0 0 0 0 h-Santos ph-c 1 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 40 7 12 6 5 10 Atlanta New York 202 010 110 001 200 400 010 000

a-flied out for O’Flaherty in the 7th. b-popped out for M.Diaz in the 7th. c-lined out for Parnell in the 7th. d-doubled for Schafer in the 8th. e-sacrificed for Fr.Rodriguez in the 9th. f-grounded out for Parr in the 10th. g-flied out for R.Castro in the 11th. h-flied out for Feliciano in the 11th. i-struck out for Bennett in the 12th. E: D.Wright (5). LOB: Atlanta 10, New York 6. 2B: Infante (4), Escobar (9), C.Jones 2 (6), G.Anderson (5), Prado (6), K.Johnson (5), Jos.Reyes 3 (7). 3B: Castillo (2). HR: Prado (2), off Takahashi; Tatis (2), off Carlyle; Sheffield (2), off R.Soriano. RBIs: C.Jones 2 (13), G.Anderson 3 (8), M.Diaz (14), Prado (7), K.Johnson (11), Castillo (11), Sheffield (6), Tatis 4 (8). CS: Castillo (1). S: Castillo, Niese, Cora. SF: C.Jones, G.Anderson. Runners left in scoring position: Atlanta 4 (Prado, M.Diaz, Kotchman, Infante); New York 4 (Jos.Reyes, Castillo, Tatis, Sheffield). DP: Atlanta 4 (C.Jones, Infante, Prado), (Escobar, Prado), (Escobar, Infante, Prado), (Escobar, Prado); New York 2 (Jos.Reyes, Tatis), (Church, Church, D.Wright). Atlanta IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Jo-.Reyes 3 4 5 5 3 0 56 6.58 Carlyle 2 1 1 1 2 2 35 5.28 O’Flaherty 1 1 0 0 0 1 18 1.98 Moylan 1 1 0 0 0 0 13 6.39 R.Soriano BS, 1-4 1 2 1 1 0 2 19 1.59 Parr 1 1 0 0 0 2 15 3.38 Bennett W, 1-1 2 1 0 0 0 1 27 2.20 M.Gonzalez S, 6-8 1 1 0 0 0 2 20 3.45 New York IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Niese 4 2⁄3 7 5 5 2 5 73 5.91 Stokes 1 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 9 0.61 Parnell BS, 1-1 1 1 1 0 1 0 21 1.17 Putz 1 2 1 1 0 2 22 4.05 Fr.Rodriguez 1 1 0 0 1 1 16 1.08 S.Green 1⁄3 0 0 0 1 0 10 8.79 Feliciano 1 2⁄3 0 0 0 1 0 15 3.07 Takahashi L, 0-1 1 2 1 1 0 2 19 3.86 Jo-.Reyes pitched to 3 batters in the 4th. Inherited runners-scored: Carlyle 3-3, Stokes 1-0, Feliciano 1-0. IBB: off Fr.Rodriguez (C.Jones), off Parnell (C.Jones). HBP: by Bennett (D.Wright). Umpires: Home, Ted Barrett; First, Tim McClelland; Second, Greg Gibson; Third, Andy Fletcher. T: 3:46. A: 40,555 (41,800).

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NATIONAL LEAGUE
Astros 15, Rockies 11 Houston AB R H BI K.Matsui 2b 6 1 2 0 W.Wright p 0 0 0 0 Geary p 0 0 0 0 Hawkins p 0 0 0 0 Bourn cf 6 1 2 1 Berkman 1b 4 3 4 2 b-Ja.Smith ph-2b 1 0 0 0 Ca.Lee lf 5 2 3 1 Arias p 0 0 0 0 c-Erstad ph-1b 1 0 0 0 Tejada ss 5 3 3 3 d-Keppinger ph-ss1 0 1 0 Pence rf 5 2 3 1 Blum 3b 6 1 2 5 Quintero c 6 0 2 2 Hampton p 3 2 2 0 a-Michaels ph-lf 2 0 0 0 Totals 51 15 24 15 Colorado AB R H BI Fowler cf 5 0 1 0 Tulowitzki ss 3 0 0 0 1-Quintanilla pr-ss0 2 0 0 Helton 1b 2 1 1 0 Barmes 2b 2 1 2 1 Spilborghs lf-rf 5 2 2 0 Hawpe rf 2 0 1 2 Grilli p 1 0 0 0 Corpas p 0 0 0 0 e-S.Smith ph 1 1 1 1 Atkins 3b-1b 4 1 0 0 Iannetta c 4 2 3 5 Stewart 2b-3b 5 1 1 2 Marquis p 1 0 0 0 Rusch p 1 0 0 0 Murton lf 2 0 0 0 Totals 38 11 12 11 Houston Colorado

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

17

Houston 15, Colorado 11

Astros’ 24 hits one shy of team record
DENVER—Mike Hampton was back at Coors Field on Wednesday night, and it definitely had a familiar feel for the lefthander. Lance Berkman went 4-for-4 and the Houston Astros finished with 24 hits in a 15-11 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night. Berkman drove in two runs and scored three times for the Astros, who were one hit shy of their franchise record for a nine-inning game set during the second game of a doubleheader against Atlanta on May 30, 1976. Geoff Blum matched his career high with five RBIs. “It was one of those old-school games around here,” said Hampton, who pitched six innings to get the win against his former team. “There were a lot of runs, a lot of hits. You never know what’s going to happen in this park and you’ve got to get as many runs as you can and fortunately we got enough.” Hampton (2-3) allowed five runs and seven hits to improve to 18-10 at Coors, the second-most wins by a lefthander in the ballpark’s history. He also had two hits and scored twice. It was the first time all nine starters have gotten at least two hits in a game in the National League since May 1, 1985, when Atlanta did it against Cincinnati. Chris Iannetta hit his third career grand slam and drove in five for Colorado, which finished with 12 hits. Ian Stewart had a two-run drive for his third homer in two games and seventh this season. “A swinging bat is a dangerous bat, and the balls found holes,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. Houston scored three runs in four of the first five innings to build a 12-3 lead.

BB SO Avg. 0 0 .250 0 0 --0 0 --0 0 --0 1 .297 1 0 .216 0 0 .000 0 1 .333 0 0 --0 1 .171 0 0 .319 0 0 .333 1 0 .328 0 1 .268 0 1 .133 1 0 .357 0 1 .222 3 6 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .253 0 0 .240 1 0 .143 1 0 .345 0 0 .244 0 1 .273 0 0 .362 0 0 .000 0 0 --0 0 .306 1 2 .195 1 0 .241 0 1 .211 0 0 .286 0 1 .333 0 0 .286 4 6

Cincinnati 10, Arizona 3

Phillips, Reds complete sweep
PHOENIX—Nobody has won more on the road than Cincinnati. No one has lost more at home than Arizona. So the Reds’ trip to the desert was true to form—a three-game sweep for Cincinnati. Brandon Phillips drove in four runs and the Reds finished off the series Wednesday night with a 10-3 rout of the Diamondbacks, who have gone from bad to worse since they fired manager Bob Melvin a week ago. Gerardo Parra homered in his first major league at-bat but Arizona could muster little offense beyond that against Johnny Cueto. Willy Taveras singled three times, scoring twice, to extend his hitting streak to 14 games and Jerry Hairston Jr. doubled and tripled as the Reds won for the sixth time in seven games to climb a season-best six games above .500. Taveras had nine hits in the series, and Phillips had six hits and eight RBIs. “We’re a team that’s very hungry, very young,” Phillips said. “We’re going out there and just playing Reds baseball the best way we know how. That’s all we’re really doing. We’re just out there playing the game the right way.” The Reds (20-14) improved to 13-5 on the road, best in the majors. They had 26 runs and 38 hits in the series. — The Associated Press

Reds 10, Diamondbacks 3 Cincinnati AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Taveras cf 6 2 3 0 0 1 .322 Burton p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Hairston Jr. ss 5 3 2 1 0 0 .268 Bruce rf 3 2 0 0 1 1 .244 Phillips 2b 4 1 2 4 1 1 .274 R.Hernandez 1b 4 1 1 1 1 0 .279 A.Rosales 3b 4 1 1 1 0 2 .294 Dickerson lf 4 0 2 1 1 1 .214 Hanigan c 5 0 2 1 0 0 .310 Cueto p 4 0 1 0 0 0 .188 Herrera p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 a-D.McDonald ph-cf 1 0 0 0 0 0 .219 Totals 40 10 14 9 4 6 Arizona AB R H BI BB SO Avg. F.Lopez 2b 4 0 0 0 0 1 .319 Parra cf-lf 4 1 1 1 0 0 .250 J.Upton rf 3 1 2 0 1 1 .306 S.Drew ss 4 0 1 1 0 2 .208 L.Rosales p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Byrnes lf 3 0 0 0 0 0 .200 J.Gutierrez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Vasquez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --R.Roberts 3b 1 0 0 0 0 1 .333 Montero c 3 0 0 0 1 0 .240 Tracy 1b 3 0 0 0 1 0 .200 Ojeda 3b-ss 4 1 1 1 0 1 .310 Augenstein p 2 0 0 0 0 1 .000 Schoeneweis p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --C.Young cf 1 0 0 0 0 0 .185 Totals 32 3 5 3 3 7 Cincinnati 003 000 520 — 10 14 1 Arizona 100 001 100 — 3 5 2 a-grounded into a fielder’s choice for Herrera in the 9th. E: R.Hernandez (2), Montero (4), Augenstein (1). LOB: Cincinnati 9, Arizona 5. 2B: Hairston Jr. (6), Phillips 2 (7), J.Upton (7). 3B: Hairston Jr. (1), J.Upton (1). HR: Parra (1), off Cueto; Ojeda (1), off Cueto. RBIs: Hairston Jr. (9), Phillips 4 (26), R.Hernandez (13), A.Rosales (6), Dickerson (6), Hanigan (2), Parra (1), S.Drew (6), Ojeda (3). SB: Taveras (10), Hairston Jr. (4), Bruce (3). Runners left in scoring position: Cincinnati 6 (Hanigan, A.Rosales 2, R.Hernandez 2, Cueto); Arizona 3 (Byrnes, S.Drew, Ojeda). Runners moved up: Bruce, R.Hernandez. GIDP: R.Hernandez, Cueto, Ojeda. DP: Cincinnati 1 (Hairston Jr., R.Hernandez); Arizona 2 (Montero, S.Drew, F.Lopez), (S.Drew, F.Lopez, Tracy). Cincinnati Cueto W, 4-1 Herrera Burton Arizona Augenstein L, 0-1 Schoeneweis J.Gutierrez Vasquez L.Rosales IP 7 1 1 IP 61⁄3 0 1⁄3 11⁄3 1 H 4 1 0 H 8 0 3 2 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 3 3 2 4 100 1.93 0 0 0 2 16 1.98 0 0 1 1 17 5.28 R ER BB SO NP ERA 5 5 2 3 95 7.11 1 1 1 0 5 2.70 2 2 1 1 18 3.72 2 2 0 1 30 5.91 0 0 0 1 15 3.38

303 331 200 — 15 24 2 030 002 105 — 11 12 0

ED ANDRIESKI / AP

Geoff Blum tied a career high with five RBIs, with three of them coming off this one swing. Berkman singled twice and walked against Jason Marquis to boost his career batting average against the righthander to .511. Miguel Tejada singled in Berkman in the third to give Houston a 4-3 lead. Hunter Pence added an RBI single and Blum drove in another run with a fielder’s choice. Blum’s bases-loaded double made it 9-3 in the fourth. “I think they must have turned off the humidor or something,” Berkman said. “Maybe it was the atmospherics because that’s how it used to be here. Balls were flying around or falling in everywhere.” Marquis (4-3) allowed nine runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the year. — The Associated Press

a-struck out for Hampton in the 7th. b-grounded into a fielder’s choice for Berkman in the 8th. c-struck out for Arias in the 8th. d-singled for Tejada in the 8th. e-doubled for Corpas in the 9th. 1-ran for Tulowitzki in the 7th. E: Quintero (1), Arias (1). LOB: Houston 12, Colorado 6. 2B: K.Matsui (4), Tejada (11), Pence (7), Blum 2 (5), Quintero (1), Spilborghs (9), S.Smith (3), Iannetta (3). 3B: Spilborghs (1). HR: Stewart (7), off Hampton; Iannetta (7), off Geary. RBIs: Bourn (10), Berkman 2 (18), Ca.Lee (27), Tejada 3 (19), Pence (14), Blum 5 (11), Quintero 2 (2), Barmes (12), Hawpe 2 (27), S.Smith (8), Iannetta 5 (16), Stewart 2 (20). SB: Pence (5), Fowler (10). SF: Hawpe. Runners left in scoring position: Houston 8 (Blum 2, K.Matsui 3, Quintero, Ca.Lee, Pence); Colorado 3 (Hawpe, Stewart, Grilli). DP: Houston 1 (Tejada, K.Matsui, Berkman). Houston Hampton W, 2-3 Arias W.Wright Geary Hawkins Colorado Marquis L, 4-3 Rusch Grilli Corpas IP H 6 7 1 1 1 1 2⁄3 3 1⁄3 0 IP H 3 2⁄3 10 2 2⁄3 12 1 2⁄3 2 1 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 5 5 2 3 93 5.31 1 1 0 1 13 4.15 0 0 0 2 19 7.15 5 5 2 0 30 8.10 0 0 0 0 4 2.35 R ER BB SO NP ERA 9 9 3 1 86 5.40 6 6 0 2 63 6.75 0 0 0 2 30 1.46 0 0 0 1 12 4.91

Inherited runners-scored: Rusch 3-3, Grilli 1-0. HBP: by Arias (Tulowitzki). WP: Arias. Umpires: Home, Dan Iassogna; First, Charlie Reliford; Second, Adrian Johnson; Third, Larry Vanover. T: 3:13. A: 19,226 (50,449).

Schoeneweis pitched to 1 batter in the 7th. Inherited runners-scored: Schoeneweis 1-0, J.Gutierrez 2-2, Vasquez 2-0. IBB: off Augenstein (Phillips). HBP: by Vasquez (Bruce), by Augenstein (A.Rosales). WP: Vasquez. Umpires: Home, Rob Drake; First, Dana DeMuth; Second, Doug Eddings; Third, Hunter Wendelstedt. T: 2:58. A: 20,443 (48,652).

