BC-AP Sports Digest
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Mike Scioscia says managing Shohei Ohtani has been easy. The Angels manager talks about the great experiment on the AP’s “PodcastOne Sports Now” with co-hosts Tim Dahlberg and Jim Litke. Also up for discussion with AP sports writers: Howard Fendrich on Serena Williams’ injury, Tim Reynolds on the Cavaliers’ diminishing chances and Stephen Whyno on the Stanley Cup Final.
CLEVELAND — LeBron James battled back from a 2-0 deficit earlier in this postseason, and to win a fourth NBA title he’ll have to do it again as the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the Finals. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue is expected to juggle his rotation, but he needs someone to slow down Stephen Curry, who made nine 3-pointers in Game 2. By Tom Withers. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 9 p.m.
— BKN--NBA FINALS-THE LATEST — Real-time updates from Game 3.
— Sidebars on merit.
PHILADELPHIA — Eagles coach Doug Pederson says he was looking forward to going to the White House to be recognized as Super Bowl champions but he wouldn’t further discuss a visit that was canceled by President Donald Trump. Pederson spoke to reporters before the team held practice and made clear he didn’t want to discuss details of the trip’s breakdown. By Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi. SENT: 350 words, photos. Will be updated after player availability.
PARIS — Garbine Muguruza overwhelmed Maria Sharapova in the French Open quarterfinals and won 6-2, 6-1. Simona Halep needed to work a lot harder for her three-set comeback victory over Angelique Kerber. The No. 1 ranking will be at stake when Muguruza and Halep meet Thursday in the semifinals. By Howard Fendrich. SENT: 780 words, photos.
— TEN--FRENCH OPEN-MEN — Rafael Nadal drops set, but rain suspends French Open quarterfinal. UPCOMING: 500 words by 4 p.m.
— TEN--FRENCH OPEN-THE LATEST — Real-time updates throughout day.
— TEN--FRENCH OPEN-GLANCE. SENT: 310 words, photos.
LAS VEGAS — Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals know all about their franchise’s depressing playoff history. They don’t want to wait any longer to change it. The Caps can claim hockey’s ultimate prize for the first time when they take a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final into Game 5 in Las Vegas on Thursday against the reeling Golden Knights. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 9 p.m.
NEW YORK — Justify arrives at Belmont Park after a flight from Kentucky to begin his final preparations for the Belmont Stakes and his bid to become horse racing’s second Triple Crown winner in four years and 13th overall. By Racing Writer Beth Harris. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.
— RAC--BELMONT-HOFBURG — Hofburg has talent to upset Justify in the Belmont Stakes. By Tom Canavan. SENT: 680 words, photos.
RAC--BELMONT-JOCKEY CONCUSSION PROTOCOL
A lack of concussion protocol for jockeys in most of the U.S. puts horse racing years behind other sports. There’s no national concussion program from state to state nor racetrack to racetrack. There is also an ongoing debate on how to implement one and who should pay for it. The leaves jockeys like Justify rider Mike Smith facing different situations along the Triple Crown trail from the Kentucky Derby to the Preakness in Maryland and Belmont in New York. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.
STANLEY CUP FINAL
HKN--STANLEY CUP-LOVING THE KNIGHTS
LAS VEGAS — Aaron and Rhonda Hawley never truly embraced how much the Vegas Golden Knights meant to them until late in the season. On March 29, their 17-year-old daughter Brooke was killed in a traffic accident in California. Since then, following the Golden Knights has helped the Hawleys during their grieving process. And even with the team trailing the Washington Capitals 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Final, they, along with thousands of others, are sticking by their team until the last horn sounds. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
HKN--STANLEY CUP-BLOCK PARTY
WASHINGTON — The Capitals may be shot-blocking their way to the Stanley Cup by getting in shooting lanes with the right strategy to keep the Golden Knights off-guard and let goaltender Braden Holtby see the puck. Washington has blocked almost a third of Vegas’ shots in taking a 3-1 series lead. It’s not just quantity of blocks but quality that has them one win from a title. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 730 words, photos.
CLEVELAND — Seldom-used forward Rodney Hood is getting a big chance for the Cavaliers. Coach Tyronn Lue plans to play Hood in Game 3 of the NBA Finals as Cleveland tries to cut into Golden State’s 2-0 lead in the series. Hood’s role has reduced since the start of the postseason and his most notable moment to this point was refusing to enter a blowout over Toronto in the final minutes. Hood was acquired by the Cavs in a trade in February. By Tom Withers. SENT: 750 words, photos.
JERUSALEM — Argentina has called off a friendly game against Israel following protests by pro-Palestinian groups. Amid uproar in sports-crazed Israel, some of the country’s leaders accused Lionel Messi and his teammates of caving to terrorism. By Aron Heller. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Only weeks before the start of the World Cup, San Lorenzo fans have written a new song for Argentina’s national team, hoping it will become as popular as the one sung in stadiums during the last World Cup. That was a put-down to host country Brazil based on a melody by Credence Clearwater Revival that went “Oh Brazil, tell me how it feels.” SENT: 1,000 words. By Debora Rey and Rodrigo Abd.
— SOC--WCUP-MISSING STARS — Missing in action at World Cup: a plethora of club standouts. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 680 words, photos.
— SOC--WCUP-SOCHI’S EMPTY STADIUM. By Naira Davlashyan. SENT: 400 words, photos.
