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Update on the latest sports

May 4, 2019


Rockets try to avoid 0-3 hole

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets hope to avoid falling into a 0-3 hole when they host Golden State Saturday night in Game 3. The pressure is on: No team has ever come back after losing the first three games to win a playoff series.

Houston is hoping James Harden will be back to full strength. Last year’s MVP is recovering after both of his eyes were injured in the first quarter of Game 2 when he was hit by Golden State’s Draymond Green as the two fought for a rebound. He returned in the second quarter of that game and went on to score 29 points, but said afterward that he could barely see and was suffering from blurry vision from the blow.

The Warriors are well-versed on how difficult it is to play in Houston, but they’ve also had success on the Rockets home court, having won two games there in last year’s Western Conference finals including Game 7.


2 Game 5s with series tied

UNDATED (AP) — Two NHL second-round playoff series that are tied 2-2 head to Game 5s Saturday night.

The Columbus Blue Jackets go to Boston after dropping Game 4 at home. In a worrisome sign for Columbus, the Bruins’ previously quiet top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak accounted for three goals in Thursday’s 4-1 win. The winner of the best-of-seven series will advance to the Eastern Conference final to face the Carolina Hurricanes, who swept the New York Islanders with a 5-2 victory Friday night.

The Western Conference semifinals shift to San Jose after Colorado evened the series with a 3-0 win at home on Thursday. Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon is humming right now, with at least a point in eight straight playoff games.


Yankees to get Andújar back

UNDATED (AP) — Third baseman Miguel Andújar is set to come off the injured list for the Yankees Saturday against Minnesota, and New York hopes a few other big bats will follow. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu (leh-MAY’-hyoo) may join him in the lineup. Outfielder Clint Frazier is expected to follow Monday, the same day center fielder Aaron Hicks could begin a minor league rehab assignment.

The Yankees are also hoping for good news when left-hander James Paxton gets an MRI on his left knee. He left Friday night’s game with soreness there.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— Angels right-hander Trevor Cahill is set to become the first pitcher in big league history to start games in four different countries when he takes the mound at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey against the Astros, part of a two-game series in Mexico. Cahill has already started in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

— Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo is heating up with the first-place Cardinals in town for three games. Rizzo homered in his third straight game Friday, helping Chicago top St. Louis 4-0 behind an 81-pitch complete game from Kyle Hendricks. Rizzo is 10 for 21 in the past week, raising his batting average from .198 to .252 while hitting four of his eight homers and driving in nine runs.

— Rookie right-hander Mike Soroka is showing signs he could be Atlanta’s next ace. He has a 2.76 ERA through eight career starts, including a 1.62 mark in three games this season. The Braves have gotten mixed results from their young rotation, entering Friday with a 4.67 ERA among the starters — 21st in the majors — but Soroka and Max Fried have been excellent. The 21-year-old Soroka gets the ball against Miami.

— Tensions are again running high between the Braves and Marlins a day after Atlanta starter Kevin Gausman was ejected for throwing a 97 mph fastball behind Miami right-hander Jose Ureña. Ureña was at the center of a bench-clearing confrontation between the teams last season after plunking Ronald Acuña Jr., a pitch that got Ureña suspended for six games. Asked after Friday’s game if the feud was finished, Marlins manager Don Mattingly answered: “We’ll see.”


Baffert has 3 chances to win Kentucky Derby and tie record

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Bob Baffert not only has the Kentucky Derby favorite, but two other horses capable of giving him a share of history.

Game Winner is the 9-2 favorite for Saturday’s 145th running at Churchill Downs after opening Tuesday as the 5-1 second choice behind Omaha Beach, who was scratched because of a breathing problem. Baffert’s two other pupils, Roadster and Improbable, are 5-1 co-second choices that give the Hall of Fame trainer additional chances to win a sixth Derby and tie Ben Jones’ record.

The Derby’s only unbeaten horse, 8-1 shot Maximum Security, aims to improve to 5-0 lifetime. He and Game Winner are owned by Gary and Mary West.

The field features 19 3-year-old colts who will run 1¼ mile in the $3 million race that features a forecast of steady showers.

Post time is scheduled for 6:46 p.m. ET.