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NATIONAL LEAGUE

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

18

Pittsburgh 5, St. Louis 2

Chicago Cubs 6, San Diego 4, 8 innings, rain

LaRoche loses HR; Bucs still win 2nd straight
PITTSBURGH —Adam LaRoche was wary when baseball adopted video replay for home runs last season, convinced such a rule could only mean something bad for him. Turns out he was right. LaRoche became the first player to have a home run taken away by video replay, but it didn’t prevent the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates from beating the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 on Wednesday night behind Ross Ohlendorf’s two-hit pitching over six innings. “If I could have bet the day this started, I would have put a lot of money on myself to be the first,” LaRoche said after his first-inning drive to right field went from a homer to a double in a couple of minutes. “That’s kind of the way it goes. I can laugh those things off now, but if there’s a couple of guys on and we lose by one, it’s huge.” With a runner on, LaRoche’s flyball struck either a railing or small protective screen above the 21-foot wall in right field—both objects are in play—but first base umpire Lance Barksdale signaled a home run. LaRoche stopped at second, only to be told by umpire Alfonso Marquez to head home. Crew chief Randy Marsh, Barksdale and Marquez watched the replay while Mike Winters stayed at home plate, and Marsh quickly changed the call to a douGENE J. PUSKAR / AP ble. The Pirates did not argue, and no TV Pirates SS Jack Wilson eluded the break-up attempt from Albert Pujols to turn a game-ending double play. replay showed the ball reaching the seats. “They went right to it and they saved Marlins pinch-hitter Ross Gload’s drive Molina of San Francisco were given us a run,” Cardinals manager Tony La was finally called foul at Milwaukee. home runs. Russa said. Since video review began Aug. 28, 10 “Before they reviewed it, I said I’m probOf the seven potential home run plays calls have been upheld and four were ably going back out there,” LaRoche said. reviewed this season, this was the first changed. Of the other two to be reversed, “I would have been shocked if it stayed. to be changed. The second occurred both of which occurred in September, That does not surprise me one bit.” shortly afterward, when Florida Carlos Pena of Tampa Bay and Bengie — The Associated Press
Pirates 5, Cardinals 2 St. Louis AB R H BI Schumaker 2b 4 2 2 1 Robinson rf 4 0 1 0 Pujols 1b 4 0 1 1 Duncan lf 4 0 1 0 Y.Molina c 3 0 0 0 Rasmus cf 3 0 1 0 K.Greene ss 3 0 0 0 Thurston 3b 3 0 0 0 Pineiro p 2 0 0 0 McClellan p 0 0 0 0 C.Perez p 0 0 0 0 c-Stavinoha ph 1 0 0 0 Totals 31 2 6 2 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .306 0 0 .231 0 0 .325 0 1 .282 0 0 .302 0 1 .264 0 0 .217 0 1 .250 0 2 .077 0 0 --0 0 --0 0 .000 0 6

Cubs display power in rain
CHICAGO—Along with the rain and lightning, the Chicago Cubs unleashed a few big strikes of the their own. Alfonso Soriano hit his 53rd career leadoff homer, Ryan Theriot connected twice and Geovany Soto went deep to lead the Chicago Cubs over the San Diego Padres 6-4 in a rain-shortened game on Wednesday night. Soriano moved into a tie for second place on the all-time list with Craig Biggio in a game that was stopped following a 58-minute delay before the bottom of the eighth after a barrage of lightning and rain. It also started 37 minutes late and was interrupted for four minutes after the fifth inning, but on this humid night, long drives were as constant as the raindrops. “Theriot with a two-homer game—how about that?” manager Lou Piniella said with a grin. There was plenty to smile about even though Adrian Gonzalez hit two homers off Chicago’s Ted Lilly (5-2), giving him 13 overall and at least one in three straight games. His two-run shot in the first put the Padres ahead 2-0, but the Cubs responded with three in in the bottom half against Chris Young (2-2). Padres manager Bud Black was upset that the game got stopped but also said it’s “a tough call” and he respects crew chief Tim Welke “immensely.” — The Associated Press
Cubs 6, Padres 4, 8 innings, rain San Diego AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Hairston cf 4 1 2 0 0 1 .341 Eckstein 2b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .254 Ad.Gonzalez 1b 4 2 2 3 0 0 .307 Headley lf 4 0 2 0 0 1 .254 Kouzmanoff 3b 4 0 1 0 0 1 .216 Hundley c 3 1 0 0 1 2 .253 Giles rf 3 0 1 0 1 0 .165 L.Rodriguez ss 3 0 2 0 0 0 .256 1-Correia pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 .400 Gregerson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --c-Gerut ph 1 0 1 1 0 0 .237 D.Sanchez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --C.Young p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .214 a-E.Gonzalez ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .167 Mujica p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --b-C.Burke ph-ss 1 0 0 0 0 1 .250 Totals 32 4 11 4 2 7 Chicago A.Soriano lf Theriot ss Fukudome cf D.Lee 1b Bradley rf Fontenot 2b Soto c Freel 3b Lilly p A.Guzman p Marmol p Totals AB 3 3 4 4 2 2 3 3 3 0 0 27 R 1 2 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 6 H BI 1 1 2 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 6 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .279 1 0 .296 0 1 .330 0 0 .194 1 0 .194 1 1 .218 0 0 .193 0 1 .158 0 1 .125 0 0 .000 0 0 --3 4

Pittsburgh AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Morgan lf 4 0 1 2 0 0 .303 F.Sanchez 2b 4 1 2 0 0 0 .323 McLouth cf 4 0 0 0 0 0 .279 Ad.LaRoche 1b 4 0 2 1 0 0 .233 R.Diaz c 3 1 0 0 0 0 .357 An.LaRoche 3b 4 0 1 0 0 1 .245 Moss rf 4 2 2 1 0 1 .213 Ja.Wilson ss 4 1 3 1 0 0 .273 Ohlendorf p 2 0 0 0 0 1 .067 a-Hinske ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .226 Yates p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Grabow p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --b-Monroe ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .216 J.Chavez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Capps p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Totals 35 5 11 5 0 3 St. Louis 000 100 001 — 2 6 0 Pittsburgh 100 103 00x — 5 11 0 a-grounded out for Ohlendorf in the 6th. b-flied out for Grabow in the 8th. c-flied out for C.Perez in the 9th. LOB: St. Louis 2, Pittsburgh 7. 2B: Duncan (11), F.Sanchez (14), Ad.LaRoche 2 (10), Moss (3), Ja.Wilson (4). HR: Schumaker (1), off Ohlendorf. RBIs: Schumaker (10), Pujols (35), Morgan 2 (17), Ad.LaRoche (16), Moss (6), Ja.Wilson (8). Runners left in scoring position: St. Louis 2 (Y.Molina, Duncan); Pittsburgh 4 (Morgan 2, R.Diaz, McLouth). DP: Pittsburgh 1 (F.Sanchez, Ja.Wilson, Ad.LaRoche). St. Louis Pineiro L, 4-3 McClellan C.Perez Pittsburgh Ohlendorf W, 4-3 Yates Grabow J.Chavez Capps S, 6-7 IP H 6 11 1 0 1 0 IP H 6 2 1 1 1 0 1⁄3 2 2⁄3 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 5 5 0 1 90 4.17 0 0 0 1 6 3.07 0 0 0 1 8 2.61 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 0 5 88 3.77 0 0 0 0 13 7.94 0 0 0 1 8 5.74 1 1 0 0 17 2.84 0 0 0 0 4 6.30

San Diego 200 001 01 — 4 11 0 Chicago 302 100 0x — 6 7 0 a-struck out for C.Young in the 5th. b-struck out for Mujica in the 7th. c-singled for Gregerson in the 8th. 1-ran for L.Rodriguez in the 7th. LOB: San Diego 7, Chicago 4. 2B: Headley (7). HR: Ad.Gonzalez 2 (13), off Lilly 2; A.Soriano (11), off C.Young; Theriot 2 (5), off C.Young 2; Soto (1), off C.Young. RBIs: Ad.Gonzalez 3 (27), Gerut (10), A.Soriano (23), Theriot 2 (17), Soto 3 (7). S: C.Young. Runners left in scoring position: San Diego 4 (Hairston 2, Giles, Ad.Gonzalez); Chicago 1 (Freel). GIDP: Kouzmanoff, Fukudome. DP: San Diego 1 (L.Rodriguez, Eckstein, Kouzmanoff); Chicago 1 (Theriot, D.Lee). San Diego IP H C.Young L, 2-2 4 6 Mujica 2 0 Gregerson 1 1 D.Sanchez 0 0 Chicago IP H Lilly W, 5-2 6 1⁄3 8 A.Guzman H, 4 2⁄3 1 Marmol S, 3-5 1 2 R ER BB SO NP ERA 6 6 3 3 102 5.56 0 0 0 1 28 3.63 0 0 0 0 9 5.50 0 0 0 0 0 6.75 R ER BB SO NP ERA 3 3 0 7 86 3.27 0 0 0 0 8 3.50 1 1 2 0 22 4.24

Inherited runners-scored: Capps 2-1. HBP: by Pineiro (R.Diaz). Umpires: Home, Mike Winters; First, Lance Barksdale; Second, Alfonso Marquez; Third, Randy Marsh. T: 2:20. A: 10,494 (38,362).

Inherited runners-scored: A.Guzman 1-0. HBP: by C.Young (A.Soriano). WP: Marmol. Umpires: Home, Bill Welke; First, Tim Welke; Second, Scott Barry; Third, Angel Hernandez. T: 2:26 (Rain delay: 1:02). A: 38,410 (41,210).

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NATIONAL LEAGUE
Dodgers 9, Phillies 2 Los Angeles AB R H BI Pierre lf 4 0 2 0 Furcal ss 5 1 2 0 Hudson 2b 4 2 2 1 Ethier rf 5 0 0 0 Martin c 3 2 1 0 Loney 1b 5 1 3 4 Kemp cf 4 2 2 0 Blake 3b 4 1 2 3 Wolf p 2 0 0 1 b-Loretta ph 1 0 0 0 Troncoso p 0 0 0 0 Ohman p 1 0 0 0 Ja.McDonald p 0 0 0 0 Leach p 0 0 0 0 Totals 38 9 14 9

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

19

L.A. Dodgers 9, Philadelphia 2

Wolf pitches sharp six against old team

BB SO Avg. 0 0 .411 0 0 .244 1 0 .348 0 1 .273 2 1 .273 0 0 .277 1 1 .281 0 0 .268 0 0 .125 0 0 .344 0 0 .000 0 1 .500 0 0 .000 0 0 --4 4

Milwaukee 8, Florida 6

Replay works in Brewers’ favor
MILWAUKEE—Ross Gload said he’s no fan right now of instant replay, but even the Marlins pinch hitter acknowledged the umpires fixed a bad call using video review. Rickie Weeks homered for the third straight game and the Milwaukee Brewers rallied again, benefiting from a replay reversal to beat Florida 8-6. Gload thought he hit a tworun homer down the right-field line off Braden Looper to cut Milwaukee’s lead to 8-7 in the sixth inning. But first base umpire Bruce Dreckman’s colleagues reversed his call after spending two minutes watching a replay, the first at Miller Park since baseball instituted the system late last August. “We just got together and looked at replay and the ball was foul,” plate umpire and crew chief Gary Darling said. “Pretty simple.” Said Gload: “They got it right.” Brewers manager Ken Macha said he believed the crew would have reversed the call even without replay and Looper and Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez also agreed the play wasn’t that close. “I knew it was foul, I think the home plate umpire knew it was foul, too, right away,” Looper said. “From where I was looking, it looked four or five feet foul.” — The Associated Press

Philadelphia AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Victorino cf 5 0 0 0 0 0 .259 Utley 2b 3 0 0 0 1 1 .286 Werth rf 2 0 1 0 2 0 .299 Howard 1b 4 0 0 0 0 3 .270 Rollins ss 4 1 1 1 0 0 .200 Ibanez lf 4 1 1 1 0 2 .328 Feliz 3b 4 0 0 0 0 1 .291 Ruiz c 2 0 2 0 2 0 .212 Moyer p 1 0 0 0 0 1 .111 Happ p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 a-Cairo ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .125 Taschner p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 c-Dobbs ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .138 Condrey p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --d-Stairs ph 0 0 0 0 0 0 .389 e-Bruntlett ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .136 Totals 32 2 5 2 5 9 Los Angeles 000 520 002 — 9 14 0
Philadelphia 010 000 001 — 2 5 0

Brewers 8, Marlins 6 Florida AB R H BI Bonifacio 3b-2b 5 1 2 0 Coghlan lf 4 1 1 3 Ha.Ramirez ss 4 2 2 0 Cantu 1b 4 0 1 1 Jo.Baker c 3 1 1 1 b-Helms ph-3b 1 0 1 1 Uggla 2b 4 0 0 0 Calero p 0 0 0 0 Pinto p 0 0 0 0 Hermida rf 4 0 0 0 Amezaga cf 4 1 3 0 Nolasco p 1 0 0 0 Penn p 0 0 0 0 a-Gload ph 1 0 0 0 Meyer p 0 0 0 0 R.Paulino c 1 0 0 0 Totals 36 6 11 6

BB SO Avg. 0 0 .262 0 1 .250 1 1 .361 1 0 .282 0 0 .287 0 0 .244 0 1 .186 0 0 --0 0 --0 2 .232 0 0 .242 0 1 .231 0 0 --0 1 .233 0 0 .000 0 0 .250 2 7

Milwaukee AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Weeks 2b 5 3 3 2 0 1 .286 Counsell 3b-ss 4 1 1 2 0 2 .328 Braun lf 3 0 0 0 1 2 .333 Fielder 1b 4 0 1 2 0 2 .271 M.Cameron cf 3 1 1 0 1 0 .297 Hardy ss 3 0 1 1 0 1 .221 Hall 3b 1 0 0 0 0 0 .280 Hart rf 3 1 1 0 1 0 .264 Kendall c 2 1 0 0 2 0 .224 Looper p 2 1 1 1 0 1 .091 Coffey p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Stetter p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Villanueva p 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 c-McGehee ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .188 Hoffman p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Totals 31 8 9 8 5 9 Florida 310 001 100 — 6 11 0 Milwaukee 111 500 00x — 8 9 0 a-struck out for Penn in the 6th. b-singled for Jo.Baker in the 7th. c-grounded out for Villanueva in the 8th. LOB: Florida 7, Milwaukee 6. 2B: Ha.Ramirez (12), Amezaga (3). 3B: Weeks (2), Hardy (1). HR: Coghlan (1), off Looper; Jo.Baker (4), off Looper; Weeks (9), off Nolasco. RBIs: Coghlan 3 (3), Cantu (33), Jo.Baker (15), Helms (5), Weeks 2 (24), Counsell 2 (6), Fielder 2 (31), Hardy (18), Looper (1). S: Nolasco, Looper. SF: Coghlan, Counsell. Runners left in scoring position: Florida 3 (Cantu, Gload, Uggla); Milwaukee 4 (Looper, Hardy 2, Weeks). Florida IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Nolasco L, 2-4 3 2⁄3 7 8 8 2 3 69 7.78 Penn 1 1⁄3 1 0 0 3 2 35 6.60 Meyer 1 0 0 0 0 3 16 1.88 Calero 1 1 0 0 0 0 25 1.53 Pinto 1 0 0 0 0 1 11 1.15 Milwaukee IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Looper W, 3-2 6 8 5 5 1 6 100 4.70 Coffey H, 5 2⁄3 1 1 1 1 0 21 3.63 Stetter H, 6 2⁄3 1 0 0 0 1 15 3.09 Villanueva H, 5 2⁄3 1 0 0 0 0 12 5.29 Hoffman S, 7-7 1 0 0 0 0 0 8 0.00 Inherited runners-scored: Penn 2-2, Stetter 2-1. Umpires: Home, Gary Darling; First, Bruce Dreckman; Second, Bill Hohn; Third, Angel Campos. T: 3:14. A: 32,825 (41,900).

