The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram » Sports Thu, 28 Apr 2016 20:57:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wednesday’s boys’ roundup: Sacopee Valley collects baseball win Thu, 28 Apr 2016 03:44:34 +0000 SOUTH HIRAM — Brady Anderson gave up one run over six innings Wednesday as Sacopee Valley defeated North Yarmouth Academy 7-3 in a Western Maine Conference baseball game.

Roderick Maynard hit a two-run double in the third inning and Dana Shea finished with two hits for Sacopee (4-0) against the Panthers (2-1).

Anderson gave up five hits.

SCARBOROUGH 15, NOBLE 1: Morgan Pratt went 2 for 3 with four RBI and scored twice as the Red Storm (2-0) rolled past the Knights (0-3) in five innings at Scarborough.

Pratt had a two-run single in Scarborough’s seven-run second inning.

Connor Kelly added a double and a single for the Red Storm.

WELLS 8, GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 0: Andrew Skeats and Nick Cousins each went 3 for 3 to lead the Warriors (2-1) over the Patriots (2-3) at Wells.

Shawn Ramsey had an RBI single that started a four-run third inning, giving Wells a 5-0 lead.

Skeats and Liam Bell each drove in two runs, and winning pitcher Charlie Bell allowed two hits over five innings, striking out two. Cody Cousins added two hits and an RBI.

BONNY EAGLE 9, BIDDEFORD 2: Arlo Pike’s grand slam in the seventh inning capped a late surge by the Scots (2-1), who scored six times in the final two innings to pull away from the Tigers (0-2) at Biddeford.

Pike also had a single, a walk and scored twice. Kerry Crepeau had two singles and a run for Biddeford.

SOUTH PORTLAND 7, SANFORD 1: Sam Troiano pitched a two-hitter and also homered as the Red Riots (2-0) pulled away from Sanford (0-3) at South Portland.

Drew Abramson singled home two runs and then scored to give South Portland a 3-0 lead in the first inning. The Red Riots added three in the third before Troiano homered in the sixth.

Troiano also struck out 10, and Nick Troiano had three hits and an RBI for the Riots.

MARSHWOOD 6, MASSABESIC 1: Nick Landis allowed one run on five hits to lead the Hawks (2-1) over the Mustangs (1-1) at South Berwick.

Landis struck out six and walked two, and Ryan O’Neil and Aidan Place each had two hits and one RBI for Marshwood.

Nate Curtis and Jeremy Jacques each had a hit and an RBI.

Simon Roberts had two hits and Jacob Gregoire drove in the Mustangs’ run in the seventh inning. Weston Bergeron struck out two over four innings.

THORNTON ACADEMY 3, CHEVERUS 2: Luke Chessey singled to tie the game in the seventh inning and the winning run scored when the ball was misplayed as the Trojans (2-0) defeated the Stags (1-1) at Saco.

Singles by Zach Ham and Josh LePauloue set the stage for Chessey.

Chessey finished 3 for 4 and drove in two runs, and Ham went 2 for 3 with a double and two runs. Ben Lambert allowed two runs and six hits, with six strikeouts and two walks.

Tre Fletcher went 2 for 4 with a run, and Josh Veroneau added two hits for Cheverus. Jack Casale allowed one run on six hits, striking out three in six innings.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH 8, TRAIP ACADEMY 2: Dylan Creswell’s outstanding relief helped the Seagulls (3-0) down the Rangers (1-2) at Old Orchard Beach.

Creswell relieved with two runs in and two outs in the first inning, and allowed one hit and two walks, striking out seven.

Thomas Fregeau and Evan O’Donnell each had three hits for Old Orchard, and Nate Doody contributed a two-run single in the sixth.

DEERING 4, WINDHAM 1: Ian Westphal had a two-run single and Dom Bernard followed with an RBI single to highlight a three-run fourth inning as the Rams (1-1) defeated the Eagles (2-2) at Portland.

Bernard finished with three singles and Westphal added a double.

James Sinclair of the Rams struck out nine, including the side in the seventh.

Tim Greenlaw had a pair of hits for Windham.

PORTLAND 6, WESTBROOK 2: Joey Fusco singled home John Williams and Nick Archambault to give the Bulldogs (2-0) a 3-0 first-inning lead over Westbrook (0-1) at Portland.

Jake Knop, who scored the first run of the inning, led Portland with a single and triple, three runs and a pair of stolen bases.


WAYNFLETE 12, YORK 11: Will Nelligan had four goals and a pair of assists, including the winner with three minutes left as the Flyers (1-1) beat the Wildcats (0-2) at Portland.

Miles Lipton added three goals, and Hank Duvall had two goals and three assists for Waynflete. Henry McCarddin led York with three goals and an assist. James Boksanski and Sam Sinclair each scored twice.

SOUTH PORTLAND 15, BIDDEFORD 2: Cooper Mehlhorn had six goals and an assist as the Red Riots (1-1) got past the Tigers (1-2) at Biddeford.

Jack Fiorini added four goals and two assists for South Portland. Cody Sevigny and John Gilliam scored for Biddeford.

GREELY 7, NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY 3: Samuel Peck scored three goals for Greely in an opener at Yarmouth.

Ben Kennedy, Alex Kroot, William Hall and Josh Lawless also scored for the Rangers. Thomas Pitts had two goals and Sam Johnson the other for NYA.

FALMOUTH 10, KENNEBUNK 5: Jack Scribner scored four goals to lead the Yachtsmen (2-0) past Kennebunk (1-1) at Falmouth.

Henry Norris added a pair of goals for Falmouth.

WELLS 14, LAKE REGION 3: Ethan Marsh scored six goals, and Chad Fitzpatrick and Evan Whitten added three each to carry the Warriors in an opener at Wells.

Sam Hazlett and Tyler Whitten also scored for Wells. Nicholas Lepage had two goals and Hunter Russo the other for the Lakers.

]]> 0 Wed, 27 Apr 2016 23:50:14 +0000
Major league roundup: It’s two straight as Phillies blank Nationals Thu, 28 Apr 2016 03:38:00 +0000 WASHINGTON — Philadelphia’s Jeremy Hellickson allowed two hits over seven innings while his teammates eventually took advantage of Washington’s sloppiness to push across some runs as the Phillies beat Bryce Harper and the Nationals 3-0 on Wednesday night.

Philadelphia, which entered the series below .500, will try to complete a three-game sweep of the NL East-leading Nationals on Thursday.

Unbothered by the temperature in the low 50s or intermittent drizzles, Hellickson (2-1) struck out eight and lowered his 2016 ERA from 5.21 to 3.81. He gave up NL batting leader Daniel Murphy’s ground-rule double in the second inning and Danny Espinosa’s 500th career hit on a bunt single in the fifth – and that was it.

GIANTS 13, PADRES 9: Brandon Belt was a homer short of the cycle and drove in five runs, Hunter Pence drove in a pair on three hits and San Francisco completed a three-game sweep with a win at home.

METS 5, REDS 2: Neil Walker hit his ninth home run, tying for the major league lead, Matt Harvey won his second straight start and New York won at home to stretch its winning streak to six.

Walker’s third-inning homer off Jon Moscot (0-2) extended the Mets’ lead to 3-1 and tied the team record for home runs in April.

Harvey (2-3) won his second consecutive start after losing his first three.


WHITE SOX 4, BLUE JAYS 0: Dioner Navarro hit a go-ahead, two-run triple in the seventh inning as visiting Chicago won its sixth straight game.

Jose Quintana (3-1) struck out a season-high 10 in six innings for Chicago, which at 16-6 is 10 games above .500 for the first time since Sept. 25, 2012.

TIGERS 9, ATHLETICS 4: Justin Verlander pitched impressively into the seventh inning, and J.D. and Victor Martinez both homered as Detroit won at home.

Verlander (2-2) allowed three runs and five hits in 61/3 innings, his third straight quality start since allowing seven runs against Pittsburgh on April 11.

Oakland’s Sonny Gray (3-2) lasted only two innings in the shortest start of his big league career. He allowed four runs, two hits and four walks, throwing 65 pitches.

RANGERS 3, YANKEES 2: Elvis Andrus had a tie-breaking RBI triple while former Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez hit his 100th homer in the stadium at Arlington, Texas.

A-Rod’s 690th career homer gave him triple digits in the Rangers’ ballpark. He hit 86 at home for Texas from 2001-03 and has 14 more in 65 games as a visitor there – first with Seattle before his big deal with the Rangers, and after being traded to the Yankees.

ORIOLES 3, RAYS 1: Joey Rickard hit a three-run home run and Chris Tillman gave up two hits in 62/3 innings to help visiting Baltimore break a three-game losing streak.

Rickard’s second home run of the season came off Matt Moore in the fifth inning after Nolan Reimold walked and Jonathan Schoop singled.

It was only the third home run in eight games for the Orioles, who have scored just five runs in their last four games.

Tillman (2-1) tied a career high with nine strikeouts. Both of his wins have come against Tampa Bay.


ROCKIES: Colorado placed left-hander Jorge De La Rosa on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain and recalled right-hander Eddie Butler from Triple-A Albuquerque.

PHILLIES: Starting pitcher Charlie Morton is out for the season because of a torn left hamstring. Morton is scheduled for surgery on the hamstring next Monday and the recovery time is expected to be 6 to 8 months.

TIGERS: Detroit optioned outfielder Tyler Collins to Triple-A Toledo, although Manager Brad Ausmus said the move was not related to the obscene gesture Collins directed at booing home fans Monday after he missed a fly ball.

