Update on the latest in sports:
Penguins clobbers Predators
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins have taken a three-games-to-two lead in the Stanley Cup finals as they try to become the NHL’s first repeat champions since the 1998 Red Wings.
Matt Murray turned back 24 shots and the Penguins scored three times in each of the first two periods for a 6-0 rout of the visiting Nashville Predators. The offensive uprising came after the Pens were held to just two goals while dropping the previous two games in Nashville.
Pittsburgh struck early in each of the first two periods. Nick Schultz opened the scoring with a power-play goal just 91 seconds after the opening faceoff. Conor Sheary tallied 1:19 into the second period.
Phil Kessel had goal and two assists, while Sidney Crosby had three assists. Bryan Rust, Evgeni Malkin and Ron Hainsey furnished the Pens’ other goals.
It didn’t matter who was in the nets for the Predators. Pekka Rinne (PEH’-kuh REE’-nay) was pulled after surrendering three goals on nine shots in the first period. Rinne has a 5.41 goals-against average and .766 save percentage in parts of three road games this series.
Juuse Saros (YOO’-see SAH’-rohs) wasn’t much better in the second period, giving up three goals on 10 shots.
Game 6 is Sunday in Nashville,
Yankees batter Bosox...Astros halt skid
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Yankees have stretched their lead in the American League East by blasting the Boston Red Sox for the second consecutive night.
Gary Sanchez homered twice and had five RBIs off David Price as the Yanks cruised past the Bosox, 9-1. Sanchez launched a three-run shot in the third and a two-run drive in the fifth as New York roughed up Price once again.
Price was reached for six runs and eight hits in five innings. He owns a 4.69 ERA in 37 appearances lifetime against the Yankees.
Michael Pineda (pih-NAY’-duh) helped the Yankees move three games ahead of the second-place Red Sox, limiting Boston to an unearned run and four hits over seven innings to improve to 7-3.
Meanwhile, baseball’s top team used a late rally to end a two-game skid.
Jose Altuve (al-TOO-vay) smacked a two-run homer as part of a five-run ninth in Houston’s 6-1 victory at Kansas City. Altuve’s tiebreaking blast came off Kelvin Herrara, who has been torched for seven home runs in just 24 1/3 innings this season.
Lance McCullers was working on a no-hitter until Lorenzo Cain’s one-out triple in the seventh.
The Astros won for the 12th time in 14 games and improved to 43-18.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Joe Ross struck out a career-high 12 while allowing a run and four hits over 7 1/3 innings of Washington’s 6-1 romp over Baltimore. Stephen Drew homered into the second deck and Michael Taylor ripped a two-run double to back Ross, who entered the game with a 7.34 ERA in six starts this season. Trea (tray) Turner had three hits and stole three bases in the Nationals’ eighth win in 10 games.
— Chris Iannetta (eye-ah-NEH’-tuh) was the hitting star in the Diamondbacks’ 15-3 mauling of the Padres, slamming a two-run homer and collecting a career-high seven RBIs. Iannetta hit a three-run double in the sixth and a two-run double in the eighth as Arizona coasted to its ninth straight home win. Patrick Corbin improved to 5-0 in six home starts, allowing three runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
— Colorado picked up its fifth consecutive win as Tyler Chatwood and DJ LeMahieu (leh-MAY’-hyoo) led a 4-1 verdict over the Cubs in Chicago. LeMahieu belted a three-run homer in the second in support of Chatwood, who pitched four-hit ball over six innings to help the NL West leaders stay two games ahead of Arizona. Jon Lester lost at Wrigley Field for the first time in nearly 13 months.
— The Giants scored four times in the 10th inning to beat the Brewers, 9-5. Hunter Pence singled home the tiebreaking run after Giants closer Mark Melancon (meh-LAN’-suhn) coughed up a 5-3 lead in the ninth. Eduardo Nunez and Joe Panik each had two hits and two RBIs to help the Giants gain a split of the four-game series.
— St. Louis has its first seven-game losing streak in four years after Joey Votto (VAH’-toh) went 4-for-4 with a two-run homer in the Reds’ 5-2 win over the Cardinals at Cincinnati. Scott Feldman limited the slumping Redbirds to four singles over seven shutout innings as the Reds completed their first four-game sweep since 2003. Adam Duvall had three hits off losing pitcher Mike Leake, who was traded by the Reds for Duvall in 2015.
— Seattle had won nine of 10 before Kyle Gibson combined with three relievers on a seven-hitter in Minnesota’s 2-1 win against the Mariners. Gibson lowered his ERA to 6.52 by giving up just one run and five hits in six innings. Jason Castro cracked a solo homer as the Twins stayed atop the AL Central, one game ahead of Cleveland.
— Danny Espinosa had three hits and three RBIs as the Angels hammered the Tigers, 11-4 in Detroit. Andrelton Simmons had three hits and two RBIs for Los Angeles, which trailed 4-1 before scoring four runs in the fifth and six more in the seventh. JC Ramirez improved to 6-4 despite yielding four runs and 10 hits in just five innings.