TOM MIHALEK / AP

Dodgers CF Matt Kemp dove to make a catch on a ball hit by Phillies slugger Ryan Howard in the eighth inning. Kemp also had two hits in the game. PHILADELPHIA—All that was missing was the Wolf Pack. Randy Wolf dominated his former team, James Loney homered and drove in four runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-2 Wednesday night. Wolf (2-1) allowed one run and three hits, striking out eight in six sharp innings in his second career start against the Phillies. Wolf spent his first eight years in Philadelphia, leaving after the 2006 season. His fan club called itself the Wolf Pack and used to sit in the bleachers wearing masks when he pitched. “There’s a lot of moments here, that’s for sure,” Wolf said. Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez hit solo homers for the Phillies, who got another poor outing from Jamie Moyer (3-3). The 46-year-old Moyer still needs one victory to become the oldest pitcher to reach 250 wins. He allowed seven runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings, while his ERA rose to 8.15. “I don’t really feel frustrated,” Moyer said. “I’m not making pitches I’d like to make. Every mistake I make has gotten hit hard. I guess I have to be mistakefree.” The Dodgers, who have the best record in the N.L. at 23-12, won for the second time in six games without suspended slugger Manny Ramirez. Moyer breezed through the first three innings, allowing just one hit. But the Dodgers got five runs off him in the fourth to take a 5-1 lead. The Dodgers chased Moyer in the fifth. “I don’t think he’s right,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. — The Associated Press

a-popped out for Happ in the 5th. b-popped out for Wolf in the 7th. c-grounded into a fielder’s choice for Taschner in the 7th. d-was announced for Condrey in the 9th. e-struck out for Stairs in the 9th. LOB: Los Angeles 9, Philadelphia 8. 2B: Pierre (6), Furcal (6), Hudson 2 (14), Ruiz 2 (3). HR: Loney (1), off Moyer; Blake (7), off Condrey; Rollins (2), off Wolf; Ibanez (10), off Ohman. RBIs: Hudson (21), Loney 4 (25), Blake 3 (21), Wolf (3), Rollins (11), Ibanez (26). SB: Pierre 2 (5). S: Wolf. SF: Blake. Runners left in scoring position: Los Angeles 6 (Ethier 3, Furcal, Wolf, Loretta); Philadelphia 3 (Moyer, Utley, Victorino). DP: Philadelphia 1 (Feliz, Utley, Howard). Los Angeles Wolf W, 2-1 Troncoso Ohman Ja.McDonald
Leach

IP 6 1 1⁄3 2⁄3 1⁄3 IP 4 1⁄3 2⁄3 2 2

H 3 1 1 0 H 8 1 2 3

R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 3 8 113 2.77 0 0 1 0 23 2.08 1 1 0 0 8 5.73 0 0 1 0 8 6.75 R ER BB SO 7 7 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 1 2 2 0 2 NP ERA 87 8.15 16 2.75 38 4.50 40 2.84

2⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 8 10.80

Philadelphia Moyer L, 3-3 Happ Taschner Condrey

Ohman pitched to 1 batter in the 9th. Inherited runners-scored: Ohman 1-0, Leach 1-0, Happ 2-2. HBP: by Moyer (Pierre). WP: Leach. Umpires: Home, Bob Davidson; First, Jeff Nelson; Second, Mark Carlson; Third, Tim Tschida. T: 3:22. A: 45,273 (43,647).

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AMERICAN LEAGUE

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

20

N.Y. Yankees 8, Toronto 2

Gardner’s first big-league homer backs Pettitte
TORONTO—With Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui sidelined by nagging injuries, New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi figured his team would need to scratch out some runs Wednesday night. The three rookies at the bottom of the lineup proved him wrong. Brett Gardner hit his first major league homer and finished with three RBIs in New York’s 8-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, sending Andy Pettitte to his first win in four starts. “I thought we might have to score runs in a little bit different fashion, especially at the bottom of the order,” Girardi said. “Those guys kept hitting triples.” Making his second straight start in place of Jeter (right oblique), rookie Ramiro Pena tripled and scored from the eighth spot. Right behind him, rookie catcher Francisco Cervelli picked up his first career RBI as the Yankees finished with 11 hits, including eight for extra bases, and improved to 11-0 when holding their opponent to three runs or less. “It gives us a little boost,” Gardner said of the big night by the bottom third. “We’ve got a lot of interchangeable parts here.” Batting in the seventh spot, Gardner hooked a 1-1 breaking ball over the wall in the right-field corner in the second, then tripled and scored in the fifth. “At the time, I didn’t know that was his first one,” Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira said of Gardner’s homer. “I just gave him a handshake and then everyone started saying it was his first one and I got real excited for him. There’s not many better feelings than your first home run.” Gardner’s teammates presented him with a dummy memento ball, spelling his name wrong, writing the wrong date and saying the homer was a solo shot, not a two-run drive. He said the real one will go into his trophy case alongside his first career hit. Teixeira finished 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs, raising his average to .202. “One of the best things about tonight was Tex,” Girardi said. “That’s the Tex we’re used to seeing most of the time. He’s not going to do it every night but that’s the type of hitter he is.” Every Yankees starter except right fielder Nick Swisher reached base safely at least once. Besides Swisher, the only Yankees starter not to get a hit was Alex Rodriguez, who went 0 for 2 with three walks. Jeter has not played since Sunday because of a sore right oblique and Girardi said he might not play again until Friday. Matsui left Tuesday’s game after one at-bat with a tight right hamstring and is day to day. Pettitte (3-1) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings to win for the first time since April 21. “They made it hard on me,” Pettitte said. “By the sixth inning I was running on fumes a little bit.” — The Associated Press
Yankees 8, Blue Jays 2 New York AB R H BI Damon dh 5 2 2 1 Swisher rf 5 0 0 0 Teixeira 1b 4 1 2 2 A.Rodriguez 3b 2 0 0 0 Berroa 3b 0 0 0 0 Cano 2b 5 1 2 1 Me.Cabrera lf 5 1 1 0 Gardner cf 3 2 2 3 R.Pena ss 4 1 1 0 Cervelli c 4 0 1 1 Totals 37 8 11 8 Toronto AB Scutaro ss 3 A.Hill 2b 2 Jo.McDonald 2b 3 Rios rf 4 V.Wells cf 4 Lind dh 3 Rolen 3b 4 Millar 1b 3 Barajas c 4 Bautista lf 3 Totals 33 New York Toronto R 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 H BI 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 7 1 BB SO Avg. 0 2 .323 0 2 .252 0 1 .202 3 1 .188 0 0 .167 0 0 .317 0 0 .326 1 0 .233 0 2 .280 0 1 .267 4 9 BB SO Avg. 2 0 .271 0 1 .352 0 0 .231 1 0 .257 0 1 .276 1 0 .321 0 0 .325 1 1 .309 0 0 .307 1 0 .311 6 3

050 120 000 — 8 11 2 100 100 000 — 2 7 0

E: Cano (2), R.Pena (3). LOB: New York 7, Toronto 10. 2B: Damon (8), Teixeira (5), Cano (9), Me.Cabrera (5), Scutaro (6), V.Wells (10), Rolen (9). 3B: Damon (2), Gardner (1), R.Pena (1). HR: Gardner (1), off Richmond. RBIs: Damon (26), Teixeira 2 (19), Cano (19), Gardner 3 (7), Cervelli (1), Barajas (20). CS: Scutaro (2). SF: Teixeira. Runners left in scoring position: New York 2 (Cano, Me.Cabrera); Toronto 7 (Rolen, Scutaro 2, Bautista, Millar, Rios 2). DP: New York 1 (Berroa, Cano, Teixeira). New York Pettitte W, 3-1 Aceves Albaladejo Toronto Richmond L, 4-2 Wolfe B.Murphy League Frasor Camp IP 6 2 1 IP 1 2⁄3 2 1⁄3 2 1 1 1 H 5 1 1 H 7 1 3 0 0 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 1 4 2 106 4.00 0 0 0 1 26 2.84 0 0 2 0 18 5.29 R ER BB SO NP ERA 5 5 2 2 58 4.28 1 1 0 2 32 3.00 2 2 1 2 42 3.18 0 0 1 1 17 4.86 0 0 0 2 14 0.71 0 0 0 0 7 4.20

Inherited runners-scored: Wolfe 2-0. WP: Richmond. Umpires: Home, Chuck Meriwether; First, Mike Reilly; Second, Chad Fairchild; Third, Laz Diaz. T: 3:09. A: 20,164 (49,539).
FRANK GUNN / AP

Along with his first homer, Brett Gardner, left, had a triple and three RBIs to lift the Yanks, who were missing Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui.

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AMERICAN LEAGUE Tampa Bay 8, Baltimore 6

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

21

Texas 6, Seattle 5, 11 innings

Blalock’s two-run double completes comeback
ARLINGTON, TEXAS—Hank Blalock feasts on fastballs, and that’s what the Texas Rangers slugger got with the game on the line from Seattle Mariners closer Brandon Morrow. Blalock’s two-run double in the 11th inning rallied the streaking Rangers to a 6-5 victory over the Mariners on Wednesday night. Wladimir Balentien’s RBI double in the top of the 11th had given the Mariners a 5-4 lead. In the bottom half, Michael Young led off with a single off Morrow (0-2). Josh Hamilton walked and one out later, Blalock’s line drive one-hopped off the wall in right-center, chasing home both runners as teammates streamed out of the dugout in celebration. “It was great to get that hit off Morrow. The guy’s got some of the best stuff in the league,” Blalock said. “I was looking for a fastball I could jump on. We did a great job to grind it out for the win.” C.J. Wilson (2-2) pitched two innings for the Rangers, who won for the ninth time in their last 11 games. Young’s throwing error in the 11th provided an opening for the Mariners to score the go-ahead run, but Young got a chance to redeem himself in the bottom of the inning. “I didn’t give one thought to it,” Young said. “I was getting ready to have a good at-bat. If I start thinking about something that happened earlier in the ballgame, good or bad, I’m not giving it my best effort.” Adrian Beltre, Kenji Johjima and Russell Branyan homered for the Mariners, who have lost eight of their last nine. Beltre and Johjima’s homers staked Seattle to a 3-0 lead before Chris Davis’
Rangers 6, Mariners 5, 11 innings Seattle AB R H BI BB SO I.Suzuki rf 5 0 1 0 0 1 Jo.Lopez 2b 3 0 0 0 1 0 Griffey Jr. dh 5 0 0 0 0 2 Beltre 3b 5 2 1 1 0 1 Branyan 1b 4 1 2 1 0 1 Balentien lf 5 1 1 1 0 1 Johjima c 4 1 2 2 1 0 F.Gutierrez cf 4 0 0 0 1 2 Cedeno ss 4 0 1 0 0 2 Totals 39 5 8 5 3 10 Texas AB Kinsler 2b 3 M.Young 3b 6 Hamilton cf 3 An.Jones rf 6 Blalock dh 6 Byrd lf 4 C.Davis 1b 5 Saltalamacchia c 4 Andrus ss 4 a-N.Cruz ph 1 Vizquel ss 0 Totals 42 Seattle Texas R H BI 1 0 0 1 2 0 3 1 2 0 1 0 0 1 2 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 11 6 Avg. .308 .242 .212 .226 .286 .296 .273 .260 .152

Rays hold off O’s rally in 9th
BALTIMORE—Troy Percival watched the Tampa Bay Rays erupt for four ninth-inning runs and knew he wouldn’t be pitching in a save situation. Then the veteran closer felt stronger than he had in two years, only to almost cough up a lopsided lead. Willie Aybar hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the sixth inning and Tampa Bay beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-6. Jason Bartlett matched a career high with his fifth homer of the season for the Rays, who put together a big ninth against Bob McCrory and held on after the Orioles rallied in the bottom half. Bartlett and B.J. Upton finished with three hits each and Dioner Navarro had two RBIs. “It’s a good thing we got those runs (in the ninth). It turned out we needed them,” Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford said. Jeff Niemann (3-3) struggled through five innings, but picked up his third victory in four decisions. The righthander allowed two runs. Baltimore’s Adam Jones left with a mild right hamstring strain after hitting an RBI single in the fourth and was replaced by pinch-runner Felix Pie, who took over in center. Pie was supposed to have been unavailable following a bout with food poisoning that caused him to leave Tuesday’s game after three innings. — The Associated Press
Rays 8, Orioles 6 Tampa Bay AB B.Upton cf 6 Crawford lf 3 Zobrist lf 2 Longoria 3b 6 C.Pena 1b 3 W.Aybar dh 3 Gross rf 5 Iwamura 2b 5 Bartlett ss 4 Navarro c 3 Totals 40 R H BI 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 2 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 2 0 2 3 1 1 1 2 8 15 7 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .179 0 0 .329 1 0 .274 0 2 .346 2 0 .262 2 0 .273 0 1 .255 0 0 .282 1 1 .369 0 1 .190 6 6

BB SO Avg. 3 0 .319 0 0 .344 3 2 .243 0 1 .300 0 2 .252 1 1 .302 0 2 .230 1 1 .272 0 0 .281 0 1 .270 0 0 .371 8 10 5 8 2 6 11 1

Baltimore AB R H BI BB SO Avg. B.Roberts 2b 4 2 2 2 1 1 .288 Ad.Jones cf 3 0 2 1 0 0 .370 1-Pie pr-cf 2 1 2 1 0 0 .206 Markakis rf 5 0 1 0 0 1 .344 Huff 1b 4 1 2 0 1 0 .275 Mora 3b 5 0 1 1 0 0 .254 Montanez lf 4 0 0 0 1 1 .220 Wigginton dh 5 1 3 1 0 1 .222 Moeller c 3 0 0 0 0 0 .212 a-Zaun ph-c 1 0 0 0 0 0 .212 C.Izturis ss 4 1 2 0 0 0 .255 Totals 40 6 15 6 3 4 Tampa Bay 001 102 004 — 8 15 0 Baltimore 010 100 004 — 6 15 0 a-flied out for Moeller in the 8th. 1-ran for Ad.Jones in the 4th. LOB: Tampa Bay 13, Baltimore 10. 2B: B.Upton (6), Zobrist (6), C.Pena 2 (8), B.Roberts (9), Huff (10), Wigginton (4), C.Izturis (5). HR: Bartlett (5), off Bergesen; Wigginton (2), off Niemann; B.Roberts (5), off Percival; Pie (2), off Percival. RBIs: B.Upton (4), Zobrist (14), W.Aybar (3), Gross (6), Bartlett (14), Navarro 2 (7), B.Roberts 2 (15), Ad.Jones (26), Pie (3), Mora (13), Wigginton (11). SB: Bartlett (9), B.Roberts (5), C.Izturis (7). CS: Huff (2). S: Navarro. SF: Navarro. Runners left in scoring position: Tampa Bay 8 (Bartlett, Longoria 4, B.Upton 2, Gross); Baltimore 5 (Mora, Markakis 2, Moeller 2). DP: Tampa Bay 1 (Shouse, Bartlett, C.Pena). Tampa Bay Niemann W, 3-3 Cormier H, 1 Shouse H, 4 Wheeler H, 5 Percival Howell S, 1-3 Baltimore Bergesen L, 1-1 C.Ray Walker McCrory IP 5 1 1 1 1⁄3 2⁄3 IP 5 2⁄3 1 1⁄3 1⁄3 1 2⁄3 H 8 0 1 1 4 1 H 9 1 2 3 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 3 2 88 5.35 0 0 0 1 15 2.39 0 0 0 0 14 3.86 0 0 0 1 11 6.23 4 4 0 0 19 6.00 0 0 0 0 12 3.00 R ER BB SO NP ERA 4 4 1 3 96 5.27 0 0 1 2 21 6.35 0 0 0 0 5 2.70 4 4 4 1 48 9.00

010 201 000 01 000 121 000 02

TONY GUTIERREZ / AP

Josh Hamilton (32) slid into home safely to the joy of teammates and Rangers fans, ending the game. fourth-inning RBI single got the Rangers on the board, and Hamilton tied it at 3 with his two-run shot in the fifth. Hamilton homered for the second time in as many nights after returning from a 13-game stint on the disabled list due to a pulled ribcage muscle. Branyan’s two-out solo shot in the sixth put Seattle back in front, but rookie Elvis Andrus’ two-out RBI triple in the sixth tied the game at 4. Andrus also came up with a spectacular defensive play with a runner on first and two out in the eighth, ranging behind second base to glove Franklin Gutierrez’s sharp ground ball and throwing out Gutierrez at first. Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, striking out five and walking four. Washburn kept the Mariners in the game against a lineup that leads the majors in homers on a night when the wind was blowing hard to right field. “They’re a very good hitting ballclub, especially with the wind howling out like that,” Washburn said. In an effort to energize his lineup, Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu made two changes, giving Ronny Cedeno his third start of the season at shortstop in place of slumping Yuniesky Betancourt, and giving Balentien his 10th start in left field for Endy Chavez. — The Associated Press

One out when winning run scored. a-struck out for Andrus in the 10th. E: Jo.Lopez (5), White (1), M.Young (3). LOB: Seattle 6, Texas 13. 2B: Balentien (5), M.Young (13), An.Jones (7), Blalock (6). 3B: Andrus (3). HR: Beltre (2), off McCarthy; Johjima (2), off McCarthy; Branyan (8), off McCarthy; Hamilton (4), off Washburn. RBIs: Beltre (15), Branyan (16), Balentien (4), Johjima 2 (9), Hamilton 2 (14), Blalock 2 (23), C.Davis (18), Andrus (8). SB: Johjima (1), Cedeno (1), M.Young (3). CS: Saltalamacchia (1). S: Jo.Lopez, Branyan. Runners left in scoring position: Seattle 4 (Cedeno, Beltre, Griffey Jr., F.Gutierrez); Texas 7 (M.Young 3, Andrus 2, Kinsler, Byrd). DP: Texas 1 (C.Wilson, Andrus, C.Davis). Seattle IP Washburn 6 Aardsma 1 1⁄3 White 1 2⁄3 Olson 1 Morrow L, 0-2 BS, 1-7 6.75 Texas IP McCarthy 7 Guardado 2⁄3 O’Day 1 1⁄3 C.Wilson W, 2-2 2 H 7 1 0 1 1⁄3 H 5 1 0 2 R ER BB SO NP ERA 4 4 4 5 110 3.11 0 0 2 2 33 1.72 0 0 1 2 23 2.93 0 0 0 1 22 2.57 2 2 2 1 0 16 R ER BB SO NP ERA 4 4 1 7 105 5.92 0 0 0 1 9 6.75 0 0 1 2 23 0.84 1 0 1 0 25 4.20

Inherited runners-scored: White 1-0, O’Day 1-0. PB: Johjima. Umpires: Home, Marvin Hudson; First, John Hirschbeck; Second, Wally Bell; Third, Marty Foster. T: 3:29. A: 25,865 (49,170).