Collins went 2 for 20 in 10 games with the Tigers this season.

RANGERS: Ace Yu Darvish is scheduled to pitch Sunday in his first minor league rehab start since Tommy John surgery more than 13 months ago.

The right-hander from Japan last pitched in a major league game Aug. 9, 2014, then missed the end of that season because of right elbow inflammation.

Darvish, 29, is 39-25 with a 3.27 ERA and 680 strikeouts in 83 starts for Texas from 2012-14.

]]> 0, 27 Apr 2016 23:54:35 +0000
Wednesday’s girls’ roundup: Wells triumphs in softball Thu, 28 Apr 2016 03:35:37 +0000 WELLS — Anya Chase went 4 for 4 and scored five runs Wednesday as Wells sent Gray-New Gloucester to its first softball loss, scoring an 18-14 victory in a Western Maine Conference game.

Hannah Moody had a pair of doubles and drove in four runs, and Sam Bogue added three hits, including a double, triple and three RBI for Wells (2-1).

Skye Conley of Gray-New Gloucester (4-1) went 3 for 5 with five RBI, including a two-run homer in the seventh inning.

GORHAM 25, CHEVERUS 1: Lindsey Wilcox pitched a three-hitter as the Rams (3-0) defeated the Stags (0-3) in five innings at Portland.

The Rams scored 10 runs in the top of the first inning before the Stags scored in the bottom half.

Emily Murray, one of the seven players with multiple hits for Gorham, finished with five hits and seven RBI, including a home run in the fifth inning that completed the cycle.

Wilcox gave up three hits and two walks, striking out four.

CAPE ELIZABETH 5, FALMOUTH 4: Maggie Baker singled home Maddie Culkin in the seventh inning to lift the Capers (2-2) over Falmouth (2-1) at Cape Elizabeth.

The Yachtsmen had tied the game in the top of the seventh when Allison Murphy capped a three-run rally with an RBI single up the third-base line.

Tess Haller had two hits and scored twice, Culkin also had two hits and Megan Nicholson added two runs for Cape Elizabeth. Maddie Rouhana had a pair of hits and a run for Falmouth.

BIDDEFORD 12, MCAULEY 0: Kirsten Lebreux went 3 for 3 with three RBI and scored three runs, and struck out 10 as the Tigers (2-1) defeated the Lions (1-2) in five innings at Biddeford.

Biddeford scored four runs in the first inning, including a two-run homer by Brittany Roy, and added three in the fourth and four in the fifth.

Roy was 3 for 3 and scored twice, and Brook Davis added a pair of doubles for the Tigers.

Lillie Donovan had two hits for McAuley.

PORTLAND 11, WESTBROOK 2: Sydney Gilbert struck out seven and walked one as the Bulldogs (2-1) downed the Blue Blazes (1-2) at Westbrook.

Annie Twombly had a pair of hits for Portland.

Morgan Rice had two singles and Camryn LaPierre added a triple for Westbrook.

YORK 17, FREEPORT 0: Stephanie Rundlett struck out 12 while allowing one hit as York (2-1) shut out the Falcons (1-2) in five innings at Freeport.

Wendy Donnell led the Wildcats’ 17-hit offense with four hits. Rundlett added three, and Julia Babcock, Julia Harrod, Olivia Coughlin and Kiley Blondin had two hits each.

Lauren Briggs singled in the third for Freeport.

BONNY EAGLE 5, MARSHWOOD 4: Nell Spencer scored on a bases-loaded walk, Lauryn Fagan on a passed ball and Sarah Champagne on an error as the Scots (1-2) took advantage of mistakes to open a 3-0 lead over Marshwood (0-2) in the second inning at Standish.

Spencer singled home a run and also scored to extend the Bonny Eagle lead to 5-1 in the fourth.

Emersyn Colbath-Stevens and Maddie Eastman scored twice each for the Hawks.

SCARBOROUGH 34, DEERING 0: Chloe Gorey and Maggie Murphy each collected five hits as the Red Storm (3-0) beat the Rams (1-2) in five innings at Portland.

Leading 6-0, Scarborough scored 16 runs in the fourth.

Chloe Griffin and Emily Jefferds each had three of the Red Storm’s 28 hits.

THORNTON ACADEMY 19, MASSABESIC 2: The Golden Trojans (2-1) scored eight runs in the fourth, including a two-run homer to left-center by Hannah Collins, and beat the Mustangs (2-1) in five innings at Saco.

Jenica Botting hit a second-inning grand slam and a pair of singles, and Libby Pomerleau had two doubles and a solo homer in the first inning, finishing with two RBI.

SANFORD 11, NOBLE 5: Nicole Main hit a three-run homer, part of an eight-run sixth inning that helped the Spartans (2-1) beat the Knights (1-2) at Sanford.

Main’s three-run homer, an RBI single by Jen Jones, a two-run single by Morgan Coleman and a two-run single by Julia Allen highlighted the sixth.

Main finished with two hits and four RBI.

WINDHAM 7, SOUTH PORTLAND 0: Danielle Tardiff pitched a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts and three walks to lead the Eagles (1-1) over the Red Riots (1-2) at South Portland.

Tardiff also hit a two-run triple in the second inning. The Red Riots’ hit was a double by Taylor Bacheldor.


KENNEBUNK 14, YORK 2: Jenny Bush scored six goals to lead the Rams (2-0) over the Wildcats (1-1) at York.

Isabella Kudas stopped 10 shots, Kyra Schwartzman added three goals and Gabby Fogg had two for Kennebunk. Alexandra Lawlor and Alana Lauersen answered for York.

MARSHWOOD 16, MCAULEY 4: Regan Nichols had five goals and a pair of assists for the Hawks (2-0), who took a 13-1 halftime lead and rolled past the Lions (0-1) at South Berwick.

Hannah Costin had four goals and an assist, and Luci Albers added three goals for Marshwood, which had nine players score.

Kaeli Leddy led McAuley with three goals, Zoe Mauer also scored.

]]> 0 Wed, 27 Apr 2016 23:43:55 +0000
Sports Digest: Celtics’ Thomas will likely play in Game 6 vs. Hawks Thu, 28 Apr 2016 03:22:15 +0000 NBA PLAYOFFS

Celtics’ Thomas will likely play in Game 6 vs. Hawks

Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens said that all signs point toward Isaiah Thomas being able to play in Game 6 against the Hawks.

Stevens said Wednesday that he’d gotten all positive updates on the status for Thomas, who limped to the locker room with a mild left ankle sprain in the closing minutes of Tuesday’s 110-83 loss in Atlanta. Stevens said Thomas didn’t experience much swelling and “he feels good.” Boston hosts Atlanta on Thursday night.

Thomas averaged 35 points in two victories at Boston that evened the series, but managed only seven points Tuesday as the Hawks took a 3-2 series lead.

Stevens said it’s still unlikely that Avery Bradley will be able to return this series after sitting out his fourth straight game with a strained right hamstring.

Courtney Lee’s 3-pointer with 25.2 seconds left put Charlotte ahead to stay, and the visiting Hornets beat the Miami Heat 90-88 in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

The Hornets have won three straight games in the series and will take a 3-2 lead into a potential Game 6 clincher on Friday night.

Marvin Williams led the Hornets with 17 points, while Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker each had 14 for Charlotte


NHL: Shane Prince scored twice during a three-goal first period, and John Tavares had a goal and an assist in the New York Islanders’ 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series at Tampa, Florida.

Taking up where he left off in helping the Islanders advance beyond the first round for the first time in 23 years, Tavares assisted on Travis Hamonic’s goal that erased an early deficit and later scored his sixth postseason goal on a blistering shot from the left circle to give New York a 4-1 lead midway through the second.


CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: An early goal by youngster Saul Niguez gave host Atletico Madrid a gritty 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.

MLS: Portland’s own goal in the 89th minute gave the New England Revolution a 1-1 draw with the visiting Timbers.

Jack Barmby’s lucky bounce on a badly hit shot had put Portland (2-3-3) on top in the 64th minute.

Commissioner Don Garber and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert were in Detroit on Wednesday promoting the possibility of building a soccer stadium as part a massive downtown development near where the Tigers, Lions and Red Wings play.


ENGLAND: British Cycling suspended technical director Shane Sutton following accusations that he made discriminatory remarks toward riders.

Female cyclist Jess Varnish alleged in the British newspaper The Daily Mail that Sutton made sexist comments toward her and told her to “move on and have a baby” after she failed to qualify for this year’s Olympics.

Retired Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton has said she never felt British Cycling gave her the same respect as her male teammates, and said she knows “exactly how miserable they made me.”


NFL: As far as Commissioner Roger Goodell is concerned, the league is ready to move on from “Deflategate.”

Speaking two days after a major victory for the NFL in its dispute with New England quarterback Tom Brady and the players’ union, Goodell defended the league’s discipline process for players in the wake of critical comments by New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees.


BMW OPEN: Juan Martin del Potro made a successful clay-court comeback after three years away when he beat Dustin Brown 7-6 (2), 6-4 to advance to the second round at Munich.

ESTORIL OPEN: Second-seeded Nick Kyrgios of Australia beat Inigo Cervantes of Spain 7-6 (4), 7-5 to advance at Estoril, Portugal.

]]> 0, 27 Apr 2016 23:30:24 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Cape Elizabeth pulls away Thu, 28 Apr 2016 03:20:05 +0000 YARMOUTH — The defense remains a work in progress, but the Cape Elizabeth boys’ lacrosse team showed Wednesday night it still can score goals.

Six players scored as Cape rolled to an impressive 15-5 victory over Yarmouth.

