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Update on the latest sports

May 18, 2019


Koepka takes 7-stroke lead into Round 3

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (AP) _ Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kuh) heads into the third round of the PGA Championship with the lowest 36-hole score in major championship history and the largest lead by anyone at the halfway point of a Grand Slam event in 85 years. He finished the second round at 12-under 128, seven shots ahead of Jordan Spieth (speeth) and Adam Scott.

Koepka has been alone in the lead since his 12-foot birdie putt on his 12th hole of the opening round. He has made only two bogeys all week.

Tiger Woods can only watch the action Saturday. The Masters champion shot a 3-over 73 at Bethpage Black in the second round to finish at 5 over for 36 holes and miss the cut by one stroke. It’s the first time Woods has missed the cut at a major in the same year he won a major since 2006.

Among those playing early in the third round Saturday is Rory McIlroy, who had to rally to make the cut. McIlroy made eagle on the par-5 fourth hole.


With no Derby winner, field is wide opn

BALTIMORE (AP) _ The Preakness won’t have the Kentucky Derby winner for the first time since 1996, and trainer Bob Baffert believes that makes Saturday’s race a little “vanilla.” But there’s also plenty of intrigue in a wide-open race that features a 13-horse field where almost anyone can win.

Improbable and War of Will are among the legitimate contenders to become just the 19th horse all time and first since Afleet Alex in 2005 to fall short in the Derby but win the Preakness and Belmont.

Then there’s Alwaysmining, who’s looking to be the first Maryland-bred horse to win the Preakness since 1979 and make Kelly Rubley the first female trainer to win a Triple Crown race.

Win Win Win and Bodexpress are among other horses to keep an eye on, along with intriguing newcomer Warrior’s Charge, who cost owners $150,000 just to enter him, merits watching.


Warriors take 2-0 lead to Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ The Western Conference finals between Golden State and the Trail Blazers shifts to Portland on Saturday with the Warriors holding a 2-0 advantage.

The defending champions had to rally to win at home Thursday night. The Blazers were up 15 points at the half and led by eight with 4½ minutes left before the Warriors rallied — boosted by Kevon Looney’s dunk with less than a minute left, and a game-sealing steal from Andre Iguodala (ihg-woh-DAH’-lah). Golden State capped the game with a 14-3 run to avoid falling into a tie in the best-of-seven series.

Game 3 will be the first conference final game in Portland since 2000. The Blazers lost that series to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.


Pitching rematch at Yankee Stadium

NEW YORK (AP) _ The Yankees host Tampa Bay Saturday in a rematch between Rays left-handed ace Blake Snell and Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

Snell was overpowering against New York last Sunday, but his 12 strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball weren’t enough in a 7-1 loss. Tanaka got the win in that game, throwing seven innings of one-run ball while appearing to rediscover his go-to split-finger fastball.

Tampa Bay enters the weekend series with a half-game lead over New York in the AL East.

Elsewhere in the majors:

_ Former top prospect Lucas Giolito is finally making good on his potential with the White Sox. Entering Saturday’s start against Toronto, the right-hander has given up just one earned run in his last 16 2/3 innings. Giolito had a 6.13 ERA last season, highest among qualified starters. With a shorter arm action and a more aggressive approach, Giolito has been a breakout performer on a club that entered the weekend just two games under .500 at 20-22. Left-hander Ryan Feierabend starts for Toronto. It will be the knuckleballer’s first start since 2008.

_ The Dodgers expect to be without Justin Turner, a day after he fouled a ball off his left shin. The red-headed slugger was pulled from a 6-0 win over Cincinnati and will likely get at least a day to recover, though X-rays were negative and the team doesn’t seem concerned about his long-term well-being. Walker Buehler pitches for the Dodgers against the Reds’ Tyler Mahle.

_ The Marlins ended a 27-inning scoreless streak Friday in an 8-6 win over the Mets and reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom. They’ll try to build on that as they face Mets left-hander Steven Matz, who is scheduled to pitch Saturday for the first time since May 3. Miami starts right-hander Pablo Lopez, who gave up a career-high 10 runs in his most recent outing, which came against the Mets on May 10.

_ Houston tries for its 10th straight win in a game at Fenway Park. George Springer hit his AL-leading 17th homer Friday in a 3-1 victory against the Red Sox, a go-ahead two-run shot in the eighth inning. Houston is 12-3 this month and has matched the 2017 World Series championship team for the best start in franchise history at 30-15. Corbin Martin is set to make his second career start for Houston.


DeBrincat scores twice as US routs Denmark 7-1 at worlds

KOSICE, Slovakia (AP) — Alex DeBrincat had two goals and an assist to help the United States rout Denmark 7-1 on Saturday for the Americans’ fourth straight victory during preliminary play at the world championships.

Jeff Blashill became the winningest U.S. coach in world championship history in the top division with his 18th career victory in 23 games.

Patrick Kane added three assists; Jack Eichel (EYE’-kul) had a goal and an assist; and Frank Vatrano, Clayton Keller, Chris Kreider and Dylan Larkin scored a goal apiece. Goalie Cory Schneider made 21 saves for his third victory this tournament.

The U.S. is 3-1-0-1 in Group A and plays Germany on Sunday.

Russia beat Latvia 3-1 in Bratislava and leads Group B with a 5-0-0-0 record. In later games, it’s Canada vs. Germany, Italy vs. Norway, Britain vs. Slovakia and Sweden vs. Switzerland.


Konta beats Bertens to reach Italian Open semifinals

ROME (AP) — Johanna Konta rallied past sixth-seeded Kiki Bertens 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 in nearly three hours on Saturday to reach the Italian Open final for the biggest clay-court result of her career.

Konta’s only previous final on clay came recently in Rabat, Morocco, where she lost the title match to Maria Sakkari.

This result will give the British player even more confidence entering the French Open, which starts next weekend.

Bertens was coming off the Madrid Open title last week.

In Sunday’s final, Konta will face either fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova or Sakkari.

In the men’s semifinals later, Rafael Nadal meets Stefanos Tsitsipas — a week after losing to the Greek player in Madrid. Also, Novak Djokovic plays Diego Schwartzman.

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