Inherited runners-scored: Howell 1-1, C.Ray 2-0, McCrory 2-0. IBB: off C.Ray (C.Pena), off Bergesen (W.Aybar). WP: Bergesen, McCrory. Umpires: Home, Tom Hallion; First, Jerry Crawford; Second, Phil Cuzzi; Third, Todd Tichenor. T: 3:26. A: 13,237 (48,290).

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AMERICAN LEAGUE
Twins 14, Tigers 10, 13 innings Detroit AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Granderson cf 6 2 3 0 1 0 .265 Polanco 2b 5 1 0 0 1 2 .262 Thomas lf-rf 7 1 2 0 0 1 .345 Mi.Cabrera 1b 4 2 1 3 2 1 .361 Ordonez rf 5 1 1 0 0 2 .239 J.Anderson lf 1 0 0 0 0 1 .316 Larish dh 3 2 1 1 2 1 .267 1-Raburn pr-dh 1 0 1 0 0 0 .095 Inge 3b 5 1 3 2 1 1 .284 Everett ss 6 0 2 2 0 1 .286 Sardinha c 4 0 0 0 0 1 .077 b-Laird ph-c 2 0 0 0 0 0 .202 Totals 49 10 14 8 7 11 Minnesota AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Span lf-cf 5 1 1 2 1 2 .295 Tolbert 2b 5 2 2 2 0 1 .231 Mauer dh 5 1 1 1 2 0 .463 Morneau 1b 6 2 2 2 1 1 .315 Cuddyer rf 6 1 2 0 1 0 .275 Crede 3b 7 1 2 4 0 0 .237 B.Harris ss 5 2 3 0 1 1 .309 Redmond c 6 1 2 0 0 0 .250 Gomez cf 1 1 0 1 1 0 .214 a-Kubel ph-lf 3 1 2 2 0 0 .318 2-Punto pr 0 1 0 0 0 0 .200 Totals 49 14 17 14 7 5 Detroit 000 212 400 000 1 10 14 1 Minnesota 201 103 020 000 5 14 17 0 Two outs when winning run scored. a-homered for Gomez in the 8th. b-grounded out for Sardinha in the 10th. 1-ran for Larish in the 9th. 2-ran for Kubel in the 13th. E: Mi.Cabrera (4). LOB: Detroit 8, Minnesota 8. 2B: Thomas (2), Ordonez (2), Tolbert (2), B.Harris (3). 3B: Granderson (1), Span (2). HR: Inge (9), off Perkins; Mi.Cabrera (8), off Guerrier; Larish (4), off Guerrier; Morneau (9), off Willis; Kubel (5), off Zumaya; Crede (5), off Lyon. RBIs: Mi.Cabrera 3 (25), Larish (5), Inge 2 (22), Everett 2 (14), Span 2 (18), Tolbert 2 (2), Mauer (13), Morneau 2 (28), Crede 4 (13), Gomez (2), Kubel 2 (19). SB: Granderson (5), Everett (2). S: Polanco, Span, Tolbert. SF: Tolbert, Gomez. Runners left in scoring position: Detroit 4 (Polanco, Sardinha, Granderson, Ordonez); Minnesota 3 (Cuddyer, Crede, Redmond). DP: Detroit 2 (Willis, Everett), (Everett, Polanco, Mi.Cabrera); Minnesota 3 (Nathan, B.Harris, Morneau), (Tolbert, Morneau), (B.Harris, Tolbert, Morneau). Detroit Willis Miner Seay BS, 2-2 Zumaya BS, 1-1 Rodney Lyon L, 1-3 Minnesota Perkins Ayala Guerrier BS, 1-1 Dickey Nathan Mijares Crain W, 2-1 IP 4 2⁄3 2⁄3 1 2 2⁄3 1 2 2⁄3 IP 5 1⁄3 2⁄3 1⁄3 1 2⁄3 1 2 2 H 8 1 1 3 0 4 H 5 2 2 2 0 1 2 R ER BB SO NP ERA 4 4 2 0 87 7.71 2 2 2 0 23 4.98 1 1 0 0 21 2.45 2 2 0 3 47 2.08 0 0 0 1 17 4.85 5 5 3 1 60 6.89 R ER BB SO NP ERA 5 5 4 4 83 4.27 2 2 1 0 17 5.63 2 2 0 1 6 4.42 0 0 1 2 24 4.50 0 0 1 1 11 1.38 0 0 0 2 22 2.89 1 1 0 1 25 8.10

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

22

Minnesota 14, Detroit 10, 13 innings

Cleveland 4, Chicago White Sox 0

Crede ends it with one grand swing
MINNEAPOLIS—Joe Crede thrust both arms in the air once the ball was safely in the seats, as much a sign of relief as celebration while he began his game-ending trot around the bases. It took 13 innings, four hours and 48 minutes, but Crede’s two-out, two-strike grand slam gave the Minnesota Twins a 14-10 victory over the Tigers just before midnight Wednesday—long after Dontrelle Willis made his first start of the season for Detroit. It has taken him about a month to get going, but Crede is feeling comfortable with his new team. He’s hitting .237, but fitting in fine. “These guys have been great so far this year. It’s going to be fun to see what this team can do,” said Crede, who has 15 hits, 10 RBIs and four homers in his last 12 games. This was his seventh career grand slam. He hit one in 2002 with the Chicago White Sox that ended a game, too. The middle innings of this game featured a flurry of back-and-forth rallies. Then both teams stopped hitting until the Twins mounted their final push. Matt Tolbert’s single that Josh Anderson nearly caught but trapped in left field tied it at 10 against Brandon Lyon (1-3), who walked Michael Cuddyer to load the bases before Crede came up. Crede almost ended the game in the 12th against Lyon, but that drive was caught by Curtis Granderson with his shoulder against the wall in center field. Lyon threw 60 pitches over 2 2/3 innings. Manager Jim Leyland, his voice rising with the cigarette smoke in his office before the game, declared Tuesday’s 6-2 defeat the most disappointed he’s been in the Tigers all season—citing too many missed opportunities by his offense. He was worked up in the seventh, too, drawing an ejection after rushing to scream at plate umpire Paul Schrieber. — The Associated Press

Lee dominates White Sox again
CLEVELAND—With the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth inning, Cliff Lee threw a called third strike past Jermaine Dye, who then flipped his bat and slammed his helmet to the ground. It was the hardest contact the White Sox made all day. Lee extended his mastery over Chicago with seven strong innings, outpitching Mark Buehrle in the Cleveland Indians’ 4-0 victory Wednesday. The Indians took two of three from Chicago, their second series win this season. They also won two of three against Kansas City at home April 21-23. Lee (2-5) hadn’t won since the Yankee Stadium opener April 16 and he began the day tied for the A.L. lead in losses despite a 1.70 ERA in his last five starts. The four runs Cleveland scored Wednesday doubled its output in Lee’s previous four starts combined. “He’s been about as good as we’ve seen him. He’s been very consistent,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “He’s gone through a stretch here where we haven’t scored any runs for him, but he hasn’t given in to that.” Lee struck out a season-high nine while working out of two bases-loaded jams and has pitched 20 consecutive scoreless innings against the White Sox dating to July 1. — The Associated Press
Indians 4, White Sox 0 Chicago AB R H BI J.Nix 2b-rf 4 0 1 0 Podsednik lf-cf 4 0 2 0 Dye rf 3 0 0 0 Getz 2b 1 0 0 0 Konerko 1b 4 0 1 0 Pierzynski c 4 0 0 0 Fields 3b 4 0 0 0 Betemit dh 3 0 0 0 Al.Ramirez ss 3 0 3 0 Lillibridge cf 2 0 0 0 a-Quentin ph-lf 1 0 0 0 Totals 33 0 7 0 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .300 0 0 .273 0 2 .283 0 0 .256 0 1 .303 0 2 .289 0 2 .235 1 2 .257 0 0 .223 0 1 .154 0 0 .235 1 10

Cleveland AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Sizemore cf 4 0 1 1 0 1 .228 A.Cabrera 2b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .318 V.Martinez 1b 4 1 3 1 0 0 .385 Choo rf 4 0 1 0 0 3 .265 Peralta ss 4 1 1 0 0 0 .246 Garko dh 4 1 1 2 0 1 .272 Carroll 3b 3 0 0 0 0 0 .000 LaPorta lf 2 1 1 0 1 0 .222 Shoppach c 2 0 0 0 0 2 .217 Totals 31 4 8 4 1 7 Chicago 000 000 000 — 0 7 0 Cleveland 100 210 00x — 4 8 0 a-flied out for Lillibridge in the 7th. LOB: Chicago 7, Cleveland 5. 2B: LaPorta (1). HR: V.Martinez (7), off Buehrle; Garko (2), off Buehrle. RBIs: Sizemore (24), V.Martinez (21), Garko 2 (14). S: Shoppach. Runners left in scoring position: Chicago 4 (Dye 2, Quentin 2); Cleveland 2 (Choo, A.Cabrera). GIDP: Lillibridge. DP: Cleveland 1 (Carroll, A.Cabrera, V.Martinez). Chicago Buehrle L, 5-1 Linebrink Cleveland Cl.Lee W, 2-5 R.Betancourt K.Wood IP 7 1 IP 7 1 1 H 7 1 H 6 1 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 4 4 1 6 98 3.00 0 0 0 1 21 0.75 R ER BB SO NP ERA 0 0 1 9 113 3.00 0 0 0 0 12 4.91 0 0 0 1 10 6.00

Umpires: Home, Mike DiMuro; First, James Hoye; Second, Dale Scott; Third, Jerry Meals. T: 2:23. A: 23,884 (45,199).

JIM MONE / AP

Ayala pitched to 2 batters in the 7th. Inherited runners-scored: Miner 1-0, Seay 2-2, Guerrier 2-2. IBB: off Lyon (Morneau), off Dickey (Mi. Cabrera). WP: Perkins 2. Balk: Crain. Umpires: Home, Paul Schrieber; First, Paul Nauert; Second, Joe West; Third, Ed Rapuano. T: 4:48. A: 22,178 (46,632).

Joe Crede’s grand slam in the 13th was the second time in his career he won a game with a slam.

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NFL

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

23

Scouts’ views

Receiver rankings: Fitzgerald, Johnson rise above the rest
Some of the NFL’s best wide receivers make headlines for the wrong reasons: Offfield troubles, contract squabbles, trade requests and bad attitudes. But despite all the whining, crying and complaining, this group includes some of the greatest pure athletes to ever play the game. RealScouts, SN Today’s team of former NFL scouts, rank their top 20 wide receivers:

Lee Evans, Bills. Owens’ arrival should allow Evans to see favorable coverage. Evans has deep speed, and his improved routerunning provides more opportunities after the catch.

8. 9.

midseason, Williams played out of position at flanker and was hampered by a foot injury in ’08. Back in good health and at split end, Owens’ old spot, we expect better things.

17.

Brandon Marshall, Broncos. Marshall (hip surgery) will not be ready to practice until well into the summer, meaning he likely will struggle early in the season. Plus, we’re not sold on QBs Kyle Orton or Chris Simms.

1.

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals. If there were any questions about Fitzgerald’s place at the top of this list, his incredible postseason run should have convinced doubters. He had 30 catches for 546 yards and seven touchdowns in four postseason games, averaging 18.2 yards per catch despite many double-teams. Anquan Boldin, Cardinals. Boldin is big and physical working the underneath routes and the middle of the field, and he makes plays after the catch. He might be the No. 2 on the Cardinals, but he’d be No. 1 for almost every other NFL team. Randy Moss, Patriots. By Moss’ standards, 2008 was a down year. But that happens when the NFL’s best quarterback gets hurt. Moss, 32, shows more savvy with age now; he remains a deep threat and has learned to adjust routes and make plays after the catch.

Greg Jennings, Packers. After proving to be a big-time playmaker in ’07 with 12 touchdowns, he put up great numbers in ’08: 1,292 yards on 80 catches. QB Aaron Rodgers will be better in his second year as a starter, too.

13. 14. 15.

Donald Driver, Packers.

Driver, 34, is a polished receiver who consistently delivers. Over the past seven seasons, Driver has missed just two games and only once had fewer than 70 catches.

18.

DAVID KADLUBOWSKI / AP

SN scouts are giving Larry Fitzgerald, center, his due after a remarkable postseason run.

2.

Andre Johnson, Texans. Johnson is the only player who can challenge Fitzgerald. He led the league in receptions and receiving yards in ’08 despite double-teams, umbrella coverage and every other scheme defensive coordinators could fathom. With a healthy Matt Schaub and an improving line, Johnson could overtake Fitzgerald in ’09.

4. 5.

6. 7.

Terrell Owens, Bills. If the Bills, as reported, move toward a three-wide, no-huddle attack, it could create even more mismatches for Owens downfield. He’s still talented, but he turns 36 in December. Braylon Edwards, Browns. Edwards is a big, physical receiver who is hard to knock off his routes and has the physical tools to expose any cornerback. Will the Browns keep him? Do the Browns have a QB who can get him the ball?

Steve Smith, Panthers. Smith had eight 100-yard games in ’08, including a career-high 18.2-yard average despite constant double-teams. As long as Smith remains healthy, his route-running skills and aggressiveness will make him one of the NFL’s most productive playmakers.

10.

Marques Colston, Saints. Colston is the featured receiver in a pass-happy attack. He finished strong last year, but coming off a Pro Bowl season in ’07, he struggled with injuries and inconsistency last year.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seahawks. Houshmandzadeh produced well on a bad team in Cincinnati, but he is not a big-play threat or even a big red-zone target. Despite making 92 catches in ’08, he averaged less than 10 yards per catch and scored just four times.