It was only the second game of the season for both teams, who last met in the 2015 state final with the Capers winning 7-5 at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

This game was relatively close for three quarters before Cape scored eight goals in the fourth.

“They had to come out and pressure some more, and that’s when the slides are a little bit farther apart and we’re able to run by some guys,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond said. “We did a little bit better job of finishing in the fourth quarter.”

Three of last season’s top defenders graduated but the relatively inexperienced long sticks did a good job of keeping the Clippers on the periphery. Yarmouth was scoreless for nearly 16 minutes during a stretch that began in the second quarter and ended in the third.

“It’s the second real game of the year and we ran a bunch of people in and out of the game,” Raymond said. “They’re still trying to figure it out.”

Alex Narvaez made 11 saves for Cape.

Cape led 6-3 at halftime after Owen Thoreck and Joe Boeschenstein scored less than 20 seconds apart in the last minute.

“That was a momentum shift,” Yarmouth Coach David Pearl said.

Ricky Tillotson won 9 of 11 draws in the first half but the Clippers were unable to take advantage.

Yarmouth had possession for nearly five minutes at the start of the second quarter but was only able to score once, when Bill Jacobs put in a left-handed shot from 10 yards on the right side to make it 3-3. The Clippers got the ball right back when Tillotson won yet another draw but lost possession two minutes later.

The Capers led 3-2 after the first quarter and took the lead when Connor Thoreck put a wrap-around shot into the right side while Cape played with a two-man advantage.

“We played really competitive in the first half,” Pearl said. “Against a good team like Cape Elizabeth, it you don’t capitalize on those opportunities they don’t show up again.”

Connor Thoreck led Cape with four goals. Boeschenstein and Riley Pillsbury each scored three. R.J. Sarka and Owen Thoreck had two goals each.

Jacobs led Yarmouth with three goals. Matt Beatty and Silas Chappell also scored.

“I saw a lot of great things out of this team tonight, and I’m looking forward to playing (Cape Elizabeth) in a month,” Pearl said.

]]> 0 Wed, 27 Apr 2016 23:23:01 +0000
Wednesday’s Maine college roundup: SMCC sweeps CMCC in baseball Thu, 28 Apr 2016 02:30:48 +0000 SOUTH PORTLAND — The Southern Maine Community College baseball team won two mercy-rule shortened games against Central Maine Community College, 14-4 and 15-0, in a Yankee Small College Conference doubleheader on Wednesday.

The Seawolves improved to 17-19 (11-6 YSCC) while the Mustangs dipped to 0-15 overall.

Shawn Murphy drove in six runs on a three-run homer, a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly in the six-inning opener.

Tim Rodrigues and Caleb Chambers each had three hits for SMCC.

Caleb Burpee had two hits with three runs, and Joe Apon, Chase Morales and Juan Espinosa each had two hits and two runs in the five-inning nightcap.

UMASS-BOSTON 9, SOUTHERN MAINE 4: Lionel Danielson, Ryan Olivo and Anthony Searles each drove in two runs as the Beacons (20-12, 6-4 Little East) scored eight runs in the third and fourth innings against the Huskies (21-10, 7-3) at Gorham.

Paul McDonough hit a two-run homer for the Huskies.

BOWDOIN 6, ST. JOSEPH’S 2: Brandon Lopez and Sean Mullaney each drove in two runs as the Polar Bears (19-10) handled the Monks (20-11) at Brunswick.

Lopez hit a two-run single, Chris Nadeau hit an RBI double and Mullaney added a run-scoring single during a four-run seventh for Bowdoin.

Dennis Meehan hit an RBI double in the first, and Nick Lops, who had three hits, singled home Meehan in the third for the Monks.


MAINE, YALE SPLIT: The Black Bears (20-18) won the opener 4-2 before falling 3-0 to the Bulldogs (16-29-1) at New Haven, Connecticut.

Erika Leonard and Meghan Royle each had two hits, and Alyssa Derrick hit a two-run double in the first game for Maine.

Francesca Casalino pitched a four-hitter with seven strikeouts and Laina Do hit a two-run single during a three-run first for Yale in the second game.

HUSSON 8, BATES 2: Lyndsay Merrill went 4 for 4 with three runs and an RBI as the Eagles (12-23) downed the visiting Bobcats (5-29) at Bangor.

Paige Ahlholm had an RBI single and a double for Bates.

BOWDOIN, UNE SPLIT: The Nor’easters (25-13) won the opener 4-3 and the visiting Polar Bears (19-14-2) took the second game 6-1 at Biddeford.

UNE’s Anna Sessa singled home Sydney Helmbrecht in the seventh to end the first game. Avery Alberghini finished with three hits and three runs for UNE.

Emily Griffin and Samantha Roy combined on a three-hitter and Julia Geaumont had three hits with two RBI for Bowdoin in the second game.

SOUTHERN MAINE, PLYMOUTH STATE SPLIT: The Huskies (22-9-1, 7-5 Little East) won the second game 7-1 after losing 2-1 to the Panthers (14-22, 4-8) in the opener at Plymouth, New Hampshire.

USM’s Jen Lynch homered in both games and finished the second game with three hits, two runs and an RBI.

Mary Caron, Shelby Obert and Brooke Cross also homered in the second game.


SOUTHERN MAINE 11, PLYMOUTH STATE 6: Austin Watts scored four goals, and Seth Wing, Nate DelGiudice and Jeff Urmston each had two goals as the Huskies (8-5, 3-3 Little East) beat the Panthers (4-9, 3-3) at Gorham.

Watts had three of his goals in the first half when the Huskies built a 6-1 lead.

BATES 12, COLBY 11: Jack Allard scored four goals and Charlie Fay added three more as the visiting Bobcats (11-3, 7-3 NESCAC) held on to beat the Mules (3-12, 0-10) at Waterville.

Yuta Murata had three goals, and Colton Michel, Austin Sayre and Sam Wasserman each added two for Colby.

TUFTS 20, BOWDOIN 10: John Uppgren had six goals and four assists as the Jumbos (13-2, 9-1 NESCAC) handled the Polar Bears (11-3, 7-3) at Medford, Massachusetts.

Shawn Daly and Matthew Crowell each had two goals and two assists for Bowdoin.


TUFTS 17, BOWDOIN 8: Brigid Bowser had five goals as the Jumbos (9-6, 5-5 NESCAC) defeated the Polar Bears (7-8, 2-8) at Brunswick.

Hannah Hirschfeld had three goals for Bowdoin.

PLYMOUTH ST. 13, SOUTHERN MAINE 7: Sam Sullivan had five goals and Caroline Vonachen added four goals and three assists as the Panthers (9-5, 3-2 Little East) defeated the Huskies (4-0, 1-4) at Plymouth, New Hampshire.

For the Huskies, Heather Everett had three goals and Sarah Pelligrinelli added two and Hannah Lasalle and Shauna Robert also scored.

COLBY 8, BATES 6: Kelsey Bowen, Lexie Perticone and Gemma Bready each had two goals as the Mules (12-3, 7-3 NESCAC) rallied from 3-0 down to beat the Bobcats (11-4, 6-4) at Lewiston.

Alex Briody scored twice and Emma Noto once in the opening minutes for Bates before Colby rallied for five of the next seven goals.

]]> 0 Wed, 27 Apr 2016 23:01:42 +0000
Pedroia hits two homers as Sox beat Braves again Thu, 28 Apr 2016 02:26:18 +0000 BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia needed a few extra feet for two homers. David Ortiz simply powered the ball around Fenway Park to pass a couple of Boston’s baseball legends.

Pedroia had a grand slam and a solo homer, Ortiz passed Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx on the extra-base hits list and Boston beat Atlanta 9-4 on Wednesday night even as the Braves ended their 15-game homerless stretch.

The Red Sox won their fourth straight and third against the Braves, the first two coming at Turner Field.

The 40-year-old Ortiz had three doubles and drove in two runs, giving him 1,119 extra-base hits to tie Hall of Famer George Brett for 16th on the career list. On the second double, he passed Williams and Foxx.

“I did? Good for me,” Ortiz said, smiling when told of the feat. “That’s what happens when you play for a long time. Man, I’m old.”

Freddie Freeman homered for Atlanta to end the drought. It was the longest for the franchise since the Boston Braves went 16 games without a long ball in 1946.

“Yeah, get the monkey off our back,” he said. “Hopefully, getting that one out of the way, we’ll start hitting a few more.”

Knuckleballer Steven Wright (2-2) allowed two runs – one earned – on three hits in seven innings, striking out eight with three walks.

“I thought we had a pretty good approach early in the game against Wright,” Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “But I’ve never seen a knuckleball go sideways.”

The Red Sox jumped ahead 2-0 in the first against Bud Norris (1-4). Ortiz had an RBI double and scored on Hanley Ramirez’s single.

After the Braves scored a run in the top of the second, Boston broke it open on Pedroia’s slam in the bottom half. After loading the bases with two singles and a walk, Pedroia hit a slicing fly ball that caromed high off the Pesky Pole, making it 6-1. His solo shot barely cleared the Green Monster in the eighth.

“I mean, it’s a game of inches, I guess. I’ll take it,” Pedroia said. “I hit it hard. I’ve never really hit one off the pole. I’m glad I hit it.”

It was his second and third homers. Ortiz has seen the power from the 5-foot-8 Pedroia, a 2008 AL MVP.

“That’s the little guy I know,” he said.

Norris got just four outs, giving up six runs on seven hits.

In the fourth, Ortiz hit his second RBI double and scored on Travis Shaw’s stand-up triple.

