Update on the latest sports
Rockets try to avoid a second loss at home
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets try to bounce back from Monday’s home loss to Golden State when they host Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference finals.
The Rockets, who coughed up the ball 13 times in the opener, know they have to make fewer mistakes if they want to avoid heading to Oakland down 0-2. And the defending champion Warriors say they can’t let up after opening a playoff series on the road for the first time since 2014.
NHL-STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
Series shifts to Las Vegas for Game 3
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Winnipeg Jets head to Las Vegas for Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference finals.
The Golden Knights won Game 2 in Winnipeg to even the series 1-1. In a battle of star goalies, the Knights’ Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 30 shots on the way to Monday’s 3-1 win, while Connor Hellebuyck (HEHL’-eh-buhk) made 25 saves for the Jets.
Bauer fans 10 as Indians blank Tigers 6-0
UNDATED (AP) — Trevor Bauer struck out 10 in eight sparkling innings, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Tigers 6-0 on Wednesday, avoiding a three-game sweep in Detroit. Bauer retired his first 12 hitters, and Michael Brantley hit his sixth home run of the season.
Ryan Carpenter allowed five earned runs and seven hits in five innings for Detroit in his second big league start.
The scuffling Indians lead the AL Central despite a .500 record.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Pinch-hitter Josh Bell singled to break a seventh-inning tie, and the streaking Pittsburgh Pirates beat the skidding Chicago White Sox 3-2. Pittsburgh has won seven of eight and improved to 10-2 in interleague play this season. Chicago has lost eight of nine and 13 of 15. A major league-worst 10-29, the White Sox have matched their worst start since 1948. Chicago lost despite outhitting the Pirates 8-4.
— Nick Pivetta tied a career high with 11 strikeouts, Cesar Hernandez homered and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 in a wet interleague matchup. Philadelphia climbed eight games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2011 season. The Orioles have dropped two of three and have the second- worst record in the American League, ahead of only the Chicago White Sox. Pivetta won his second straight start, allowing one run, two hits and one walk in seven inning. Odubel Herrera singled in the first and extended his on-base streak to 42 games for the Phillies, who have won six of seven.
— Both games that the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees were supposed to try to complete in a makeshift semi-doubleheader have been postponed because of rain. An announcement on the scoreboard at Nationals Park says the two games will be rescheduled for June 18.
Jason Castro out for season following knee surgery
UNDATED (AP) — Minnesota catcher Jason Castro will miss the rest of the season following surgery to remove the meniscus in his right knee. The Twins say Castro’s rehabilitation will take five to six months, putting the 30-year-old on track to be ready for spring training.
Castro has been on the disabled list since May 5. He had been expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks, but during surgery on Tuesday the damage was found to be more extensive than an MRI indicated.
In other MLB news:
— The Mets have placed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (yoh-EHN’-ehs SEHS’-peh-dehs) on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hip flexor. The move was announced by the team Wednesday and is retroactive to Monday. Cespedes played through the injury for more than a week before getting an MRI on Tuesday morning, which revealed the strain. Phillip Evans was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.
— The St. Louis Cardinals have placed struggling reliever Luke Gregerson on the 10-day disabled list with a right shoulder impingement. Gregerson, who signed an $11 million, two-year contract with St. Louis over the winter, has an 8.64 ERA in 12 appearances this season. The 34-year-old right-hander is the fourth Cardinals pitcher on the DL. He joins starters Carlos Martinez and Adam Wainwright and reliever Tyler Lyons.
— Edwin Encarnacion was scratched from Cleveland’s lineup against Detroit because of back spasms. The 35-year-old was slated to bat fifth Wednesday as the designated hitter, but a new lineup was announced about 20 minutes before the scheduled first pitch.
— Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Carlos Gomez has been put on the disabled list with a strained right groin, a day after he left a win over Kansas City in the sixth inning. Gomez signed a $4 million, one-year deal in March. He is hitting .200 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in 37 games, striking out 49 times in 145 at-bats. Manager Kevin Cash says Jonny Field and Rob Refsnyder will get the majority of playing time in right field in Gomez’s absence.
— Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto has apologized for saying he doesn’t care about Canadian baseball after being asked about James Paxton’s recent no-hitter. Votto talked about Paxton’s feat for the Mariners against the Blue Jays in Toronto in a Yahoo Sports podcast. The Toronto native said the question brought back feelings of resentment over not making Team Canada or being drafted by the Blue Jays.
