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Update on the latest sports

May 19, 2019

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

Koepka closing in on elite company at PGA Championship

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Already a multiple major champion, Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kuh) is closing in on elite company at the PGA Championship.

Koepka had a seven-shot lead going into the final round Sunday at Bethpage Black, knowing no one had ever lost a lead that large in a major championship. A victory would allow him to join Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as the only players in the last 30 years to have won majors in three consecutive years.

The course had a brief spell of light rain in the morning hours, and there was a small chance of showers for the afternoon.

Moving the PGA Championship to May for the first time in 70 years has worked out well, with pleasant weather and a strong golf course.

NHL PLAYOFFS-BLUES/SHARKS

Sharks, Blues confident, and even, heading into Game 5

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ The San Jose Sharks return to their home ice Sunday afternoon for Game 5 of their Western Conference final series against the St. Louis Blues.

After alternating wins in the first four games, the Sharks and Blues now have a best-of-three to decide who plays the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Nothing has come easy for San Jose or St. Louis in these playoffs. The Blues went six games in the opening round against Winnipeg before needing double overtime in Game 7 of the second round against Dallas to make the conference final. The Sharks, meanwhile, have endured two seven-game series — Vegas and Colorado.

San Jose is 0-6 this postseason when leading a series. But it is 10-2 when tied or trailing, including four wins in elimination games sparked by a comeback from 3-1 down in the opening round to the Golden Knights.

NBA PLAYOFFS-BUCKS/RAPTORS

Bucks lead East finals 2-0 as series shifts to Toronto

TORONTO (AP) _ The NBA Eastern Conference finals shift to Toronto Sunday night with Milwaukee leading two games to none.

That means the odds are against the Raptors. In this playoff format that began in 1984, teams that win the first two games at home of a best-of-seven series have ultimately prevailed 94% of the time.

Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry have more than held their own so far against Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) and Khris Middleton, but the supporting cast hasn’t supported much for Toronto. That has Raptors coach Nick Nurse is considering some lineup tweaks.

Nurse suggested Saturday that Serge Ibaka (ih-BAH’-kah) may start at center in place of struggling Marc Gasol, and Norman Powell may get minutes that would figure to come at Danny Green’s expense.

MLB-SCHEDULE

Red Sox ace Sale tries to stop Houston’s 10-game winning streak

UNDATED (AP) _ Red Sox ace Chris Sale starts Sunday for the first time since striking out 17 in just seven innings against Colorado. He’ll face and the hard-hitting Houston Astros, who have won 10 in a row and are going for a three-game sweep at Fenway Park.

Sale looks to continue his stellar revival after a rough start this year. After opening the season 0-5 with a 6.30 ERA in six starts, he has a 1.29 ERA in three starts in May. The lefty is now the only pitcher in major league history to allow no more than three hits, strike out at least 14 and walk nobody in consecutive starts.

Left-hander Wade Miley is set to start for Houston after manager A.J. Hinch shuffled his rotation.

Elsewhere in the majors Sunday:

_ The Athletics try to beat Detroit for the 16th time when Mike Fiers (FY’-urz) starts at Comerica Park. A win by the A’s would equal the franchise record for the longest winning streak against one team. Oakland took 16 in a row from the Yankees from 1989-91. Rookie Gregory Soto goes for his first major league win when he pitches for the Tigers. The Athletics are aiming for a four-game sweep _ they host Detroit in a three-game series in early September.

_ The Yankees wrap up a series at home against Tampa Bay, a day after the Rays regained the AL East lead with a 2-1 win. Charlie Morton starts for the Rays against fellow right-hander Chad Green. The Yankees will see how Masahiro Tanaka is doing after he was hit just above the right ankle by hard grounder. X-rays were negative. Tanaka said he wasn’t sure whether he would be able to take his next turn.

ATP-ITALIAN OPEN

Back on top: Nadal beats Djokovic for 9th Italian Open title

ROME (AP) — Rafael Nadal is right back where he wants to be.

After losing in the semifinals of three straight clay-court tournaments, Nadal beat his longtime rival Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) Sunday 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 for a record-extending ninth Italian Open title.

It marked the first time in an Open Era-record 54 meetings, and in their 142nd set against each other, that Nadal won a set against Djokovic without conceding a game — otherwise known as a bagel.

The timing for Nadal’s return to form could not have been more opportune, as he will seek a record-extending 12th title at the French Open starting next weekend.

Top-ranked Djokovic, meanwhile, appeared exhausted after spending more than 5 ½ hours on court against Juan Martin del Potro and Diego Schwartzman the previous two days. Djokovic was also coming off the Madrid Open title last week.

In the women’s final earlier, Karolina Pliskova captured the biggest clay-court trophy of her career by beating Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4.

INDY 500-QUALIFYING

McLaren gets new setup but still struggling at Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — It’s another rough day for McLaren at the Indianapolis 500 as rain has slowed the team’s preparation time for its last-gasp run at making the race.

McLaren completely overhauled its car Sunday morning and sent Fernando Alonso on track with a new setup. But the car was too low in the rear and dragged and sparked along Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Alonso returned to the pits for a fix, completed five more laps, and then rain stopped the session.

Alonso is one of six drivers scheduled to compete in the “Last Row Shootout” later Sunday for the final three slots in the May 26 race. If the session is rained out, IndyCar will use the next available day to set the final row.

McLaren last raced in the Indy 500 in the 1970s but is back this season to both help Alonso complete his quest to win motorsports’ version of the Triple Crown and as a feeler for a potential full-time IndyCar team. But the entire process has been a disaster from opening day because of electrical issues, an Alonso accident, a lengthy delay in rebuilding him a car, a tire puncture on his first qualifying attempt, and, finally, a car too difficult to handle for Alonso to qualify it in the top 30 on Saturday.

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