NOTES: RHP Joe Kelly (15-day DL, right shoulder impingement) threw from 120 feet. … Reliever Carson Smith, out since the start of the season with a strained right flexor muscle, is expected to work two games with Double-A Portland and could be activated next week. … Boston C Ryan Hanigan had four passed balls, three in the fourth inning. “Hannie has his hands full when we have Steven on the mound,” Boston Manager John Farrell said.

]]> 0, 27 Apr 2016 23:38:33 +0000
Sea Dogs lose seventh straight, 6-0 Thu, 28 Apr 2016 01:48:56 +0000 BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — While Portland continued its struggles Wednesday night, a former Sea Dog was extending his strong start.

Derrik Gibson led off the first inning with a double and gave the Binghamton Mets all the offense they needed by scoring on the next batter in a 6-0 win over the Sea Dogs.

Gibson, who played all of the 2012 and 2013 seasons and most of 2014 in Portland, reached base four out of five times with two hits and two walks.

“We’re getting great at-bats from Gibson,” said Binghamton Manager Pedro Lopez.

The Sea Dogs lineup could use some quality at-bats. The team has been shut out four times and has scored just seven runs total while losing seven straight. Even the last win by Portland was a 1-0 decision.

Following their eighth straight road loss, the Sea Dogs have a much-needed day off Thursday before starting a homestand Friday at 6 p.m. against the Reading Phillies. They have the EL’s worst record at 6-15.

After three seasons in Portland, the 26-year-old Gibson is with his third organization in the last three years.

Gibson, a former second-round draft pick, spent seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox organization. He hit .302 for the Sea Dogs in 85 games in 2014 and was a mid-season Eastern League All-Star.

The All-Star honor earned Gibson his first shot at Triple-A. He also split last season between Double-A and Triple-A in the Baltimore organization before signing with the New York Mets on Jan. 29 as a minor-league free agent.

“We like the at-bats,” Lopez said after moving Gibson from third in the order to leading off for the fourth time this year. “We like the way he’s been swinging the bat.

“He’s a young player, but he’s also a guy who’s been around a while. He’s got good plate discipline. … He’s going to keep hitting leadoff until something else happens.”

Gibson raised his average to a team-best .308. He shares the team lead with 10 runs scored while splitting time between shortstop and third base, where he was Wednesday.

“That was the plan coming in,” Lopez said. “He could get some time at second base, too.”

Binghamton’s Tyler Pill (1-2) stranded four runners in the first two innings, then allowed just one more hit. He worked eight innings, giving up four hits and a walk while striking out seven.

Kelly Secrest gave up consecutive walks with one out in the scoreless ninth, but also struck out two in the inning.

The top six hitters in the Sea Dogs order combined to go 1 for 20.

Wednesday’s troubles also extended to the defense. Second baseman Wendell Rijo doubled in the top of the first, but committed errors on two simple plays in the bottom of the inning, leading to three unearned runs.

First baseman Jordan Weems botched a routine ground ball in the eighth to allow another run.

]]> 0 Wed, 27 Apr 2016 23:26:13 +0000
Top two quarterbacks ready for NFL draft Thu, 28 Apr 2016 00:25:21 +0000 CHICAGO — Jared Goff lobbed a few balls to a couple of lucky kids and practiced his coverage skills. Carson Wentz grinned as he sent a line of boys and girls through a footwork drill.

It was all smiles for the quarterbacks on the eve of the NFL draft. They might not know exactly where they are going but they know they won’t have to very long to find out.

“Excited for whatever happens,” Goff said Wednesday. “It’s going to be a fun time. It’s going to be a dream come true regardless.”

Easy for him to say. After a pair of blockbuster trades, Goff and Wentz are expected to be the first two names off the board Thursday night. The only question is which one becomes the centerpiece for the NFL’s return to Los Angeles with the Rams, and which goes to Philadelphia for a rebuilding project.

“Someone talked about it last night; there’s already a card with your name on it,” Wentz said after joining several top prospects for a football clinic at a Chicago park Wednesday, “and I’m just excited to finally find out where that is.”

The 6-foot-4 Goff started every game during his three seasons at California, and set school records in completions, yards passing and touchdown passes. The 6-5 Wentz led North Dakota State to its fifth consecutive FCS title last season.

“It’ll be exciting to see where we fall, and hopefully we play each other for a long time,” Wentz said.

Goff and Wentz share the same agency, Rep 1 Sports, and got to know each other when they trained together for the draft.

“I think our careers will kind of be linked together forever,” Goff said. “But yeah, we’re friendly and competitive, like any other quarterbacks that train together. I had a good time getting to know him.”

For a long time, it looked as if quarterback was the least likely possibility for No. 1. Tennessee, which drafted Marcus Mariota in the first round a year ago, was connected to Mississippi offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.

Everything changed two weeks ago when the Titans traded the top selection and two other picks to Los Angeles. Then Cleveland traded the No. 2 pick to Philadelphia.

“It was exciting,” Wentz said. “Obviously you’re aware of what the teams kind of need a little bit, and my agents kind of filled me in a little bit. But it was exciting. Anytime there’s movement in the draft, it’s always fun.”

]]> 0 Wed, 27 Apr 2016 22:28:50 +0000
Baseball: Falmouth shuts down Cape Elizabeth Thu, 28 Apr 2016 00:22:55 +0000 CAPE ELIZABETH — In pitching Falmouth to an 8-2 victory against Cape Elizabeth in a Western Maine Conference baseball game Wednesday, Cam Guarino wasn’t able to match his opening-day no-hitter.

Still, he allowed just five hits and two unearned runs for the Yachtsmen (3-0).

“We know that every time Cam steps on the mound we have a good chance to win,” said Coach Kevin Winship. “I had a good feeling early on when we got the first couple runs, that’s all he needs. He just gets more confident as the game goes on, and he just gets better as the game goes on.

“He’s not going to be a big strikeout guy but he’s going to get guys out.”

Added Cape Elizabeth Coach Andrew Wood: “Cam’s a pretty good pitcher. Obviously he’s a (Division I) prospect and is a very smart kid. He’s probably one of the best, if not the best pitcher in the state. Just a smart guy; his preparation is there.”

Guarino, a junior, only struck out two, instead inducing weak contact and relying on stellar defense. In fact, his only mistake – which led to both runs for the Capers – was his throwing error in the sixth.

“(The defense) did their job today,” said Guarino. “I was painting my corners and trying to get ground balls, but they carried me this game. It was all them.”

Falmouth paired timely hitting with a rough defensive day for Cape (2-1). The Yachtsmen racked up 12 hits and took advantage of eight errors.

Falmouth scored at least once in each of the first five innings, and all eight runs came with two outs.

“We just battle,” said Connor Aube, who was on base four times and scored three runs for Falmouth. “Two outs doesn’t mean anything to us. We just wanted to get rallies going and that’s what we did. We all just wanted to take advantage if they messed up. That’s what you have to do in baseball, take advantage when you can.”

Colin Coyne went 3 for 3 with a run and an RBI, and Garrett Aube had two hits, including a double to kick-start the offense with two outs in the second, and two runs. Tyler Gee chipped in two hits and a run, and Chris Camelio added a run.

“We got things going today. Offensively, I thought we hit the ball really well, hit the ball really hard. We took advantage of some of their mistakes,” said Winship. “Early on, the double by Garrett Aube was a great momentum builder for us. That was a huge hit. It’s only his third varsity game; coming up with a big hit like that was huge.”

Jack O’Rourke had a pair of infield singles for Cape Elizabeth. The first, in the third inning, was the first hit against Guarino this year. Dylan Roberts also had two hits and a run, and Brendan Tinsman scored Cape’s other run.

]]> 0, 27 Apr 2016 22:06:08 +0000
Posternak, Esposito take Athlete of the Year honors in first Varsity Maine Awards Thu, 28 Apr 2016 00:14:00 +0000 GORHAM — Joe Esposito of Portland and Lily Posternak of York won the Athlete of the Year awards Wednesday night at the first Varsity Maine Awards, hosted by the Maine Sunday Telegram.

The event won the respect of its intended audience – the 450 high school athletes, coaches and family in attendance.

“It’s super cool,” said Posternak, who helped York to unbeaten state title seasons in field hockey and basketball. “It’s a really nice event. They did a great job. It was fun.”

Held in front of a lively full house at the Costello Sports Complex on the University of Southern Maine campus, the Varsity Maine Awards – or VMEAs – were co-hosted by hip-hop artist, rapper and music producer Spose of Wells, and TV personality Erin Ovalle. The event featured twin video screens that highlighted each nominee in 12 award categories, most of whom sent in their own video clip through social media.

“This is a different awards ceremony than I’ve ever seen,” said Esposito, a star running back and key member of the Bulldogs’ Class AA boys’ basketball championship team. “It was great that they started this and hopefully they keep it going because it was a lot of fun.”

The trophies for the 12 category winners were specially-made Winterstick snowboards, each inscribed with the winner’s name.

“I love the snowboards. It’s the coolest award I’ve ever won,” Posternak said.

The Athletes of the Year were selected in a vote of the sports staffs of the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal in Augusta and Morning Sentinel in Waterville.

Esposito rushed for 1,606 yards, scored 28 touchdowns and made 126 tackles as Portland reached the Class A football final. He was previously named the Maine Sunday Telegram football player of the year.

Posternak is a two-time Telegram field hockey player of the year. This season she scored 27 goals with 14 assists as York won its second straight Class B title. Then she was the defensive specialist for the Wildcats’ 22-0 championship basketball team.