Panthers: Signed agreement to sell NFL team to David Tepper
UNDATED (AP) — The Carolina Panthers say they’ve signed a “definitive agreement” to sell the team to David Tepper, the founder and president of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management.
The deal is subject to NFL approval. The Panthers said in a release the transaction is expected to close in July. Tepper has been a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2009.
In other NFL news:
— The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms with veteran wide receiver Nick Williams. The 5-foot-10, 184-pound Williams has played 22 games in his career with the Atlanta Falcons over the past three seasons and with Washington in 2013. He has 28 catches for 263 yards and two touchdowns.
— The Buffalo Bills plan to retire Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas’ No. 34 jersey Oct. 29 when they host the New England Patriots. The five-time Pro Bowl selection played for the Bills from 1988-99 and was a part of four straight AFC championship teams. He spent his final season with the Miami Dolphins. Thomas will become the third player to have his number retired, joining quarterback Jim Kelly and defensive end Bruce Smith.
— The Minnesota Vikings plan to hold a daylong summit on LGBTQ inclusion in sports next month. The summit will be held at the team’s new headquarters on June 21. A reception will be held afterward to raise money for local and national LGBTQ organizations. Scheduled speakers include former Olympic diver Greg Louganis, former Vikings defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo and former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe.
PRO FOOTBALL NEWS
Phoenix gets 5th franchise in new Alliance football league
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Phoenix has been awarded the fifth franchise in the new Alliance of American Football, which will begin play the week after the Super Bowl next winter.
The team joins Memphis, Orlando, Salt Lake City and Atlanta in the league and will play in Sun Devil Stadium on the Arizona State campus.
The Arizona entry’s coach will be announced at a news conference Friday.
On Wednesday, it was announced that ex-Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson would coach at Salt Lake City.
Erickson joins Michael Singletary (Memphis), Steve Spurrier (Orlando) and Brad Childress (Atlanta) as head coaches in the startup league.
The Alliance will feature eight teams playing a 10-week regular season beginning Feb. 9, 2019 — the weekend after the Super Bowl — on CBS. There will be two playoff rounds and a championship game on the weekend of April 26-28.
Alabama-Louisville to kickoff ABC’s Saturday Night Football
UNDATED (AP) — National champion Alabama will face Louisville in ABC’s first Saturday Night Football game, and Miami plays LSU on Sunday night of the season-opening weekend. It will be the third straight season ABC airs a Sunday night game on Labor Day weekend, when college football doesn’t compete against the NFL.
ESPN has announced its schedule for the first three weeks of Saturday night games. In week two, Penn State will face Pittsburgh for the ABC Saturday Night Game. Ohio State faces TCU at Arlington, Texas, the following Saturday night.
In other college football news:
— Duke has reinstated specialist Austin Parker to the football team, five months after he was kicked off the team. Coach David Cutcliffe announced Parker’s reinstatement Wednesday, saying the kicker-punter regained the trust of the coaching staff. Parker was dismissed from the team before the Quick Lane Bowl in December after he was suspended from school for violating unspecified university academic policy. He has been readmitted to Duke and began summer school Wednesday.
Former Georgia QB, Patriots RB Andy Johnson dies at 65
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Andy Johnson, who starred as Georgia’s quarterback before going on to play running back with the New England Patriots for nine seasons, has died after a long illness. He was 65.
Georgia issued a statement saying Johnson died early Wednesday in Athens.
Johnson took over as the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback in 1971 and led the team to an 11-1 record that included a Gator Bowl victory. He set a Southeastern Conference sophomore rushing record and finished second in the league with 870 yards on the ground, along with 13 touchdowns. Johnson started two more seasons for the Bulldogs and finished his career with 1,799 rushing yards, the most by a quarterback at that time.
A fifth-round pick by New England, Johnson played 94 games — including 43 starts — before finishing his career with the USFL’s Boston Breakers. He rushed for a career high 699 yards with six touchdowns for the Patriots in 1976
GYMNASTICS DOCTOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT
Michigan State and Nassar victims reach $500M settlement
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State University has reached a $500 million settlement with hundreds of women and girls who say they were sexually assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar in the worst sex-abuse case in sports history.
The deal was announced Wednesday by Michigan State and lawyers for 332 victims.
Nassar pleaded guilty to assaulting victims with his hands under the guise of treatment. He also possessed child pornography and is serving decades in prison.
He treated campus athletes and scores of young gymnasts at his Michigan State office. He had an international reputation while working at the same time for USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.
Olympic gold medalists Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney say they were victims.