— Edinson Volquez followed his no-hitter by pitching seven scoreless innings to lead the Marlins’ 7-1 win at Pittsburgh. His bid for a second consecutive no-hitter ended when Josh Harrison had a bunt single down the third-base line with one out in the first inning. Volquez allowed three hits with eight strikeouts as he sent Miami to its ninth win in 12 games.
— Atlanta’s R.A. Dickey knuckleballed his way to a 3-1 decision over Philadelphia, holding the Phillies to three hits with a season-high eight strikeouts in seven frames. Dickey yielded a leadoff single to Tommy Joseph in the second and didn’t allow another hit until Odubel (oh-DOO’-bul) Herrera’s leadoff double in the seventh. Matt Kemp had a run-scoring double in Atlanta’s two-run first.
— Derek Norris homered in consecutive innings as the Rays dealt the White Sox their seventh loss in eight games, 7-5. Peter Bourjos and Colby Rasmus also homered for Tampa Bay, which held on after taking a 6-0 lead. Jake Odorizzi pitched into the seventh and blanked Chicago until Avisail Garcia’s three-run homer in the sixth.
UNDATED (AP) — One of baseball’s top Cy Young candidates is back on the disabled list.
Astros ace Dallas Keuchel (KY’-kuhl) is sidelined again because of neck discomfort. The lefty was on the DL from May 15-May 26 with a pinched nerve in his neck and was scratched from Wednesday’s start in Kansas City with what the Astros initially said was an illness.
Keuchel is 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA in 11 starts this season, holding batters to a .183 average. He won the AL Cy Young Award in 2015 after going 20-8 with a 2.48 earned run average.
Also in the majors:
— The Cubs have placed right-hander Kyle Hendricks on the 10-day disabled list because of tendinitis in his pitching hand. Hendricks is 4-3 with a 4.09 ERA in 11 starts after winning 16 games and leading the majors in ERA a year ago.
— MLB is looking into a domestic violence accusation against Cubs shortstop Addison Russell after his wife posted a photo Wednesday on Instagram with a caption suggesting he was unfaithful to her. In another post, a user named carlierreed and described by Russell’s wife as a close friend accused him of “mentally and physically abusing her.” The posts have been deleted, and Chicago police say they haven’t started an investigation. Russell calls the allegations of abuse “false and hurtful.”
U.S. men’s team moves up in World Cup standings
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. men’s soccer team finds itself in third place at the midway point in the final round of World Cup qualifying.
Christian Pulisic scored twice in the second half as the Americans downed Trinadad and Tobago, 2-0 in Colorado. The 18-year-old phenom opened the scoring in the 52nd minute and added another goal 10 minutes later.
Pulisic has seven goals and five assists in 15 international appearances, including four goals and three assists in his last four contests.
Saints’ Nick Fairley seeing heart specialists
UNDATED (AP) — New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton says defensive tackle Nick Fairley is seeing multiple heart specialists after one physician advised Fairley to stop playing football.
Payton says he hopes Fairley can return to the Saints, but not unless the 29-year-old defensive lineman has “full confidence” that continuing to play won’t worsen a heart condition he’s had throughout his six-year NFL career.
Fairley recently signed a four-year extension worth up to $28 million.
In other NFL news:
— The Arizona Cardinals have signed first-round draft pick Haason Reddick to a four-year contract. The signing of the linebacker out of Temple leaves all of the Cardinals draft picks under contract.
— Authorities say former NFL wide receiver James Hardy has been found dead in a river in northeast Indiana. The Allen County Coroner’s Office says the 31-year-old’s body was identified Thursday, but that the cause and manner of death are still being investigated. The coroner says the former Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens player was reported missing a few weeks ago by relatives.
NBA Finals Game 3 ratings up 22 percent from last year
CLEVELAND (AP) — Game 3 of the NBA Finals drew 20.5 million viewers on ABC, an increase of 22 percent from last season.
The Nielsen company says Golden State’s 118-113 victory over Cleveland was the closest game of the series and the most-watched Game 3 ever on ABC.
The overall ratings for the series are the highest since 1998, when Michael Jordan won his last championship with the Bulls against the Jazz. It is averaging 20 million viewers, up 11 percent from 2016.
Crowded leaderboard in Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — There’s a four-way tie for the lead through the first round of the PGA’s St. Jude Classic.
Matt Every, Scott Brown, Stuart Cink (sink) and Sebastian Munoz each shot 6-under 64s to move one shot ahead of Charl Schwartzel and Matt Jones. Every has made just two cuts this year and hasn’t finished bette than a tie for 62nd.
Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen (GOO’-sehn) and Chez Reavie each shot a 66 on the par-70 TPC Southwind course.
Pettersen, Lee share lead
CAMBRIDGE, Ontario (AP) — Suzann Pettersen and Mi Hyang Lee share the lead after the opening round of the LPGA Classic in Cambridge, Ontario.
The co-leaders opened with 8-under 64s for a one-stroke advantage over Shanshan Feng, Lura Gonzalez Escallon and Hyo Joo Kim.