Posternak’s basketball coach, Rick Clark, was named Coach of the Year. Clark announced his retirement before starting his 34th year as York’s varsity coach. He finished with 508 wins and a fourth state title.

“This was fun,” Clark said. “It (honors) a lot of kids who wouldn’t normally get recognized for some of the special things they do. I liked the different categories.”

The winners in the Coach of the Year and nine other categories were selected by a panel of judges who decided among five finalists culled from reader nominations in each category. Those winners were:

Thornton Academy senior quarterback Austin McCrum as The Clutch Player.

Waterville High unified basketball player Lauren Anderson as The Unsung Hero.

Lewiston High senior and Telegram boys’ soccer Player of the Year Abdi Shariff-Hasson as The Wow Factor.

Yarmouth High, which claimed five state titles plus three regional crowns in the past 12 months, as The School that Rules.

Skowhegan High super fan Joyce Hill as The Loudest and Proudest.

The Vinalhaven High boys’ basketball team as The Comeback Kids.

Camden Hills senior Hilary Merrifield, who plays field hockey, softball and wrestles, as The Role Model.

Scarborough senior and state indoor mile champion Colin Tardiff for The Leap Year.

Ellsworth swim statistician Steve McEachern for The Critical Assist.

Before the awards show, athletes were feted with a red carpet walk into the field house, with plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

“I expected it to be just a small auditorium and a boring presentation, and it was pretty awesome to show up and to see that they had made such a big deal,” said Lewiston senior and two-sport athlete Alasia Branche. “It’s awesome that we’re being recognized in that way.”

Branche was one of the 12 representatives from Lewiston who made the trip to support Shariff-Hasson. Lewiston was also a finalist in the School that Rules category. Massabesic, South Portland, Waterville, York and Thornton Academy were among the other schools with large, vocal audience representation. Many wore their school colors.

Maine Today Media CEO Lisa DeSisto said the genesis for the VMEA came because “we know how passionate everyone is with high school sports in Maine, so let’s get together and celebrate it.”

The feel-good moment that summed up the evening came when Anderson, Waterville’s unified basketball player, took the stage for her acceptance speech and addressed the Waterville contingent.

“Thank you teammates. You’re my best friends,” she said.

]]> 0, 27 Apr 2016 23:01:34 +0000
Photos: 2016 Varsity Maine Awards ceremony underway Wed, 27 Apr 2016 22:59:54 +0000 0, 27 Apr 2016 19:06:12 +0000 Portland Pirates get additions for playoff push Wed, 27 Apr 2016 17:29:11 +0000 SACO — The surprising first-round playoff exit for the NHL Atlantic Division champion Florida Panthers is producing dividends for their American Hockey League affiliate.

The Portland Pirates, tied at one game each with Hershey in their best-of-five first-round playoff series, welcomed back defenseman Mike Matheson, right wing Logan Shaw and center Greg McKegg on the eve of Game 3 in Pennsylvania on Thursday night.

In Florida’s 4-2 series loss to the New York Islanders, Matheson played in five games (including 32 minutes in the double-overtime loss in Game 5), Shaw in three and McKegg in one.

After splitting the first two games at home, the Pirates must win twice in Hershey to advance to the second round against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, which swept Providence in three games that all went overtime.

“I don’t really think we learned anything new in the first two games,” said Pirates Coach Scott Allen after Portland’s practice Monday in Saco. “I felt we were thorough enough in our preparation for them.”

The Pirates won the opener 6-4 on Friday. Hershey, the Atlantic Division champion, responded with a 3-1 victory the next night. In four regular-season games, the teams each won twice. The Pirates hold a 19-18 edge in goals during the six meetings.

“They didn’t have any surprises for us,” Allen said of the Bears, whose NHL affiliate Washington begins a second-round series Thursday against Pittsburgh. “They’re a good team. We know that.”

McKegg, who had to clear waivers before returning to the Pirates, had been with the Panthers since mid-March. He played 47 games with the Pirates, with 10 goals and 13 assists.

Shaw saw action in 56 games with the Panthers and scored five goals. He was recalled three times by Florida and played only 19 games with the Pirates, with 11 goals and three assists.

Matheson enjoyed a plus-14 rating in 54 games with the Pirates, scoring eight goals and assisting on 12 others. He went up for two games in late February before being recalled again in early April for Florida’s regular-season finale and the playoff series; he registered his only point with an assist on a Reilly Smith goal in Game 3.

“These are guys who have been our teammates all year long, whether they’ve been here a month or three months or whatever it is,” said goaltender Mike McKenna. “We’re going to need everybody for sure. If you make it to the Calder Cup finals, you don’t do it with 20 guys. We need everybody.”

The Pirates drew two of their biggest crowds of the season last weekend, a total of more than 9,000.

In 38 regular-season games, Hershey averaged an AHL-best 9,790 at its home arena, Giant Center.

Pirates forward Shane Harper, who has two goals in the playoffs, spent parts of four AHL seasons with nearby Adirondack, so he’s familiar with the building.

“It’s a fun rink to go in,” he said. “You get excited to play there. Even in warmups, it’s pretty packed. So right from the start of the game, the energy’s going to definitely be ramped up. I don’t think it’s going to be a hindrance to us because we’re going to be up just as much as they are.”

Forward Rocco Grimaldi was with the Panthers in late November when the Pirates made their only previous visit to Hershey this season. The arena will be new to him, but not the feeling of a cavalry riding to the rescue.

Last spring in San Antonio, the third-seeded Rampage received three players after the Panthers failed to make the playoffs – including center Vincent Trocheck, who scored 25 goals for Florida this season – just before taking on sixth-seeded Oklahoma City.

“We thought it was going to be a lot easier because we had some of our best players coming down,” Grimaldi said. “And then – boom! – a three-nothing sweep. So we can’t be satisfied just with getting guys back. It’s obviously great to have them but it’s a team game and each guy needs to keep bringing it.”

]]> 0, 27 Apr 2016 19:13:48 +0000
Biddeford native will play a role in marquee NHL matchup Wed, 27 Apr 2016 08:00:00 +0000 Seven years ago, the National Hockey League’s two biggest stars went head-to-head in the postseason as Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins faced off against Alex Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals.

Brian Dumoulin, fresh off leading Biddeford High to consecutive Class A state titles in 2007 and 2008, was playing junior hockey in New Hampshire when the Penguins edged the Caps in Game 7 of a memorable series that saw Crosby and Ovechkin each score eight goals.

Now Dumoulin finds himself wearing the same Pittsburgh sweater as Crosby and trying to defend against Ovechkin as the Penguins and Capitals meet in the second round of the NHL playoffs for what’s being dubbed Crosby-Ovechkin II.

A rookie, Dumoulin played in 79 of Pittsburgh’s 82 regular-season games, more than any other Penguins defenseman, averaging 18 minutes, 53 seconds per game – fourth-highest among Pittsburgh defensemen. A steady, stay-at-home type, Dumoulin registered 16 assists and no goals with a plus-11 rating during the season and one assist in Pittsburgh’s 4-1 first-round series victory over the New York Rangers.

He spent most of the previous three seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, going up for six NHL games in 2013-14 and eight last season before the Penguins summoned him for the playoffs last April. He has remained in the NHL ever since.

“People always talk about playoffs and the atmosphere and what it’s like,” Dumoulin, 24, said by phone this week from Pittsburgh, “but you don’t really know until you experience it for yourself. It was just a lot of fun and showed me how crucial every play was.”

This season, the Penguins were slightly above .500 at Christmas but finished the regular season red hot after Mike Sullivan took over as coach after Mike Johnston was fired in mid-December. They finished second in the Metropolitan Division and have won 18 of their last 21 games.

“I’ve learned a lot,” Dumoulin said. “It’s the most games I’ve played in a season for a while. I’m thankful I wasn’t injured too much.”

One injury that didn’t cause Dumoulin to miss any games was a painful charley horse resulting from a check into the boards from Ovechkin during the Penguins’ 6-2 victory in late March.

“He’s a big guy who can hit,” Dumoulin said. “That’s something you’re aware of.”

Something Ovechkin hasn’t been able to do in five games against the Penguins this season is score. Dumoulin, with a single assist in Washington’s 3-2 victory in early March, has more points than Ovechkin in the season series.

Despite the thigh bruise, Dumoulin was able to return for the Pens’ next game against New Jersey. But two days later in Detroit he was checked face-first into the glass and sat out the remaining three games of March, his only absence all season.

Pittsburgh’s upcoming series will start in Washington at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Another 24-year-old who first laced up skates at Biddeford Arena alongside Dumoulin will be paying close attention. Garnet Hathaway of Kennebunkport made his NHL debut in late February with the Calgary Flames.

“I remember car pooling with Brian and Brian’s family,” Hathaway said. “It’s really exciting to see someone I started out playing with being so successful.”

Hathaway helped Cheverus win the 2006 Class A state title as a freshman before transferring to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He turned pro after playing four years at Brown University. Dumoulin won two NCAA titles at Boston College before turning pro.

Hathaway’s fourth NHL game was at Pittsburgh. A right wing, Hathaway delivered the first hit of the game, 63 seconds in, against Dumoulin.

“That’s part of my game and it just happened to be Brian,” Hathaway said. “We kind of just laughed.”

Hathaway and Dumoulin make their offseason homes in Boston. Both share a taste for fine cuisine. Dumoulin has a reputation as the best cook on the Penguins. Hathaway, for two summers during college, sold lobster rolls in Providence from a push cart.