19.

11.

3.

Reggie Wayne, Colts. Though his 1,145 yards was the mark of a “bad” year, Wayne still possesses the speed and route-running ability to dominate from anywhere on the field.

Calvin Johnson, Lions. New offensive coordinator Scott Linehan is a proponent of the vertical passing game and likes to throw in the red zone. Both Daunte Culpepper and Matthew Stafford have strong arms, but both are inconsistent and the line is a work in progress. Roy Williams, Cowboys. In

Roddy White, Falcons. White could be placed higher on this list, but he plays in a run-first offense. Plus, we want to see how he performs with coverage rolled his way often this season.

Hines Ward, Steelers. TV analysts talk mostly about his team-first attitude and downfield blocking, but it shouldn’t be lost that he had 81 catches last season and turned in his first 1,000-yard season in four years while playing through a myriad of injuries.

16.

addition to trying to learn a new offense in

12.

Chad Johnson, Bengals. Some say he is in decline, but he remains a good route-runner capable of stretching the field. Johnson can return to the Pro Bowl this year—if he gets his mind right and has Carson Palmer at 100 percent.

20.

Wes Welker, Patriots. Welker’s ability to read coverage and adjust routes makes him tough to cover in the middle. But he lacks the size to work anywhere other than the slot, and he’s not a threat in the red zone.
— RealScouts analyze NFL and college players, coaches and teams exclusively for Sporting News.

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THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

24

Q&A with ... Hall of Fame WR Michael Irvin

T.O. ‘helped Tony Romo stand up and become confident’
In his new Spike TV reality show called 4th and Long, Michael Irvin puts 12 Dallas Cowboys hopefuls through the ultimate test for their last shot to make it in the NFL. Irvin talked with Sporting News Today’s Vinnie Iyer about the series and the hot topics surrounding the Cowboys’ recent practice-facility collapse, Terrell Owens’ departure and the Cowboys’ outlook for ‘09.

Q: A:

How would you describe 4th and Long? It’s the American Idol of the National Football League. Instead of a recording contract, the goal is a contract with the Dallas Cowboys. It’s the last opportunity for those seeking a professional career, who, for some reason, have been overlooked in the past. Are you running the show like an NFL training camp? I have to, because there’s no other way to show this is real football. You’re pushing people to go places that in their mind, they don’t know they can. There’s no easy way to do that, except by emphasizing the realness of it all. You push hoping to pull the best out of them. So the reward for surviving your camp is training camp with the Cowboys? Unfortunately, after the tough days with me, the winner is in for tougher days. Hopefully, we’ll prepare them well for that.

Q: A:

What was your reaction to the collapse at the Cowboys’ practice facility May 2? You’re hosting a benefit, too, during the TV show’s premiere party, right? It was scary. It’s a sad situation. My heart goes out to Rich Behm. For him to be paralyzed with three young kids, I can’t imagine how tough that is. I’ve never experienced anything like that in practice, but I was once laying on the hard carpet in Philadelphia, thinking to myself I may never walk again. When we debut the show in Dallas (today), we will be continuing to raise money to help (Behm) and his family see through this.

the expectations and the pressure. He was on a team in Detroit where losing an average of 14 games was the norm; with the Cowboys, a team with Super Bowl expectations, there’s a higher responsibility. Before, he could just get away with making a few big plays. Now, not only does he need to make those plays but he is expected to help lead the Cowboys to wins, too. What do you think of the Cowboys’ “addition by subtraction” moves this offseason? We’ll have to see how things play out. They shook up the locker room, and with the moves they made it’s clear they wanted to go back to being more of a team. It remains to be seen if the technique of cutting down on talent for the sake of unity pays off.

Q: A:

Q: A:

Q: A:
TOM PENNINGTON / AP

Michael Irvin, center, says his new show, 4th and Long, is the American Idol of the National Football League. Are you prepared to tell it like it is, a la Simon Cowell or Donald Trump, when you need to criticize or cut players? There is only one way to go: Keeping it real. In my ministry, I have talked about self-empowerment. Here I’m playing a part in ending a young man’s dream as he’s competing for his last shot. Whether he makes it, he should leave a better person.

Q: A:

Q: A:

The hope is that he has learned a great deal about himself, whether he pushed himself the hardest or didn’t push enough.

of sports and entertainment. How will 4th and Long give us a better appreciation of football players? Some only see the big dollar-sign numbers, but this is a look at the hard work every day that is required to meet the standards of the NFL. Very few are willing to sacrifice so much and work so hard for their dream.

Q: A:

How will Owens’ time as a Cowboy be remembered? I think T.O. in Dallas was a success. It would have been ideal for him to finish his career there and the team obviously would have liked to win a Super Bowl with him, but I wouldn’t call it a major failure or disappointment. You look back to how much he helped Tony Romo stand up and become confident as a young quarterback, and overall it was a good pairing for both.

Q: A:

Would you like to be in front of the camera acting again? I enjoyed doing Burn Notice and The Longest Yard, but it would need to be the right opportunity at the right time. This, what I’m doing now, I love doing, a mix

Q: A:

You once were the Cowboys’ No. 1 receiver. What’s in front of Roy Williams? Roy has experience as the Lions’ No. 1 receiver, but it’s a whole lot different in Dallas with

What will it take for the Cowboys to meet their promise as a Super Bowlcaliber team? You really need to become a football family to get through the peaks and valleys of a season. While you enjoy great highs, you need to be able to lean on your teammates to keep the valleys tight and short. On my Cowboys teams, a rough spot was usually only like two losses and we took the attitude of “let’s fix it” and it brought us back quickly to the peaks.

Q: A:

4th and Long premieres on Spike TV on Monday, May 18 at 10 p.m. ET.

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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; Travis LaBoy, Arizona; Jayme Mitchell, Minnesota; Jerome McDougle, NY Giants; Julius Peppers (F), Carolina; 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; 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; Paris Lenon, Detroit; 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; Pisa Tinoisamoa, St. Louis; Marcus Washington, Washington; Nate Webster, Denver. Cornerbacks—David Barrett, NY Jets; Dre’ Bly, Denver; Fakhir Brown, St. Louis; Terry Cousin, Cleveland; Jason Craft, St. Louis; Travis Fisher, Detroit; Reynaldo Hill, Tennessee; Roderick Hood, Arizona; 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; John Busing, Cincinnati; Oliver Celestin, Kansas City; Corey Chavous, St. Louis; Keith Davis, Dallas; 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; Jarrad Page (R), Kansas City; Pierson Prioleau, Jacksonville; Chris Reis (R), New Orleans; Dwight Smith, Detroit; 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.

NFL

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

25

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—Darian Barnes, New Orleans; Tatum Bell, Denver; 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; Malcom Floyd (R), San Diego; 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; 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; Scott Chandler, San Diego; Owen Daniels (R), Houston; Nate Lawrie, Cincinnati; Michael Merritt, Kansas City; Chad Mustard, Denver; 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; James Marten (R), Oakland; Fred Miller, Chicago; Rob Petitti, St. Louis; Jon Runyan, Philadelphia; Ephraim Salaam, Houston; Charles Spencer, Jacksonville; Barry Stokes, New England; Mark Tauscher, Green Bay; Mark Wilson (R), Oakland; Eric Young, Cleveland. Guards—Lennie Friedman, Cleveland; Adrian Jones, Kansas City; Pete Kendall, Washington; Matt Lentz, Detroit; Terrence Metcalf, Chicago; Edwin Mulitalo, Detroit; Chris Naeole, Jacksonville; Tutan Reyes, 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; Bryan Pittman, Houston; Cory Withrow, St. Louis.

Taylor steps back to Miami to bolster pass rush
MIAMI—Jason Taylor’s newest dance step has him back where he started. Taylor, who turns 35 in September, signed a $1.5 million, one-year contract Wednesday with the Miami Dolphins, said his agent, Gary Wichard. Taylor played his first 11 seasons with Miami before being traded to the Washington Redskins—a fallout from his stint on the TV show Dancing With the Stars. He was released by Washington in March after one injury-plagued season. The New England Patriots also courted Taylor, who wanted to return to South Florida, where he lives. “My heart has always been in Miami, and so I’m truly excited to call myself a Dolphin once again,” Taylor said in a statement. “I was presented with a number of different opportunities, but in the end the combination of this being the best situation for my family, my love for this community and my tremendous loyalty to a great organization made this an easy decision.” Taylor made the Pro Bowl six times with Miami and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in ’06. The Redskins released Taylor after he turned down a chance to play another season with them for $8.5 million. Taylor didn’t like being away from his wife and three children last season and wanted to rejoin the Dolphins regardless of how much money they offered, Wichard said. “Jason told me, ‘Tell the Dolphins whatever fits their budget, I’m ready to play,’ “ Wichard said. “There were no negotiations. It was always going to be Miami.” Wichard says he also turned down a couple of movie offers because Taylor didn’t want to be away from his family. Taylor has talked often of a movie career after football and helped his Hollywood celebrity a year ago on Dancing With the Stars. But his success on the show soured his relationship with new Dolphins boss Bill Parcells, who fumed that Taylor was in California

J. PAT CARTER / AP

Dancing With the Stars played a part in Jason Taylor’s exit from Miami, but now the 35-year-old DE is back in the fold.
rather than spending the offseason working out with teammates. Parcells traded Taylor for a pair of draft picks. The two have patched up their rift, however, and Taylor raves about coach Tony Sparano, who in his first season led the Dolphins to the AFC East title and their first playoff berth since 2001. While the Dolphins enjoyed a turnaround, Taylor struggled to stay healthy after missing only four games with Miami. He sprained his knee during the Redskins’ preseason and hurt his calf in a win over Arizona on Sept. 21. Taylor required an operation to have blood drained from his calf and a second procedure a month later. The calf injury hampered Taylor much of the season, and he struggled to fit into a Redskins’ defensive scheme that gave him less freedom than he had with the Dolphins. He had only 3 1/2 for the Redskins, his lowest total since 1999. The Dolphins had little pass rush last season aside from outside linebacker Joey Porter, who led the AFC with 17 1/2 sacks. Taylor’s 120 1/2 career sacks are the most among active players, and he could line up opposite Porter this year. Parcells didn’t select a pass rusher in the April draft, a clear signal he was open to a reunion with Taylor. — The Associated Press

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INSIDE DISH

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

26

Favre gets Sharper’s advice; Jets’ Washington grounded
Brett Favre, a former Packer considering playing for the division rival Vikings, consulted a former teammate who once went through with that move: Saints S Darren Sharper. According to ESPN, the two spoke at length about Favre’s possible comeback. During the talks, Favre, 39, reportedly admitted to Sharper that he felt that age when sprinting down the length of a football field. The meeting made Sharper more uncertain about Favre’s future. Last week, the four-time Pro Bowl safety said in an interview with Sirius NFL Radio that Favre was likely to play for Minnesota and was a good fit there.
The Jets have been left with an empty backfield as their initial offseason practices are under way. Thomas Jones, who has been missing team-related activities since midMarch, has been joined by backup Leon Washington as a no-show. According to the New York Daily News, the fourth-year back had been attending workouts with the hopes of getting extended. The discussions are expected to progress this week. Washington is entering the final year of his rookie contract, worth $535,000 in 2009. He is believed to be seeking $5 million annually. Last season, the Pro Bowl return specialist gained 805 yards from scrimmage with 9 total touchdowns. Former Colts coach Tony Dungy says Michael Vick wants a second chance when out of prison. Dungy met with Vick last week at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., where Vick is serving a 23-month sentence for bankrolling a dogfighting conspiracy. Speaking Wednesday at a workshop in Indianapolis for offenders seeking jobs, Dungy compared Vick’s situation as he nears his release from prison to theirs. While in
JOHN RUSSELL / AP

Nashville about his second-year desire: becoming league MVP as its leading rusher. To help Johnson, offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger said he intends to increase Johnson’s workload and get him the ball in more ways. “There (are) places we can move him, routes we can run with him, looks we can do with him that we held back last year because I thought I was stretching him too much.” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that coach Andy Reid said he sees rookie RB LeSean McCoy becoming the top backup to Brian Westbrook. In the same radio interview with WIPAM 610 on Wednesday morning, Reid said it was unlikely the team would re-sign 35-yearold free-agent RT Jon Runyan, who has been recovering from right knee surgery. The Bills and RB Fred Jackson agreed on a four-year contract extension on Wednesday. Jackson, originally an undrafted free agent from Coe College, gained 888 yards from scrimmage to complement fellow secondyear back Marshawn Lynch last season. Jackson will likely have the upper hand on Dominic Rhodes for starting duties while Lynch serves a season-opening three-game suspension. WR Hakeem Nicks will need to work hard to prove he can start as a rookie. Newsday reported Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has veterans Steve Smith and Domenik Hixon tabbed as the team’s starters heading into training camp. QB Carson Palmer, after six weeks of the Bengals’ offseason workouts, says the team is more harmonious and more focused even though WR Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson has been absent. “Definitely by far it’s been the best offseason program since I’ve been here,” Palmer told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Everyone has

been here to work, and that’s been great for us.” Palmer specifically cited WR Jerome Simpson, a second-round pick in ’08, as a player who has performed well. The new $1.1 billion home of the Dallas Cowboys has a name, before it has a sponsor. Owner Jerry Jones announced the venue in Arlington, Texas, will be called Cowboys Stadium. Free-agent WR Kelley Washington has impressed the Ravens enough. FOXSports.com reported that Baltimore is expected finalize a deal to sign Washington by Friday. The team also announced on Wednesday that OT Willie Anderson is going on the reserved/retired list. The 33-year-old four-time Pro Bowler with the Bengals had one injury-plagued season with the Ravens. The Packers look set at three of their four starting linebacker spots with A.J. Hawk, Nick Barnett and Aaron Kampman. As for right outside, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Brady Poppinga is ready for a challenge from rookie first-round pick Clay Matthews Jr. Dolphins CB Eric Green, signed as a free agent away from Arizona, told the Miami Herald that he feels he has an advantage over rookies Vontae Davis and Sean Smith to earn a starting job in ’09. The oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid has returned to prison. Garrett Reid’s lawyer, Timothy Woodward, said Wednesday the 26-year-old Villanova man was in an altercation at a Philadelphia halfway house. Reid was sentenced to two years in a state drug rehabilitation program in July after being caught with 89 prescription pills at the Montgomery County Prison.