— SOC--WCUP-MOMENTS-TRAGEDY OF SEVILLE. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 370 words, photo.
AP Sports Extra: World Cup: A paginated preview of the World Cup is available in AP Newsroom by searching for “Sports Extra” under the Graphics tab. The tournament in Russia starts June 14. The pages look at the top storylines, including Germany’s bid to repeat as champion and key players to watch. For questions, contact Barry Bedlan at bbedlan(at)ap.org
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani returns to the mound when the Los Angeles Angels wrap up a six-game homestand against Orange County native Ian Kennedy and the Kansas City Royals. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 10 p.m.
— BBN--METS-CESPEDES — Injured Cespedes may be ready for Mets-Yankees series. SENT: 300 words, photo.
— BBO--BASEBALL DRAFT-DAY 2 — Major League Baseball draft concludes with rounds 11 through 40. By Dennis Waszak Jr. UPCOMING: 400 words by 10 p.m.
PITTSBURGH — Injured Pittsburgh Steelers star Ryan Shazier remains focused on resuming his career. The Pro Bowl linebacker’s career was put in jeopardy when he suffered a spinal injury last December. He now is able to walk with use of a cane and says the next step in his rehab is to walk without any assistance at all. Shazier has already been ruled out for the 2018 season. SENT: 750 words, photos.
FRISCO, Texas — Geoff Swaim is the only tight end on the Cowboys roster with a catch in a regular-season game, and he has nine in his career. The retirement of 15-year mainstay Jason Witten came suddenly, and left behind a young crew of potential replacements. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.
— FBN--INCOGNITO RETURNS HOME — Richie Incognito tells AP he’s training 2 weeks after gym outburst. By John Wawrow. SENT: 320 words, photos.
— FBN--BRONCOS-MCKENZIE’S MUFFS. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 7 p.m.
— FBN--DOLPHINS DEFENSE. By Steven Wine. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— FBN--PATRIOTS MINICAMP. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 7 p.m.
GLF--ST JUDE CLASSIC
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dustin Johnson, ranked No. 2 in the world, is the highest-ranked player at the St. Jude Classic in seven years, and Brooks Koepka also will be warming up here before attempting to defend his U.S. Open title next week. This tournament starting Thursday becomes a World Golf Championship in 2019 guaranteed of attracting an even better field. UPCOMING: 650 words by 8 p.m.
DARLINGTON, S.C. — Matt Kenseth seems to have a bunch more hats to wear this time around at Roush Fenway Racing as part-time driver of the No. 6. Kenseth, taking part in a tire test at Darlington Raceway this week, is part hero trying to revive the once-dominant car, part diagnostician in seeing what’s wrong and solving the problem; and part championship NASCAR driver simply looking to win. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 700 words, photo.
IndyCar driver Scott Dixon is on a roll with four top-5 finishes, including a win last week at Belle Isle, over the last four races. That victory tied Dixon for third on the career victory list, with a stop at Fort Worth, Texas, coming up this weekend. By Genaro C. Armas. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.
MINNEAPOLIS — The last time Minnesota reached the College World Series was 1977, when a player named Paul Molitor was leading the way. Now the Gophers are two wins away from a return, but they’re up against daunting Oregon State in the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament. By Dave Campbell. UPCOMING: 600 words by 6 p.m.
Stetson, the tiny Florida college that produced two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and 2014 NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom, is headed to the Super Regionals for the first time. The Hatters have three pitchers with over 100 strikeouts and the nation’s longest winning streak going into this weekend’s series at North Carolina. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 6 p.m.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Jonah Girand was the surprising MVP of the Gainesville Regional. A 23-year-old catcher who attended two junior colleges around a year away from baseball started just one game all year before filling in for injured team captain JJ Schwarz. After three home runs in four games, Girand looks like he’s has earned a spot in the lineup the rest of the postseason. By Mark Long. SENT: 780 words, photos.
— BKC--MICHIGAN-BEILEIN — Basketball coach John Beilein staying at Michigan after interviewing with Pistons. By Larry Lage. SENT: 360 words, photos.
— BAYLOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION — Texas court reinstates Baylor sex assault conviction. By Jim Vertuno. SENT: 420 words, photos.
— ATH--SOUTH AFRICA-IMPALED RUNNER — South African man who survived impaling to run ultramarathon. By Christopher Torchia. SENT: 620 words, photos.
— SOC--US-STEWART — Earnie Stewart hired as US GM, likely delaying coach search. By Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— SWM--FRANKLIN RETURNS — Missy Franklin to return to swimming at European meets. SENT: 130 words, photo.
— BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES
Wednesday’s Time Schedule (EDT)
Game 3: Golden State at Cleveland, 9 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Washington, 1:05 p.m.
Baltimore at N.Y. Mets, 1:10 p.m.
Milwaukee at Cleveland, 1:10 p.m.
Atlanta at San Diego, 3:40 p.m.
Arizona at San Francisco, 3:45 p.m.
L.A. Dodgers at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.
N.Y. Yankees at Toronto, 7:07 p.m.
Detroit at Boston, 7:10 p.m.
Colorado at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m.
Philadelphia at Chicago Cubs, 8:05 p.m.
Oakland at Texas, 8:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.
Seattle at Houston, 8:10 p.m.
Miami at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m.
Kansas City at L.A. Angels, 10:07 p.m.