After a season with Adirondack, Hathaway became part of the AHL migration to California and played for the Stockton Heat this season, aside from his 14 NHL games with Calgary, for which he recorded three assists and 31 penalty minutes.

“I’ll follow Brian a lot,” Hathaway said. “But it’s definitely an exciting series for a lot of NHL fans.”

]]> 0, 26 Apr 2016 21:55:24 +0000
NFL notebook: Manziel’s indicted in alleged attack Wed, 27 Apr 2016 08:00:00 +0000 DALLAS — An attorney for former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel calls the indictment against him “incredible” and said Tuesday that the way it’s been handled so far suggests there are problems with the case.

Manziel was indicted Tuesday on allegations by ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley that he hit her and threatened to kill her in late January.

Crowley said in court documents that Manziel struck her so hard that she temporarily lost hearing in one ear, and the indictment accuses him of “forcing (her) into a vehicle and against a vehicle dashboard.”

Manziel faces a charge of misdemeanor assault related to family violence, which carries up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Manziel’s attorneys said Tuesday that their client will plead not guilty.

One of the attorneys, Robert Hinton, told The Associated Press that he thought police and prosecutors had treated the case as though they didn’t want it to go forward.

Lawyers who aren’t involved in the case have noted that Dallas police chose to refer their case to a grand jury rather than arrest Manziel outright, which is unusual for misdemeanor cases.

“If this were Johnny Smith, the district attorney’s office would have declined to accept the case, in my judgment,” Hinton said in a phone interview Tuesday. “This is not a very credible case. As a matter of fact, it’s incredible. There’s just not much to it.”

Hinton said he did not anticipate making a deal to end the case before trial, though he said talks of any deal were premature.

Manziel is in Los Angeles, but is expected to present himself for booking Thursday or Friday, once the case is formally assigned to a judge and bond is set, Hinton said.

“He’s got a great attitude,” he said. “He’s ready to face it and do what we need to do to defend him.”

Bengals: The Bengals released linebacker A.J. Hawk, a native of southwest Ohio who starred at Ohio State.

Hawk joined the Bengals as a free agent last spring after spending nine seasons with the Green Bay Packers and departing as that team’s career leader in tackles.

GIANTS: Victor Cruz high-stepped with the rest of his teammates during warm-ups for Giants Coach Ben McAdoo’s inaugural three-day, voluntary minicamp at the Giants’ field house.

When the calisthenics session ended, the veteran wide receiver left the light drills to others. He had his own work to do outside.

Cruz continued his rehabilitation from last year’s calf surgery. Coupled with the reconstruction of his patellar tendon in 2014, Cruz has been out of action the past 18 months.

His goal, and the Giants’ desire, is that he not only return this year as a second receiving option to the explosive Odell Beckham, Jr., but that Cruz comes back as the same game-breaking pass catcher who accounted for 23 receiving touchdowns between 2011 and 2013.

Tuesday marked another small step in that process.

“Just the fact that I was out there, just being in those stretch lines after a long, lost year, it felt good just to be out there,” Cruz said. “And then, just doing a pretty good workout on the treadmill behind them felt good.”

The franchise’s evaluation of how far Cruz has progressed will determine in some part whether GM Jerry Reese tabs a receiver with one of his six picks in this week’s draft.

]]> 0 Tue, 26 Apr 2016 21:56:25 +0000
It’s showtime: Varsity Maine Awards tonight at USM Wed, 27 Apr 2016 08:00:00 +0000 Nearly 400 people are expected Wednesday evening for the 2016 Varsity Maine Awards, honoring the best in high school sports from across the state.

The awards show, hosted by the Maine Sunday Telegram, will be held at the Costello Sports Complex on the University of Southern Maine campus in Gorham.

Award winners will be announced in 12 categories, including girls’ and boys’ athlete of the year.

Spose will be the emcee for the ceremony, which starts at 7 p.m. Erin Ovalle will greet finalists on the red carpet starting at 6 p.m.

Here are the finalists in each category:


Jocelyn Mitiguy, Greely soccer; Amir Moss, Portland basketball; Trever Gray, Waterville track; Austin McCrum, Thornton Academy football; Maddie Hasson, South Portland basketball.


Ellsworth; Lewiston; Portland; Waterville; Yarmouth.


Erin Holmes, Greely; Abdi Shariff-Hasson, Lewiston; Luke Fredette, Winslow; Emily Jefferds, Scarborough; Kate Ginder, Cape Elizabeth.


Steve McEachern, Ellsworth swimming; Josh and Tammy Ewing, Hampden unified basketball; Emily Vigue, MCI football; Thornton Academy pep band.


Sanford cheerleaders; Cheverus boys’ hockey; Vinalhaven boys’ basketball; South Portland boys’ basketball; Madison boys’ basketball.


Gray-New Gloucester football team; Christopher St. Pierre, Oxford Hills basketball; Kolbe Merfeld, Cony baseball; Charles Barnard, Portland baseball; Colin Tardiff, Scarborough track.


Ryan Sinclair, Hall-Dale unified basketball; Nicole Budri, Falmouth lacrosse; Hilary Merrifield, Camden Hills wrestling; Curtis McLeod, MCI football; MacKenzie Hoglund, Cheverus soccer.


Lake Region boosters; Al Garcia, Gorham superfan; Joyce Hill, Skowhegan superfan; Morse basketball fans; Medomak Valley basketball fans.


Lauren Anderson, Waterville basketball; Allyssa Hanley, Oxford Hills basketball; David Washburn, Skowhegan (multiple sports); Dillon Boutin, Biddeford basketball; Kate Walton, Ellsworth swimming.


Chris Binette, Massabesic boys’ basketball; Rick Clark, York girls’ basketball; Steve DeAngelis, Maranacook skiing; Stacen Doucette, Oak Hill football; Heather Strout-Thompson, Narraguagus girls’ basketball.


Connor Aube, Falmouth; Matt Caron, Scarborough; Trevor DeLaite, Bangor; Peter Del Gallo, Gardiner; Joe Esposito, Portland.


Tess Haller, Cape Elizabeth; Nia Irving, Lawrence; Libby Pomerleau, Thornton Academy; Lily Posternak, York; Kaelyn Woods, Gray-New Gloucester.

]]> 0, 27 Apr 2016 10:20:52 +0000
With 11 picks in the NFL draft, you can expect the unexpected Wed, 27 Apr 2016 08:00:00 +0000 At its best, the NFL draft is really just a roll of the dice.

You pick a player who excelled in college and hope that he finds similar success in your system. Some do, some don’t. For every Tom Brady (sixth round, 199th player selected), there’s a Chad Jackson (second round, 36th player selected).

Nick Caserio, the New England Patriots; director of player personnel, has said this year’s draft has “depth across all positions.” He hopes to mine some of it because the Patriots have several needs.

The Patriots have been making moves for the last six weeks to rebuild a roster that will continue to evolve through the draft and beyond. Now they’ll look to fill the gaps with younger talent.

While the Patriots don’t have a first-round pick this year, a casualty of the Deflategate saga, they have plenty of other picks: two in the second, two in the third, five in the sixth and two in the seventh.

That’s a lot of picks. You can bet they’ll be looking to move some of them around. Coach Bill Belichick has never been one to stand still. In his 16 drafts with the Patriots, he’s made 54 draft-day trades, including 17 to move up.

“Nothing is really set in stone, if you will,” said Caserio. “You have to be flexible. It’s pretty fluid and you just have to be prepared for when every opportunity comes.”

Given that, who are the Patriots looking at?

Good question, said the guy who just asked it.

When it comes to the Patriots, you can expect the unexpected. No one thought they’d draft a defensive tackle (Malcom Brown) in the first round last year after taking one (Dominque Easley) the year before. No one dreamed they’d take a quarterback (Jimmy Garoppolo) in the second round two years ago. The Patriots drafted offensive tackle Nate Solder first in 2011 when they had two starters returning.

One thing most draft experts agree on is that the Patriots will address their line needs quickly. Or take a running back. Or a linebacker. Or a defensive back. The mock drafts are all over the place for New England.

My guess: unless an offensive star such as Alabama running back Derrick Henry falls all the way down to 60, they address the defense first, offensive line second.

For all the moves the Patriots have made on defense – and I love the signings of free agents Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton and Chris Long – the Patriots have to add depth on that side of the ball because they have no idea who will be back in 2017.

Defensive ends Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard and Long, and tackles Alan Branch, Knighton, Frank Kearse and Markus Kuhn are all free agents at the end of the 2016 season. So are linebackers Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Jonathan Freeny. So are cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan and safety Duron Harmon.

While the Patriots certainly won’t let all of them leave – Hightower, Collins, Butler, Sheard and Ninkovich are the biggest names – they’re going to lose some of them. It’s unlikely any rookie will step in immediately this year, but the Patriots have to have someone ready to step in and compete.

The Patriots selected defensive linemen Trey Flowers and Geneo Grissom last year, but they need more. So look for them to go defensive in the second round. There are a lot of good players who could drop to them, or they have enough draft picks to trade up.

Notre Dame tackle Sheldon Day, Texas tackle Hassan Ridgeway, Nebraska’s Maliek Collins and Mississippi State’s Chris Jones are mentioned prominently as Patriots’ targets. Possible picks at linebacker include Ohio State’s Joshua Perry, Missouri’s Kentrell Brothers or – just because I love the name – Arizona’s Scooby Wright III.

Defensive backs of interest include Maryland’s Sean Davis (a cornerback/safety), USC’s Su’a Cravens (a safety/linebacker hybrid in the mold of Patrick Chung) or Mississippi State’s Will Redmond, a cornerback coming off a knee injury.