Jets RB Leon Washington, above, has joined Thomas Jones as a no-show to offseason practices. town, Dungy also visited the Colts’ practice complex to reconnect with former colleagues and friends. Tampa Bay will cut Griese by the end of the week. McCown told the St. Petersburg Times he feels confident he will be No. 1 come Week 1. “This has been a long time coming for me and I’m not letting anybody take it from me. After making the Pro Bowl as a rookie, Titans RB Chris Johnson told The Tennessean of

Brian Griese is out of the Bucs’ QB competition. With Luke McCown the front-runner and the team signing Byron Leftwich and drafting Josh Freeman, FOXSports.com reported

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College Basketball

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

27

One year with Mayo could prove costly for Floyd, USC
There isn’t a whole lot about O.J. Mayo’s one season with the Southern California Trojans that is easy to believe. He averaged 20.7 points and 3.3 assists, and shot 40.9 percent from 3-point range. Sporting News named him all-freshman and the Pac-10 chose him to its all-conference first team. There is documentation to support all of that. The rest? Lots of papers printed the story Trojans coach Tim Floyd told about how one Rodney Guillory walked into his Mike DeCourcy office and asked, before USC had made any seriCOLLEGE BASKETBALL ous recruiting overtures, if he’d like to have Mayo play for his team. Reporters wrote it because Floyd was a credible source and it was a great tale, but did anyone really buy that? The NCAA approved Mayo’s eligibility to compete as a freshman with the Trojans, essentially certifying him as an amateur athlete. Did that ever compute? Now, former sportswriter Louis Johnson has alleged Floyd handed Guillory an envelope containing $1,000—presumably as a reward for keeping Mayo on track to attend USC—on a busy Southern California street that is almost within walking distance of the UCLA campus. Seriously? It’s hard to locate much innocence in the whole Mayo-goes-to-college saga, but it’s even more challenging to find some truth. It’s easy to spot the moral to the story, though: Colleges and their coaches take a substantial risk if they merely close their eyes, toss their recruits’ amateurism issues at the NCAA and force the organization to determine whether the players can compete. Even if the NCAA initially approves, there still can be repercussions. After Mayo spent his one season with the Trojans, leading them to a 21-12 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance (a first-round loss), Johnson told ESPN’s Outside The Lines program that Guillory had been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to deliver Mayo to an agent and Guillory had shared some of that bounty with Mayo while he was a college student. Right there, USC was harangued by the media for failing to keep a close watch on Mayo, even though the clothes and flat-screen TV he allegedly was given are common in college dorms these days. The USC basketball program already was under investigation regarding those charges when Johnson threw an accelerant on a burning fire with the payoff charges against Floyd—which Johnson has repeated to federal investigators and the NCAA before revealing them to reporters from Yahoo! Sports. And whether or not the allegations make sense, whether or not they’re true, Floyd has become engulfed by those flames. His career will be profoundly impacted. “It’s like the lottery. It’s a dollar and a dream,” said Marc Isenberg, whose book Money Players is a guide for young athletes dealing with issues of amateurism and professionalism. “These are the programchangers, and it’s very difficult to turn your back on these types of players— knowing that if you don’t take them, somebody else will. “These guys have an artificial market value of zero and a true value of something greater. Even if we want them to be amateurs and we want them to follow the rules, the underground economy is going to kick in.” It is not easy for any program recruiting from the top of the recruiting lists to find prospects that are entirely unspoiled, but particular players are considered by coaches to be almost radioactive. It’s not hard for the public to discern which players fit that description. When multiple schools withdraw from recruiting a McDonald’s All-American or an elite prospect has a hard time finding a school that will take him, it’s fairly obvious. There were people at UCLA who wondered if they’d done the right thing in excusing themselves from the pursuit of 6-11 forward Renardo Sidney a few months back. The Bruins’ concerns got a strange sort of validation when the rival Trojans, even after gaining his commitment, passed on signing him. Kansas coach Bill Self looked pretty smooth when he put the pursuit of Lance Stephenson on hold until the NCAA could determine whether the star New York wing—subject of an Internet documentary called Born Ready—would be eligible. Immediately afterward, the coaching change at Memphis made elite wing Xavier Henry of Oklahoma City available. KU signed him and exited the pursuit of Stephenson. It once seemed as though Southern California and Floyd didn’t have much to lose in signing Mayo. If the NCAA cleared him, the Trojans would have themselves a fabulous scoring guard. He wouldn’t even be on campus for a year before leaving for the NBA, which wouldn’t leave much time for things to go wrong. If the NCAA said no, well, it’s not as though the Trojans would have missed on a similar player to take him. There are only so many Mayos in a decade of college basketball, let alone one recruiting class. All that seemed like a pretty safe plan when Mayo arrived on the USC campus bearing the NCAA’s stamp of approval. Now it’s apparent those 20 points a game carried a pretty steep price, one way or the other. decourcy@sportingnews.com

DEAN HARE / AP

Tim Floyd welcomed O.J. Mayo and his program-changing potential to Southern Cal, but his methods are in question.

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College Basketball / College Football
COLLEGE FOOTBALL INSIDE DISH

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

28

COLLEGE BASKETBALL INSIDE DISH

ACC rejects conference schedule increase
A proposal to increase the number of ACC conference games from 16 to 18 failed Wednesday at the league meetings. The measure would have made scheduling easier and reduced the number of payout games for ACC schools. But Karl Hicks, the conference’s associate commissioner for men’s basketball, said coaches wanted to keep their options flexible for lining up strong intersectional games. “The basketball coaches were unanimous in wanting to continue to be able to schedule intersectional games,” Hicks told reporters. “If they went to more conference games, it might dampen that and it might impact the number of teams we get to the (NCAA) tournament, given that we have the highest RPI rating in the country.” New Kentucky coach John Calisaid Wednesday he could see pari the Wildcats holding their annual Big Blue Madness in Commonwealth Stadium, just one of a handful of major changes Calipari could be making as he gets comfortable in his new job. Other suggestions include holding a series of neutral site games against a major opponent, whether it’s Notre Dame in Louisville or Duke in Atlanta. Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio has hired former NBA player Rusty LaRue as an assistant coach, the school announced Wednesday. LaRue was inducted into the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame last Utah has rewarded coach Jim Boylen with a raise and new contract after just two years on the job. Boylen has signed a five-year deal that will pay him $850,000 annually with potential for $1 million with incentives. Boylen has gone 42-25 in two seasons at Utah. Although Boylen had three years remaining on his original contract, which paid him $575,000 a year, athletic director Chris Hill said he wanted to retain Boylen with the new deal, which keeps him in Utah through 2014. Washington State coach Ken has signed a seven-year conBone tract with starting pay of $650,000 per year, plus incentives. The contract was released Wednesday after The Associated Press requested it under the state’s open records laws.

Marve likely to pick Vols or Purdue
Tennessee has emerged as a surprise candidate for the services of former Miami QB Robert Marve, who is expected to transfer to a new school as soon as next week. A source told Sporting News Today on Wednesday that Marve is deciding between walking on with the Vols or accepting a scholarship at Purdue. According to The Tampa Tribune, Marve is leaning toward Tennessee. The story was first reported by ESPN.com, which quoted Eugene Marve as saying that a new school had emerged as a possible destination for his son. Marve would have to pay for his first year at Tennessee because Miami refused to release him from his scholarship to transfer there. Hurricanes officials are believed to feel that several SEC schools, including the Vols, contacted Marve before he requested the release. At either Tennessee or Purdue, Marve must sit out the 2009 season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules. Marve played in 11 games last season as a redshirt freshman at Miami, throwing for 1,293 yards, nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions. But his career has been stained by off-field incidents, including a 2007 car accident and two suspensions during the 2008 season. — Dave Curtis Pitt senior MLB Adam Gunn has been suspended indefinitely from the football team after being charged with public drunkenness and several other offenses result-

ED REINKE / AP

John Calipari would like to see UK play some powerhouses at neutral sites. year. He played parts of three seasons for the Chicago Bulls, along with stints for Utah and Golden State. As a junior in 1995, LaRue became the second athlete in ACC history to play football, basketball and baseball in the same year. Former Florida F Allan Chaney is transferring to Virginia Tech, the Gainesville Sun reported. Chaney, who was suspended for the final two games of his freshman season after insubordination issues, left the program because he was unhappy with playing time. He averaged 3.0 points and 2.1 rebounds, and scored a season-high 13 points against Washington. Add Providence’s Keno Davis to the list of coaches who have opened up a Twitter account to communicate with fans. Davis’ Twitter page is at http://twitter.com/CoachKenoDavis.

ALAN DIAZ / AP

Former Miami QB Robert Marve is leaning toward being a walk-on at Tennessee, according to one report. ing from a dispute outside a Pittsburgh nightclub. Florida coach Urban Meyer didn’t call former Gators QB Shane Matthews by name last month at a booster function in Orlando, but many believe he called Matthews out. Meyer told the audience that former Florida athletes should show loyalty to the program, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “If you want to be critical of a player on our team or a coach on our team, you can buy a ticket for seat 37F—you’re not welcome back in the football office,” Meyer said. Matthews, who hosts a radio show in Gainesville, Fla., was publicly critical of the Gators’ offense early last season—particularly for its failure to exploit man-to-man coverage on receivers in the team’s loss to Mississippi. The ACC will cut costs this fall by limiting travel rosters to 72 players for conference games— the same number allowed for the league title game. There was no previous limit for road teams in regular-season ACC games, though many coaches said their travel squads were slightly above or even below 72. League athletic directors passed the proposal Wednesday at the annual spring meetings in Amelia Island, Fla. The conference also gave commissioner John Swofford authority to push for an early signing period for football. Coaches hope Swofford can get a December signing date passed when conference commissioners meet next month in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Michael Washington has decided to pass on the NBA and return to Arkansas for his senior season, Little Rock television station KTHV reported. The 6-9 led the Razorbacks with 15.5 points per game last season, and he led the SEC with 9.8 rebounds. Arkansas went 14-16, including a 2-14 mark in conference play. Shawntez Patterson and Aleksandar Milovic, a pair of 6-7 freshman forwards who played little last season, have been released from their scholarships and will transfer from Duquesne University.

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NASCAR

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

29

INSIDE DISH

Vickers’ team to defend pit crew title
BY REID SPENCER rspencer@sportingnews.com

BRETT FLASHNICK / AP

Juan Pablo Montoya hopes fans vote him into this weekend’s All-Star Race.

Nationwide crew chief fined
Michael Allen, crew chief for the No. 91 MSRP Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Terry Cook in the Nationwide Series, was fined $2,500 by NASCAR for violating rules concerning jacking bolts that must be made of solid magnetic steel but were hollow. The infractions were discovered May 7 at Darlington Raceway.
Sprint on Wednesday announced the names of the top 10 drivers leading the Sprint Fan Vote, the competition that will put the final competitor not already qualified into Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The top 10 drivers as of Tuesday, in alphabetical order, are AJ Allmendinger, Bill Elliott, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya, David Ragan, David Reutimann, Elliott Sadler, Martin Truex Jr. and Michael Waltrip. The top eight in the standings are separated by fewer than 20,000 votes, and the top two are separated by fewer than 4,000 votes. Votes placed on Sprint phones count double, which could cut the margin in half. Voting also can be done at NASCAR.com. The Sprint Fan Vote closes at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

Ryan Newman will make his second career Camping World Truck Series start this Friday at Lowe’s, driving the No. 4 Kevin Harvick Inc. entry that has been piloted by rookie Ricky Carmichael this season. Newman’s other race (a win) was last October at Atlanta. Carmichael is scheduled to return to the truck June 5 at Texas. “Winning the race last year in Atlanta in my first and only truck start was pretty cool,” Newman said. “In my opinion, winning my first race doesn’t put any additional pressure on me as the driver, and it doesn’t give me any preconceived notions about what’s going to happen this week in Charlotte. There is definitely some tough competition in the truck series. “Throw in the fact that we are racing at Charlotte, and I think the competition just got tougher. — SceneDaily.com

If the record-setting No. 83 Red Bull Toyota team is to repeat as champions of tonight’s Sprint Crew Challenge in Charlotte, the men that service Brian Vickers’ Camry in the Sprint Cup Series will have to do so with a blend of old and new members. Of the crew that won last year’s competition, four members of the over-the-wall gang remain: jackman Shaun Peet, rear tire carrier Jake Brzozowski, gas man Doug Newell and rear tire changer Danny Kincaid. The others—front tire changer Joe Slingerland, front tire carrier Ryan Crellin, catch can man Brett Nenaber and pit crew coach Lance Munksgard—are new to the No. 83 car this year. Peet thinks a repeat victory in the pit crew competition would be especially gratifying during a year in which top pit crews have experienced more difficulty than usual at the racetrack, where the pressure to gain track position during pit stops is enormous. Accordingly, Peet welcomes any recognition the crews might receive. “If they could use a pat on the back, this is definitely the year they could use it,” said Peet, who played professional hockey before he found his niche as a jackman. “They get to have their families out, they can mingle, and it’s kind of a neat deal for them.” Despite the convivial atmosphere, the competition is intense and serious. Unlike a pit stop on race day, where crew members perform their duties simultaneously, the pit crew competition

BOB BRODBECK / AP

Brian Vickers’ pit crew will be one of 24 teams vying to win this year’s Sprint Crew Challenge tonight in Charlotte. requires the various functions to take place in succession each on a different car—fueling, jacking and changing tires. After team members complete their tasks on generic cars, they run to a car bearing their team’s colors and begin pushing it toward the finish line 40 yards away. The quickest overall time wins. The 22.655 seconds the 83 team posted in last year’s quarterfinals is an event record. Though drivers don’t take part in the event, many attend the competition to support their crews. Of the 24 teams in last year’s competition, 20 had drivers in attendance. Three-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson is well aware of the effort his crew is making to prepare for the event. “It’s definitely a team-building opportunity,” Johnson said. “The guys have been working real hard on the techniques needed for that particular event, which is unlike a normal pit stop, as we all know. So they’re trying to figure out exactly how to shave time and the steps and techniques; the way they push the car and the points (scoring) ... they’re working hard on it. I certainly hope our guys can come through and win the thing.” Richard Petty Motorsports with driver Kasey Kahne), has won an individual title. … The event, at Time Warner Cable Arena, is the only NASCAR-sanctioned competition held indoors. — Reid Spencer writes for the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

Official entry list
No. 00 (Michael Waltrip Racing); Nos. 07, 29, 31, 33 (Richard Childress Racing); Nos. 1, 42 (Earnhardt Ganassi Racing); No. 2 (Penske Racing); Nos. 5, 24, 48, 88 (Hendrick Motorsports); Nos. 9, 43 (Richard Petty Motorsports); Nos. 11, 18 (Joe Gibbs Racing); Nos. 14, 39 (Stewart-Haas Racing); Nos. 16, 17, 99 (Roush Fenway Racing); No. 83 (Red Bull Racing); No. 47 (JTG/ Daugherty Racing); No. 96 (Hall of Fame Racing).