Given the need at offensive line, it’s certainly possible the Patriots will move to add depth there. They’ve invested heavily in the offensive line the last two drafts with center Bryan Stork, guards Shaq Mason and Tre’ Jackson and tackle Cam Fleming. But all you need to do is pop in a tape of the AFC championship game, when the line melted under Denver’s pressure and allowed Brady to be hit a stunning 21 times, to see that they need to be deeper and stronger. LSU tackle Jerald Hawkins, Stanford tackle Jon Abbott, Auburn tackle Shon Coleman and Indiana’s Jason Spriggs are possibilities.

Other needs are on the offensive side. If Henry, the Heisman Trophy winner, slides down to 60 the Patriots should scoop him up. If he’s gone, Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon, Arkansas’ Alex Collins and Utah’s Devontae Booker could be good choices.

The team could always use wide receivers and Pittsburgh’s Tyler Boyd, Southern Mississippi’s Michael Thomas, Rutgers’ Leonte Carroo or Oklahoma’s Sterling Shepard could be targeted.

And then of course there’s the quarterback quandary. With Brady’s four-game suspension back on, it’s likely the Patriots will use one of their late picks on a quarterback.

There’s a lot for the Patriots to consider. But if they’re going to continue to contend for championships, they need to address future defensive needs.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0, 27 Apr 2016 13:37:18 +0000
Hawks rout Celtics, take 3-2 lead in playoff series Wed, 27 Apr 2016 03:16:33 +0000 ATLANTA — Kent Bazemore sparked a stunning turnaround with three straight 3-pointers in the second quarter, and the Atlanta Hawks reclaimed the upper hand in their playoff series against the Boston Celtics with a 110-83 rout Tuesday night.

The Hawks are up 3-2 in the series and positioned to close it out Thursday in Boston. If Game 7 is needed, it would be Saturday in Atlanta.

This one started out horribly for Atlanta, which couldn’t make a shot and trailed 29-19 midway through the second quarter. Then, suddenly, the Hawks looked like an entirely different team.

Led by Bazemore, Atlanta ripped off a 28-8 run to take control before halftime. The Hawks totally blew it open with a 42-point third quarter, heading to the final period up 89-62.

Mike Scott led the Hawks with 17 points, while Bazemore and Jeff Teague added 16 apiece. Evan Turner topped Boston with 15 points.

The Hawks made only six of their first 34 shots, the sellout crowd’s groans and moans growing louder with each miss. But Boston wasn’t exactly lighting it up, either, missing a chance to build a bigger cushion.

Then, coming out of a timeout in which mascot Harry the Hawk did a tribute to Prince and the arena was aglow in purple, the Hawks found their shooting touch.

Boy, did they ever go crazy.

Atlanta ripped off 11 straight baskets, five of them from beyond the arc. Bazemore made three in a row, while Teague and Scott also connected from long range. Just like that, the double-digit deficit turned into a 10-point lead.

Even though the run finally ended with Teague missing a shot at the halftime buzzer, the Hawks went to the locker room up 47-39. They didn’t slow down a bit after the break, knocking down 16 of 26 shots (62 percent) in the third to make it a rout.

Celtics star Isaiah Thomas, who averaged 35 points in two victories at Boston that evened the series, managed only seven points on 3-of-12 shooting. He hobbled off to the locker room in the closing minutes with what was described as a mild left ankle sprain.

It wasn’t thought to be anything serious, but there was no need to come back in this one.

]]> 0, 27 Apr 2016 00:24:13 +0000
Raptors’ rally puts them in control Wed, 27 Apr 2016 03:13:22 +0000 TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan finally turned in the All-Star effort Toronto has been waiting for in the playoffs.

DeRozan’s big game, and an even bigger Raptors comeback, put Toronto on the brink of a second-round berth.

DeRozan scored 34 points and the Raptors held on for a 102-99 victory over the Indiana Pacers and a 3-2 lead in their first-round series Tuesday night when Solomon Hill’s 3-pointer was ruled after the buzzer.

“I just felt like my normal self,” said DeRozan, who came in shooting 29.6 percent (21 for 71) over the first four games of the series but connected on 10 of 22 shots in this one.

“It’s all about patience,” DeRozan added. “You can’t get flustered, you can’t get frustrated. You’ve got to stay the course. That’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

The Raptors overcame 39 points from Paul George and a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter, getting 14 points from Kyle Lowry.

Bismack Biyombo had 10 points and 16 rebounds for the second-seeded Raptors, who can clinch the first seven-game playoff series victory in franchise history by beating the Pacers in Indiana on Friday.

“If we don’t come in (Friday) with the mentality like we had in the fourth quarter, it’s going to be a long game,” Raptors Coach Dwane Casey said.

George Hill had 15 points and Myles Turner 14 for the Pacers, who led by as many as 17 and never trailed through the first three quarters before coming unglued in the fourth.

“It’s awful to have had a chance to win on the road, go up 3-2, and come back home,” George said. “Once again, we failed to live up to that moment.”

Jonas Valanciunas scored 11 and rookie Norman Powell had 10 for Toronto.

The Pacers made 13 of 29 from 3-point range but struggled from all over the floor in the fourth, making four of 15 shots and scoring just nine points.

Trailing 90-77 to begin the fourth, the Raptors tied the game with a 15-2 run. Powell stole the ball from Monta Ellis and made a fast-break dunk to knot it at 92 with 6:31 remaining, sending the sellout crowd of 19,800 into a frenzy.

“I think the crowd, the intensity, it took away from us being in attack mode and being confident,” George said.

Indiana had the ball under Toronto’s basket with 2.7 seconds left. Ellis inbounded to George, who fed Solomon Hill, and Pacers players celebrated when his shot went through the net. But video replay confirmed that the shot came too late.

]]> 0, 27 Apr 2016 00:09:20 +0000
NHL notebook: Rangers expect big changes Wed, 27 Apr 2016 02:56:00 +0000 GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Breaking up the band won’t be easy, but it’s happening in Rangerstown.

That strategy was formalized on Tuesday, when Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault, who has guided the team on two deep playoff runs and last week’s quick exit, said the entire club would be re-evaluated and that management would not stand pat.

“We’re at the stage now where we need to look at some changes,” Vigneault said.

“For any NHL team, status quo is not possible and it’s not what’s needed. We want to bring in different players to add to the dynamic. The core guys have been together for a while. It’s time to look at what we can do to improve … I think we look at everything.”

Vigneault deferred questions on how that would be accomplished given salary-cap issues, long-term contracts and players who are free agents, to General Manager Jeff Gorton, who did not meet with the media.

Vigneault said that they had agreed to a seven-to-10 day break before detailed assessments on their “direction” begin.

“We need some time to make sure we don’t do anything drastic,” Vigneault said.

For example, he could not say at this point if all of his coaching staff would be back.

Unrestricted free agent defenseman Dan Boyle’s disappointing two-year career as a Ranger is over and he is leaning toward retirement to spend time with his family.

PANTHERS: General Manager Dale Tallon made it clear after the player’s exit meetings that he wants 44-year-old Jaromir Jagr, an impending free agent, back for another season.

“I just talked to him and he wants to come back,” Tallon said. “Time will tell. I’m sure we’ll come to an agreement of some sort. It’s a win-win for all of us.”

STARS: Injured All-Star center Tyler Seguin is still not back on the ice.

Coach Lindy Ruff said Seguin is not expected to skate in the next few days.

Dallas opens the second round of the playoffs against St. Louis at home Friday night.

FLYERS: Forward Brayden Schenn was suspended by the NHL for three games for a high hit on Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie.

Schenn will miss the first three games of the 2016-17 season.

The charging incident occurred at 14:24 of the second period in Philadelphia’s Game 6 loss on Sunday.

]]> 0 Tue, 26 Apr 2016 22:57:07 +0000
Golf notebook: Woods making progress Wed, 27 Apr 2016 02:50:00 +0000 Tiger Woods registered for the U.S. Open, which was more procedure than pronouncement. Three weeks later, he played five holes during the official opening of the golf course he designed outside Houston. The next step is returning to competition, for which the timeframe remains unknown.

Monday was the first time he had played any golf holes since the Wyndham Championship in August, he said, contrary to speculation that he had played at The Medalist near his home in South Florida. He described those five holes at Bluejack National as “nice and smooth.”

“That’s harder than I have been going at it the last month,” Woods told reporters for Global Golf Post and ESPN. “Just gradually progressing. We’re just trying to progress, and I’m doing that.”

As for the return? Woods said he hasn’t set a date, which he described as frustrating. Then again, he said, he never would have thought he would be this far along five months ago at his tournament in the Bahamas, where he was in pain from two back surgeries.

Woods had to register for the U.S. Open at Oakmont (June 16-19) by the deadline Wednesday. He registered April 4 according to the U.S. Golf Association.

He offered mixed signals to reporters on when he might play again.

Woods said he has to get stronger and faster and that “I’m not hitting it very far right now.” He said he was able to hit the ball as far as he is now without too much effort, and that he’s trying to work on new drivers.

“I know I need to hit a bunch of drivers. But I can’t hit a bunch of drivers,” he said. “I’m trying to figure that out.”

Then again, he said he eventually has to get back to a competitive environment, where he has to be patient and “plod my way along.”

“I can play a lot more at home and get my playing sense back, but tournament golf is so much different,” he said. “And I’ll have to make those adjustments. And the only way to make those adjustments is to get out there in the heat and feel it.”