Come to order
The finishing order of this year’s event will determine the order of pit selection for Saturday’s Sprint Showdown or subsequent Sprint All-Star Race, if the car is already qualified for the latter. … In addition to the team competition, there also is individual competition at each position. In each of the past four years, at least one member of the No. 9 Dodge team (now part of

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NASCAR
AVG. RUNNING POSITION
Sum of driver position on each lap divided by the laps run in the race. RK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. DRIVER Jeff Gordon Kurt Busch Denny Hamlin Tony Stewart Jimmie Johnson Kyle Busch Carl Edwards Mark Martin Greg Biffle Jeff Burton David Reutimann Dale Earnhardt Jr. Brian Vickers Juan Montoya Ryan Newman Martin Truex Jr. Matt Kenseth Clint Bowyer Kasey Kahne Jamie McMurray ARP 9.4 9.8 10.3 10.4 10.5 12.1 13.8 14.2 15.3 15.5 15.7 16.1 17.1 17.5 17.5 17.7 18.3 18.7 18.8 19.9

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

30
LAPS LED 496 54 322 313 479 67 616 135 267 171 215 42 16 8 42 46 26 90 109 0 9 2 0 0 0 29 3 4 5 24 3 3 3 1 13 2 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 2 0

Sprint Cup statistics
(Through 11 of 36 races)

LAPS IN TOP 15
Season to date laps: 3,621 RK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. DRIVER Jeff Gordon Denny Hamlin Jimmie Johnson Mark Martin Tony Stewart Kurt Busch Jeff Burton Carl Edwards Kyle Busch David Reutimann Greg Biffle Ryan Newman Kevin Harvick Brian Vickers Dale Earnhardt Jr. Clint Bowyer Juan Montoya Jamie McMurray Kasey Kahne Martin Truex Jr. PCT. LAPS 86.9 3,145 78.8 2,852 77.5 2,807 77.1 2,792 76.4 2,766 75.6 2,737 70.5 2,551 67.3 2,437 66.5 2,408 62.9 2,278 56.6 2,051 54.8 1,985 50.4 1,826 49.1 1,777 49.0 1,775 47.8 1,732 47.8 1,730 43.1 1,560 42.6 1,542 41.0 1,486

POINTS STANDINGS
RK. DRIVER 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. Jeff Gordon Tony Stewart Kurt Busch Jimmie Johnson Denny Hamlin Jeff Burton Kyle Busch Ryan Newman Greg Biffle Matt Kenseth Mark Martin Carl Edwards Clint Bowyer Juan Montoya David Reutimann Kasey Kahne Brian Vickers Dale Earnhardt Jr. Martin Truex Jr. Marcos Ambrose Kevin Harvick Casey Mears Reed Sorenson Jamie McMurray AJ Allmendinger Elliott Sadler David Stremme Michael Waltrip Bobby Labonte Joey Logano Sam Hornish Jr. David Ragan Paul Menard Robby Gordon Scott Speed John Andretti David Gilliland Regan Smith Brad Keselowski Aric Almirola Joe Nemechek Scott Riggs Dave Blaney Travis Kvapil Jeremy Mayfield Max Papis PTS. 1,601 1,572 1,546 1,465 1,445 1,384 1,380 1,363 1,345 1,326 1,316 1,271 1,264 1,255 1,232 1,205 1,188 1,182 1,144 1,131 1,109 1,104 1,090 1,068 1,059 1,059 1,039 1,017 1,007 1,002 998 998 957 847 756 743 649 573 479 451 414 394 298 292 288 280
PTS. BACK

ST. 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 10 10 10 6 4 7 8 7 8 4 5 4

WINS 1 0 1 1 0 0 3 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

T-5 6 5 3 5 2 2 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

T-10 8 8 6 7 4 5 4 5 6 4 6 4 4 3 2 2 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 3 2 1 0 1 1 2 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

DNF 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 1 3 1 1 0 0 0 2 1 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 3 2 2 3 2 3 2 0 3 0 0 2 7 3 8 1 1 0

HAROLD HINSON FOR SN

Kyle Busch has four Top 5 finishes this season—and three of them are wins.

DRIVER RATING
Formula combining the following categories: Wins, finishes, top-15 finishes, average running position while on lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, led most laps, lead-lap finish. Maximum: 150 points per race. Must have raced in 75 percent of scheduled point-paying races. RK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 13. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. DRIVER Jeff Gordon Kyle Busch Tony Stewart Jimmie Johnson Kurt Busch Denny Hamlin Mark Martin Greg Biffle Carl Edwards Jeff Burton Ryan Newman Matt Kenseth Juan Montoya David Reutimann Brian Vickers Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jamie McMurray Clint Bowyer Martin Truex Jr. Kasey Kahne MAKE Chevrolet Toyota Chevrolet Chevrolet Dodge Toyota Chevrolet Ford Ford Chevrolet Chevrolet Ford Chevrolet Toyota Toyota Chevrolet Ford Chevrolet Chevrolet Dodge TEAM Hendrick Motorsports Joe Gibbs Racing Stewart-Haas Racing Hendrick Motorsports Penske Racing Joe Gibbs Racing Hendrick Motorsports Roush Fenway Racing Roush Fenway Racing Richard Childress Racing Stewart-Haas Racing Roush Fenway Racing Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Michael Waltrip Racing Red Bull Racing Hendrick Motorsports Roush Fenway Racing Richard Childress Racing Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Richard Petty Motorsports RATING 109.8 104.1 100.9 100.7 100.7 100.3 97.1 90.7 88.4 84.9 81.7 80.7 80.5 80.5 80.5 80.3 78.0 77.9 76.5 75.9

FASTEST LAPS RUN
Number of laps where driver had the fastest speed on the lap. Total green flag laps: 2,954 RK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. DRIVER Jeff Gordon Greg Biffle Kurt Busch Jimmie Johnson Mark Martin Kyle Busch Denny Hamlin Tony Stewart Carl Edwards Jeff Burton David Reutimann Matt Kenseth Dale Earnhardt Jr. Brian Vickers Ryan Newman Kasey Kahne Martin Truex Jr. Marcos Ambrose Clint Bowyer Juan Montoya PCT. LAPS 9.9 291 8.6 255 7.6 224 6.9 204 6.6 194 6.3 186 5.5 161 4.5 133 3.9 115 2.8 82 2.7 80 2.5 75 2.4 70 2.3 67 2.2 66 2.2 65 2.0 59 1.7 49 1.5 45 1.4 42

PERCENTAGE OF LAPS RUN ON LEAD LAP
Season to date laps: 3,621 RK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. DRIVER Kurt Busch Denny Hamlin Jimmie Johnson Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon Dale Earnhardt Jr. Tony Stewart Mark Martin Jeff Burton David Reutimann Juan Montoya Clint Bowyer Ryan Newman Greg Biffle Brian Vickers Kyle Busch David Stremme Kasey Kahne Martin Truex Jr. Marcos Ambrose PCT. LAPS 97.7 3,536 94.2 3,410 91.4 3,310 90.4 3,274 89.4 3,237 89.2 3,229 86.0 3,113 85.3 3,089 85.3 3,087 83.8 3,035 79.0 2,861 78.9 2,855 77.2 2,797 77.0 2,789 76.5 2,769 74.2 2,685 73.4 2,657 71.0 2,570 68.6 2,484 68.0 2,463

--29 -55 -136 -156 -217 -221 -238 -256 -275 -285 -330 -337 -346 -369 -396 -413 -419 -457 -470 -492 -497 -511 -533 -542 -542 -562 -584 -594 -599 -603 -603 -644 -754 -845 -858 -952 -1,028 -1,122 -1,150 -1,187 -1,207 -1,303 -1,309 -1,313 -1,321

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Lacrosse

Q&A … with Princeton coach Bill Tierney

With Cornell looming, ‘survive or go home’
Over the last 22 years, Bill Tierney has redefined the Princeton program, leading them to six national championships. And after a disappointing ’08, he has the Tigers back on track: They beat UMass, 10-7, in the NCAA first round last Sunday, setting up a rematch with Ivy League foe Cornell this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Tierney spoke with Inside Lacrosse’s Jon Brand.

Congratulations on your win over UMass in the first round, but we bet you’re refocusing right about now to face Cornell. We really do have to refocus quickly. The good news is we’re playing a team that we know very well, but the bad news is that we’re playing a team that we know very well. It’s a very different week from last week, when we had to do a lot of scrambling and find out a lot about UMass. So, very different weeks, but it still means the same thing: survive or go home.

Q: A:

JAMES SCHAFFER / INSIDE LACROSSE

Bill Tierney has six titles to his credit, and he’s preparing Princeton for an Ivy League rematch. and shoot and feed. We thought it was a great combination, and they haven’t disappointed us yet. You guys lost the initial meeting with the Big Red, 10-7, on April 18. Do you almost like losing the initial game of a two game series, knowing that you will be able to use it as motivation for the troops in a rematch? I don’t think you ever like losing. It’s just another game now, but it’s just happened to come up very quickly. This is the first time we played Cornell in the NCAA tournament and the first time we’ve played an Ivy team in the tournament since [Brown in] 1994. It’s a new experience to be playing someone you’ve played against so recently, but maybe we’d better get used to it because next year with the Ivy League tournament it may happen three times. It’s not a good feeling, though, but you just go out and you know they beat you last time and they’re capable of doing it again— they’ve won four of the last five so we’re not overly confident in any way. We’ll just go out and play hard. —For more on the NCAA Tournament, go to InsideLacrosse.com

Q: A:

Your midfield was huge for you on Sunday—the first unit combined for nine of the team’s 10 goals. How well are they meshing right now? These guys have played together since day one. We came in the fall and were thinking about making junior Scott Mackenzie the leader on the second midfield, but coach Metzbower’s decision was to put them together. You’ve got two seniors, including Mark Kovler, who’s the guy with the name, and Rich Sgalardi, who has had a phenomenal year for us. And Scott Mackenzie, who can handle the ball

Q: A:

Games to watch

Quarterfinal matchups Saturday @ Hofstra No. 4 Princeton vs. No. 5 Cornell, noon Maryland vs. No. 2 Syracuse, 2:30 p.m. Sunday @ Navy No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 8 Hopkins, noon No. 3 Duke vs. No. 6 UNC, 2:30 p.m.

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Horse Racing

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

32

134TH PREAKNESS Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, NBC (Post time, 6 p.m.)

Rachel Alexandra early favorite at 8-5
Preakness odds chart
The field for Saturday’s 134th Preakness Stakes: HORSE 1. Big Drama 2. Mine That Bird 3. Musket Man 4. Luv Gov 5. Friesan Fire 6. Terrain 7. Papa Clem 8. General Quarters 9. Pioneerof the Nile 10. Flying Private 11. Take the Points 12. Tone It Down 13. Rachel Alexandra TRAINER David Fawkes Chip Woolley, Jr. Derek Ryan D. Wayne Larry Jones Albert Stall, Jr. Gary Stute Tom McCarthy Bob Baffert D. Wayne Lukas Todd Pletcher William Komlo Steve Asmussen JOCKEY John Velazquez Mike Smith Eibar Coa Lukas Jamie Theriot Gabriel Saez Jeremy Rose Rafael Bejarano Julien Leparoux Garrett Gomez Alan Garcia Edgar Prado Kent Desormeaux Calvin Borel ODDS 10-1 6-1 8-1 50-1 6-1 30-1 12-1 20-1 5-1 50-1 30-1 50-1 8-5

NOTEBOOK

Mine That Bird happy at new Pimlico home
Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird is a very relaxed traveler. The morning after a 10-hour van ride, the colt galloped around the track Wednesday at Pimlico in preparation for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday. “He made the trip really good,” trainer Bennie Woolley Jr. said. “He was really bucking and playing this morning. He looked super. “He’s really handled things well. No matter what you do with him, he wants to go perform. He bounced back well and he’s happy. I think we’ve got him where we want him.” The trip from Churchill Downs was a snap, compared to his previous van trip from New Mexico to Kentucky. A win in the Preakness would validate Mine That Bird’s stunning 50-1 upset in the Derby. “Horses fire big races,” Woolley said. “I’m not saying he didn’t run over his form. Hopefully, he’ll fire back like that this week. If he does, that’s wonderful. If he doesn’t, we’ll regroup and aim at the Belmont Stakes and see what happens.” entrance to Interstate 83 when the van was clipped on the driver’s side by another vehicle as Poe attempted to find his way back to Pimlico. “My heart jumped up in my mouth,” trainer-owner Tom McCarthy said when the news of Tuesday’s accident reached him. “I couldn’t believe it.” Fortunately, Poe, groom Billy Bass, General Quarters and another unidentified thoroughbred were uninjured. McCarthy said the star of his one-horse stable was sweating a bit after hearing the police sirens, but showed no signs of stiffness Wednesday morning. “I think I’m more upset than he is,” McCarthy said. “There was hardly any damage to the van.” Bass called the collision “pretty scary” but said General Quarters was never in danger. “It didn’t throw him around, just the feed,” Bass said. General Quarters, the Blue Grass winner, finished 10th in the Derby.

Weights: Rachel Alexandra 121 pounds, others 126. Distance: 1 3-16 miles. Purse: $1.1 million. First place: $710,000. Second place: $220,000. Third place: $110,000. Fourth place: $55,000. Post time: 6 p.m. EDT.
GARRY JONES / AP

Rachel Alexandra is the first filly since 1988 to be the early favorite at the Preakness. BALTIMORE—Rachel Alexandra was made the early 8-5 favorite Wednesday for the Preakness Stakes, the first filly accorded that status since 1988. She brings a five-race winning streak into Saturday’s 1 3-16-mile race at Pimlico. Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Calvin Borel, Rachel Alexandra drew the No. 13 post on the far outside. “It’s beautiful. She’s going to be able to get position,” said Scott Blasi, Asmussen’s assistant. Borel chose to stay on as Rachel Alexandra’s regular rider, switching off Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, who gets Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. “Calvin knows this filly so well, I don’t think we have to tell him anything about where he wants to be with her,” Blasi said. “He’s very comfortable with her and we’re very comfortable with him.” No filly since Nellie Morse in 1924 has won the Preakness. The last filly to go off as the wagering favorite was Winning Colors at 2-1 odds in 1988. She finished third. “I am trying to help the industry,” said Jess Jackson, the filly’s coowner. “I hope this helps revive horse racing in the United States.” Jackson, who founded KendallJackson winery, and Harold McCormick bought Rachel Alexandra for an undisclosed price last week. They paid a $100,000 supplemental fee— above and beyond the entry fees—to get her into the Preakness because she wasn’t nominated for the Triple Crown races by her previous owners. They had expected her to only run against fillies. “I think the fans deserve to see the best horses compete regardless of sex,” Jackson said on a conference call. “This isn’t about male or female, it’s about the best athletes.” Rachel Alexandra has a frontrunning style, and hasn’t been farther back than second while running her last five races. “It’s a good spot for her,” said Bob Baffert, who trains rival Pioneerof the Nile. “She’s out there in the clear. If you’re in the middle and you don’t break well, they can jam you up. She’s going to be (running) one, two or three; that’s a good spot for her.” Pioneerof the Nile, the Kentucky Derby runner-up, was made the 5-1 second choice in the 13-horse field by Pimlico oddsmaker Frank Carulli. The colt drew the No. 9 post. The draw was done in a tent near the stakes barn at Pimlico after being held in downtown Baltimore in recent years. It was a traditional “pill pull” where the horses’ entry blanks were drawn simultaneously with a numbered pill to determine their position in the starting gate. — The Associated Press

Soggy again
Rain continues to dog this year’s Triple Crown. After the Derby was run in the slop, the forecast calls for a rainy Preakness weekend. Thunderstorms are expected Friday with a lingering isolated thundershower Saturday for race day, with temperatures in the upper 70s. — The Associated Press

Fender bender
The van carrying General Quarters was involved in a minor traffic accident as it approached Pimlico. Driver Maurice Poe missed the stable gate and was heading for the

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Golf

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

33

Johnson back to defend Texas Open title Sponsorship dearth
SAN ANTONIO—Zach Johnson is the defending champion at the Valero Texas Open, though he doesn’t know much about its reputation. Oh, where to begin? An exhausting, rugged course to hike. A tournament all but dead before securing a major sponsor in 2001. And, worst of all for players and prestige, relegated to the PGA’s slow fall calendar and squeezed among the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup to boot. “Dates-wise, it hasn’t been great,” Johnson said Wednesday. That much will be remedied starting today, when the third-oldest PGA tournament tees off in the spring for the first since 1969. Along with returning to a more favorable date, the Texas Open is also closing out a 15-year run at La Cantera Golf Club before moving to a Greg Norman-designed TPC course in 2010. Johnson headlines a field that includes Justin Leonard, who is seeking his fourth Texas Open title and first since 2007. Other notables are Anthony Kim and Alex Cejka, fresh off a stunning collapse at The Players Championship in Florida on Sunday when he blew a five-shot lead heading into the final round. Johnson, the 2007 Masters winner, won the Texas Open in October with a two-shot victory for his first Tour victory outside Georgia. Now the tournament kicks off a new Texas Swing that continues with the HP Byron Nelson Championship in Dallas next week, and wraps up May with the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth. Like usual, the Texas Open field isn’t flush with biggest names. But in the grand scheme of things, to boost the level of this event, it needs a golf course that can handle that.” The par-70, 6,896-yard course certainly has its distinctions. No more was its reputation for low scores secured than 2003, when Tommy Armour III shot a 26-under 254 to set a PGA record. But the price for shooting under at La Cantera can be the course’s notoriously grueling walk. “We’ve kind of outgrown the venue,” said Tony Piazzi, president and CEO of Golf San Antonio. “Certainly, there was some player feedback that was not positive. That word of mouth ... is the kind of thing where if one person (hears) something negative, and they tell five and they tell five, all of the sudden it’s a domino effect. Certainly, we understood that was an issue for us.” Johnson, who is eighth on the Tour money earnings list, got another win in January at the Sony Open and had a two-shot lead at the Quail Hollow Championship this month before faltering in the final round. — The Associated Press

NOTEBOOK

claims British Masters
BALTRAY, IRELAND—The British Masters has been dropped from this year’s European Tour schedule after it was unable to find a new sponsor. The tournament is one of the oldest events on the Tour and has been staged every year since 1946. It was dropped from this year’s calendar after Quinn Insurance’s sponsorship came to an end and no replacement could be found. It had been planned for Sept. 17-20 at The Belfry. “We continue to be optimistic,” Finchem said. “We think this is cyclical, and we’re taking steps that allow us to be stronger coming out than when we went in.” Finchem had a dual purpose for his visit to the nation’s capital. He and Presidents Cup captains Fred Couples and Greg Norman spent the morning on Capitol Hill doing a bit of lobbying on behalf of their sport, then headed to the National Press Club to promote the U.S.-vs.-International team event that will be held at San Francisco’s Harding Park course in October.

Tour donations to decline
WASHINGTON—The PGA Tour estimates its donations to charity will decline by as much as 14 percent this year, the result of an economic downturn that is affecting everything from sponsors to hospitality sales. “If I had to guess right now, I’d say we wouldn’t be off more than 10-14 percent with our charitables, which I think would be a victory,” commissioner Tim Finchem said Wednesday. “If that were the case, I would feel real good about it. It’s still too early to tell.” PGA Tour events are structured as nonprofit organizations that donate proceeds to local charities. Finchem said the tour last year raised $124 million for charity, and his estimate means the Tour is on pace to give $12 million to $17 million less in 2009. Still, Finchem was optimistic that the Tour will weather the meltdown in good financial shape.

Harrington tinkering
BALTRAY, IRELAND—Padraig Harrington has a ready explanation for his poor performance this year: He has been tinkering with his swing as he seeks to improve on his success of 2008, when he won the British Open and the PGA Championship. “To be blatantly honest, I don’t want to play like I did last year. I want to play better,” Harrington said Wednesday. Harrington’s best finish in 10 events on the PGA Tour this year has been 11th place. He has missed three cuts. But on the eve of the Irish Open— a title he took two years ago and regards as his “fifth major”—he said he hopes the work he has put into his swing will pay dividends. — The Associated Press

Texas Open
ERIC GAY / AP

Zach Johnson and the PGA Tour will play at La Cantera Golf Club for the last time this weekend. for Texas Open regulars like Leonard and tournament officials, the move to the May this year and to the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio next year are steps toward improving stature. For Leonard, who also won in San Antonio in 2000 and 2001, one last swing through La Cantera in the shadow of Six Flags roller coasters is a touch bittersweet. “Probably a little bit because I’ve had a lot of success on this golf course,” Leonard said. “But I think

Site: San Antonio Schedule: Today-Sunday Course: La Cantera Golf Club, Resort Course (7,153 yards, par 70) Purse: $6.1 million. Winner’s share: $1,098,000 TV (all times ET): Golf Channel (Today-Friday, 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.) and CBS (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.)

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Tennis

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

34

ON SALE NOW!

Nadal wins in front of Queen Sofia in Madrid
MADRID—Rafael Nadal powered into the third round of the Madrid Open on Wednesday with a convincing 6-3, 6-1 win over Jurgen Melzer. The top-ranked player made just three unforced errors playing on clay in front of Spain’s Queen Sofia, and converted all four of his break points. “It’s more difficult to play here than on normal altitude surfaces,” Nadal said of playing 1,970 feet above sea level. “You can do more with the ball with less effort, but your opponent also does it.” Earlier, Novak Djokovic beat Oscar Hernandez 6-3, 6-3. The third-seeded Serb fell awkwardly on his right knee on the clay surface at Madrid’s new “Magic Box” tennis center in the second set, but was rarely troubled by his opponent. “I was aware the court was quite wet because I saw they had watered it after the previous match. But I was lucky that I fell in a good way so there is no injury,” Djokovic said. “It looked easy, but it wasn’t. I played just well enough to win.” Djokovic never faced a break point in the match, while breaking Hernandez once in the first set and twice in the second. Djokovic recently fell from third to fourth in the rankings, surpassed by Andy Murray despite winning the Serbia Open last week—the country’s first ATP Tour event that he also helped organize. “I try not to pay too much attention to rankings,” he said. “But I am motivated to win back

Madrid Open results
At Recinto Ferial Casa de Campo Madrid Purse: Men, $5.04 million (WT1000); Women, $4.5 million (Premier) Surface: Clay-Outdoor Menís, First round Singles Men Second Round Juan Martin del Potro (5), Argentina, def. Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic, 6-2, 4-1, retired. Andreas Seppi, Italy, def. Sam Querrey, United States, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Stanislas Wawrinka (11), Switzerland, def. Jeremy Chardy, France, 6-4, 7-5. Gilles Simon (8), France, def. Fabio Fognini, Italy, 6-3, 6-2. Phillipp Kohlschreiber, Germany, def. Marin Cilic (13), Croatia, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2). Novak Djokovic (3), Serbia, def. Oscar Hernandez, Spain, 6-3, 6-3. Rafael Nadal (1), Spain, def. Jurgen Melzer, Austria, 6-3, 6-1. James Blake (14), United States, def. Ivo Karlovic, Croatia, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (4). Juan Monaco, Argentina, def. David Ferrer (12), Spain, 6-4, 6-4. Nikolay Davydenko (10), Russia, def. Florent Serra, France, 7-5, 6-3. Andy Roddick (6), United States, def. Tommy Haas, Germany, 1-6, 7-6 (9), 6-4. Women Second Round Victoria Azarenka (7), Belarus, def. Peng Shuai, China, 6-4, 6-1. Alona Bondarenko, Ukraine, def. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia, 6-3, 6-2. Dinara Safina (1), Russia, def. Li Na, China, 6-3, 7-6 (2). Third Round Vera Dushevina, Russia, def. Francesca Schiavone, Italy, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Patty Schnyder, Switzerland, def. Nadia Petrova (8), Russia, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5). Amelie Mauresmo, France, def. Elena Dementieva (3), Russia, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.

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VICTOR R. CAIVANO / AP

Rafael Nadal blitzed Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-1 to reach the third round of the Madrid Open. my third ranking position.” Nadal agreed with Djokovic that the way the rankings are calculated, players are forced to play too many tournaments. “The way things are now, you can’t choose which events you would like to focus on, you have to play everything in order to defend your position,” Nadal said. “But it’s the same for everyone.” Nadal’s next opponent is Phillipp Kohlschreiber, who beat 13th-seeded Marin Cilic 6-1, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2). “He hits the ball very hard and cleanly, so I’d like to make sure my serves are winners against him,” Nadal said. Sixth-seeded Andy Roddick squeezed past Tommy Haas 1-6, 7-6 (9), 6-4, eighth-seeded Gilles Simon beat qualifier Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-2 and other winners included Nikolay Davydenko, Stanislas Wawrinka and James Blake, who withstood 26 aces from Ivo Karlovic to set up a match with Roger Federer after a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (4) win. In the women’s event, topranked Dinara Safina beat Li

Na 6-3, 7-6 (2), Amelie Mauresmo defeated third-seeded Elena Demetieva 1-6, 6-4, 6-2. Victoria Azarenka eased past Peng Shuai 6-4, 6-1, and Vera Dushevina stopped Francesca Schiavone 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. — The Associated Press

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IN BRIEF

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

35

TRANSACTIONS
BASEBALL American League CLEVELAND INDIANS: Assigned DH Travis Hafner to Columbus (IL) for a rehab assignment. National League ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: Purchased the contract of RHP Bryan Augenstein from Mobile (SL). NEW YORK METS: Optioned LHP Jonathon Niese to Buffalo (IL). Purchased the contract of RHP Nelson Figuero from Buffalo. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: Named Bryan Price minor league pitching consultant. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: Placed OF Ryan Ludwick on the 15-day DL. Recalled OF Nick Stavinoha from Memphis (PCL). Midwest League QUAD CITIES RIVER BANDITS: Transferred OF Ryde Rodriguez to extended spring training and OF Jarred Bogany from extended spring training. South Atlantic League SAVANNAH SAND GNATS: Transferred RHP Jake Goldberg to Brooklyn (NYP). American Association EL PASO DIABLOS: Released RHP Alex Gett and LHP Chris Nyman. Signed RHP Dane De La Rosa. FORT WORTH CATS: Signed C Freddy Carmona. Released RHP Tim Haines. LINCOLN SALTDOGS: Released RHP Khalid Afify. PENSACOLA PELICANS: Released RHP Noel Baca, RHP Jody Finch, RHP Marcus Moore, OF Donald Green and INF Osmany Masso. SIOUX FALLS CANARIES: Released C Matt Acevedo and LHP Shaun Corning. ST. PAUL SAINTS: Signed RHP Mitch Wylie. Atlantic League LANCASTER BARNSTOMERS: Signed OF Michael Woods. United League SAN ANGELO COLTS: Signed OF Hunter Jobes, RHP Brett Lester, C Chad Clemons and player/coaches INF-OF Joe Rhomberg and INF-OF Chris Mongiardo. FOOTBALL National Football League BUFFALO BILLS: Agreed to terms with RB Fred Jackson on a contract extension. MIAMI DOLPHINS: Signed LB Jason Taylor to a one-year contract. Canadian Football League MONTREAL ALOUETTES: Signed DE Nickolas Morin-Soucy to a threeyear contract. arenafootball2 PEORIA PIRATES: Fired coach Bruce Crowdrey, effective after Friday’s game. STOCKTON LIGHTNING: Acquired DL Manase Hopoi from Central Valley for DB Ruschard DoddMasters. HOCKEY National Hockey League MONTREAL CANADIENS: Signed D Andre Benoit to a one-year contract and D P.K. Subban to a three-year contract. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: Signed C Mitch Fadden to a three-year contract. American Hockey League PEORIA RIVERMEN: Named Karen Doering controller and Matt Brooks corporate and group sales account executive. COLLEGE WEST COAST CONFERENCE: Named David Libbey coordinator of men’s basketball officials. ARKANSAS: Announced junior F Michael Washington has withdrawn from the NBA draft. CENTRAL MICHIGAN: Signed women’s basketball coach Sue Guevara to a five-year contract through the 2013-14 season. CINCINNATI: Named Susan Seaton women’s outdoor track and field coach. MEREDITH: Named Melinda Campbell women’s basketball coach. NEW ORLEANS: Announced junior basketball G Darrian McKinstry has lost his scholarship and will be leaving school. RUTGERS: Announced G Earl Pettis will transfer from the men’s basketball team. WAKE FOREST: Named Rusty LaRue men’s assistant basketball coach.

Armstrong lags behind in Giro d’Italia
ALPI DI SIUSI, ITALY—Lance Armstrong is still a long way from regaining the form that won him a record seven consecutive Tour de France titles. The Texan finished nearly three minutes behind the leaders in the grueling uphill finish that concluded the fifth stage of his first Giro d’Italia on Wednesday. Armstrong dropped from sixth to 22nd overall, 3 minutes, 34 seconds behind new race leader Danilo Di Luca. “I knew that we would be behind so we just had to ride our tempo and limit the losses,” Armstrong said. “I thought maybe two minutes and it’s closer to three, but that’s OK.” Armstrong returned this season after 3½ years of retirement and broke his collarbone in March, putting him on the sideline again. “As I said at the beginning, the first half of the Giro is not going to be my half. I’ve got to ride into the race and still get my condition back after the accident,” Armstrong said. “I can’t expect to be at the front. “I didn’t come in with any big illusions. I knew that I would be minutes behind the best guys,” Armstrong said. “The key is to ride within your limits, so that when you get dropped you find your threshold and hold it there. We’ll see what happens in the second half of the Giro.” Denis Menchov sprinted away from a select group of riders and held off Di Luca in a sprint for the stage victory in this ski resort in the heart of the Dolomite range. Menchov, a Russian rider for the Rabobank team, covered the 77.68-mile leg that began in San Martino di Castrozza in 3 hours, 15 minutes, 24 seconds. Overall race favorite Ivan Basso set the pace for most of the climb and finished fourth, also five seconds back. Armstrong’s Astana teammates Levi

Major League Soccer
EASTERN CONFERENCE W L T Pts D.C. 3 1 5 14 Toronto FC 3 2 4 13 Chicago 2 0 6 12 Kansas City 3 4 2 11 New England 2 2 3 9 New York 2 5 2 8 Columbus 1 2 5 8 WESTERN CONFERENCE W L T Pts Chivas USA 7 1 1 22 Seattle 4 2 2 14 Colorado 3 2 2 11 Houston 3 2 2 11 Real Salt Lake 3 4 1 10 Los Angeles 1 1 6 9 San Jose 1 5 2 5 FC Dallas 1 6 1 4 NOTE: Three points for victory, one point for tie.
Saturday’s Games Chicago at Toronto FC, 4 p.m. Colorado at New England, 7:30 p.m. Houston at New York, 7:30 p.m. Seattle FC at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m. Kansas City at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m. D.C. United at Chivas USA, 11 p.m. Sunday’s Game Columbus at Los Angeles, 3 p.m.

GF 15 13 14 12 6 9 11 GF 12 11 10 7 14 10 8 7

GA 13 13 11 12 12 11 14 GA 3 5 8 5 11 10 16 15

Saturday, May 23 New England at Toronto, 4 p.m. Real Salt Lake at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m. Chivas USA at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. Los Angeles at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m. San Jose at Houston, 8:30 p.m. Seattle at Colorado, 9:30 p.m. Sunday, May 24 Chicago at New York, 3 p.m.

ALBERTO SAIZ / AP

Xavi Hernandez, left, had a goal as Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao for its 25th Copa del Rey title. Leipheimer and Chris Horner finished fifth and sixth, respectively, both nine seconds behind the leader. Armstrong crossed 35th, 2:58 behind Menchov. winner with four minutes remaining at JJB Stadium. United needs only to avoid defeat against visiting Arsenal on Saturday to clinch the championship with a game remaining and tie Liverpool for a record 18 titles. VALENCIA, SPAIN—Barcelona rallied for a 4-1 victory against Athletic Bilbao for its record 25th Copa del Rey title. Lionel Messi’s 57th-minute winner came before Bojan Krkic and Xavi Hernandez sealed a well-deserved win that put the Catalans on course to become the first Spanish club to win three trophies in a season. Barcelona’s first domestic cup triumph

since 1998 also snapped a three-year trophyless drought.

Swimming
LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND—A panel of swimming experts will meet Monday to decide which models of high-tech swimsuits can be worn at the world championships this summer. Governing body FINA said Wednesday that independent laboratory tests have been completed on all models of suits that were used by swimmers to rewrite the sport’s record book in the past 15 months. The commission, which includes technical officials, athletes and coaches, will meet at FINA headquarters in Lausanne to decide which suits can be worn at the July 19-Aug. 2 worlds being held in Rome, and for the rest of the year. — The Associated Press

Soccer
LONDON—Another crucial goal by Carlos Tevez led Manchester United to within one point of a third straight English Premier League title with a 2-1 win at Wigan on Wednesday. United trailed to Hugo Rodallega’s 28th-minute goal until Tevez went on as a substitute and tied it just three minutes later with a 61st-minute backheel into the net. Michael Carrick then scored the

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