NOW ON THE TEE: It took two starters to replace Ivor Robson at golf’s oldest championship.

The R&A said Tuesday it has appointed David Lancaster and Matt Corker to announce players on the first tee at the British Open this summer at Royal Troon. Lancaster served as a lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy and now is a corporate consultant on giving presentations. Corker was superintendent of the Royal Hong Kong police and now works at Lancaster’s company.

They replace Robson, who had been the official starter at the British Open for more than 40 years until he retired after St. Andrews. Robson never left the tee from 6:30 a.m. until the final group was announced some 10 hours later.

Lancaster will be the primary starter. Corker will relieve him.

TIME FOR SPIETH: Jordan Spieth is the latest golfer to make Time magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential People.” The 22-year-old Texan was listed under the “Icons” section, and his submission was written by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

“Enjoy watching this kid grow up,” Romo wrote for the magazine. “He will fail and he will succeed, but more than anything, he will make you remember what our heroes are meant to look like. On an off the field.”

Other golfers to make it on Time’s list are Woods (2004 and 2009), Michelle Wie (2006), Phil Mickelson (2010) and Lydia Ko (2014).

Woody Austin leads the PGA Tour Champions money list with $770,080 in six tournaments.

That’s the most money he has made in a single year since 2009, when he earned just over $1.37 million in 24 PGA Tour starts.

]]> 0, 26 Apr 2016 22:54:57 +0000
NBA notebook: Clippers lose Griffin, Paul Wed, 27 Apr 2016 02:50:00 +0000 LOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin is out for the rest of the playoffs after aggravating his left quadriceps tendon and Chris Paul had right hand surgery Tuesday, leaving the Los Angeles Clippers without their top two players for the remainder of their first-round series against Portland.

The team said Griffin had an MRI that revealed no further structural damage to the quad that sidelined him for 45 games earlier in the season. He’s expected to be ready for training camp in September.

Paul had surgery to repair a hand fracture sustained in the third quarter of Monday night’s 98-84 loss in Game 4 that allowed Portland to tie the best-of-seven series 2-2.

Griffin averaged 15.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists, and Paul 23.8 points, 7.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the team’s first four playoff games.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Steve Kerr is the NBA’s coach of the year, after leading to the Golden State Warriors to the best regular-season record in league history.

Kerr got 64 first-place votes from the panel of 130 media members who regularly cover the league. Portland’s Terry Stotts was second in relatively close voting. San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich was third.

Kerr missed the Warriors’ first 43 games while recovering from back surgeries, with the team operated in his absence by assistant coach Luke Walton. Walton finished tied for eighth in the balloting.

Golden State finished 73-9 this season, beating the 1995-96 Bulls’ record of 72-10. Kerr played for that Chicago team.

WIZARDS: Washington announced the hiring of Scott Brooks as its new head coach, replacing Randy Wittman.

Brooks reached a five-year agreement with the team last week.

As coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Brooks went 338-207 and led the Thunder to the NBA Finals in 2012.

MAVERICKS: Dirk Nowitzki isn’t retiring, and the 7-foot German is all but certain that he will spend a 19th season with the Mavericks.

The Dallas star said Tuesday it was “pretty much” crazy talk for Coach Rick Carlisle to suggest after a first-round elimination in Oklahoma City that Nowitzki might consider playing elsewhere.

]]> 0, 26 Apr 2016 22:53:50 +0000
Not easy for players’ union to challenge NFL commissioner Goodell Wed, 27 Apr 2016 02:50:00 +0000 Reinstatement of Tom Brady’s four-game “Deflategate” suspension affirmed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s power – a major point of contention for the NFL players’ association, NFLPA.

The league and the NFLPA have disagreed for years over Goodell’s authority to punish players who violate the personal conduct policy. The union wants a neutral arbiter to issue discipline. The NFL won’t relent.

So why didn’t the NFLPA fight harder to take central power away from Goodell during the last negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement in 2011?

It’s not that simple.

The perception that the union fell short on this issue gained steamed Monday when a federal appeals court ruled 2-to-1 that Goodell did not deprive Brady of “fundamental fairness” with his procedural rulings.

But the players had bigger priorities in 2011 when the owners locked them out. Player safety, revenue sharing, salary cap and an 18-game season were just some of the important issues that impact all players. Disciplinary power in the Commissioner’s hands affects only a few players every year. It wasn’t a problem when Paul Tagliabue, Pete Rozelle and others held the office and it wasn’t a problem under Goodell until recently.

“That authority has been recognized by many courts and has been expressly incorporated into every collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFLPA for the past 40 years,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

The NFLPA successfully negotiated for neutral arbitration for on-field discipline in 2010. Four years later, the union gained independent arbitration for drug violations. Those were major wins for the players’ association because most disciplinary cases fall under these two categories.

“Collective bargaining is a tough process that results in a massive contract that governs the way labor interacts with management,” NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told The Associated Press. “To say that the union ‘gave up’ anything in 2011 is, frankly, ignorant. Player leadership sets negotiating priorities on wages, hours, working conditions and rights based on the gains earned in prior negotiations and contracts.

“When a collective bargaining agreement is signed, there is an expectation that both parties will honor it. If the union believes … that the NFL violated this contract, we challenge their abuse of power.”

]]> 0, 26 Apr 2016 22:56:00 +0000
Tuesday’s Maine college roundup: UMaine splits baseball doubleheader Wed, 27 Apr 2016 02:24:58 +0000 ORONO — Tyler Schwanz singled through the right side to drive in Colin Ridley with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning Tuesday as Maine shut out Rhode Island 1-0 in the second game to salvage a split in a nonconference baseball doubleheader.

Rhode Island (17-20) scored a pair of runs in the top of the 10th inning to win the first game 6-4.

Maine (12-27) scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI single from Brenden Geary and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Caleb Kerbs.

Rhode Island answered with four runs in the top of the third, highlighted by a two-run single by designated hitter Connor Foreman.

The Black Bears countered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning as Kevin Stypulkowski drove Danny Casals home with a lined double and followed him home on a run-scoring single by Ridley.

Ridley went 2 for 5 with triple and an RBI for Maine, and Lou Della Fera added a pair of hits.

In the second game, Eddie Emerson and Nick Silva combined to hold Rhode Island to four hits.

Schwanz went 2 for 3 with his RBI.


ENDICOTT 13, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 11: Wil Jennings led all scorers with three goals and three assists as the Gulls (8-8, 7-1 Commonwealth Coast Conference) held off the Nor’easters (10-7, 5-3) at Beverly, Massachusetts.

UNE led 5-4 at the end of the first quarter, led by Andrew Curro’s team-leading three goals.

Endicott then took control, outscoring the Nor’easters 4-0 in the second quarter.

Dan Auger had two goals and four assists for UNE.


ENDICOTT 12, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 9: The Gulls (7-9, 6-2 Commonwealth Coast Conference) scored four consecutive second-half goals to pull away and hand the Nor’easters (10-6, 6-2) a loss in their regular-season finale at Beverly, Massachusetts.

ST. JOSEPH’S 18, MT. IDA 3: Elyse Caiazzo had four of her game-high five goals in the first half as the Monks (14-2, 8-0 Great Northeast Athletic Conference) rolled to a 15-0 halftime lead and cruised past the Mustangs (3-12, 2-6) at Memorial Field in Portland.

]]> 0 Tue, 26 Apr 2016 22:45:13 +0000
Red Sox beat Atlanta Braves, 11-4 Wed, 27 Apr 2016 02:11:55 +0000 ATLANTA — David Price matched his career high with 14 strikeouts, Travis Shaw homered and drove in five runs and the Boston Red Sox beat Atlanta 11-4 on Tuesday night as the Braves’ staggering home-run drought reached 15 games.

The Braves, who opened the season with nine straight losses, have lost seven straight.

The homer drought is the longest for the Braves in their 51 years in Atlanta. It’s the franchise’s longest span since a 16-game streak in September, 1946, when the Braves were based in Boston. Atlanta is 1-12 at home.

Price (3-0) allowed two runs on six hits in eight innings. The left-hander struck out the side in the eighth to match his career high.

Shaw hit a three-run homer off Matt Wisler (0-2) in the first and added a two-run double off Ryan Weber in Boston’s five-run ninth.

While with Tampa Bay, Price also had 14 strikeouts at Toronto on Aug. 28, 2011.

Xander Bogaerts had three hits, including a run-scoring double in the seventh, in Boston’s third straight win. The interleague series will continue with games in Boston on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Braves (4-16) have hit only three homers, easily the fewest in the majors. Entering Tuesday’s games, every other team in the majors had at least 12.

The 1975 California Angels are the only other team in the expansion era — since 1961 — to have hit as few as three home runs while playing 20 or more games in April, according to STATS.

Wisler allowed five runs on five hits and three walks in five innings. He threw 34 pitches in the first inning. Weber gave up five runs in two innings.

Wisler walked Dustin Pedroia, who had two hits, and gave up a single to Bogaerts before Shaw hit his homer into the second section of the lower level of right field seats.

Braves second baseman Daniel Castro made a spectacular catch of Mookie Betts’ blooper into shallow right field to set up a double play in the fourth.

With Price on first base following a walk, Castro ran with his back to the infield and reached over his shoulder to catch the ball as he slid on the outfield grass. As he was sliding, the ball popped out of his glove, but Castro reached and grabbed the ball with his bare right hand before rising to throw to first base. Price, running on the play, stood on second base watching as first baseman Freddie Freeman caught Castro’s throw for the double play.


There was a video tribute for David Ortiz, making his last visit to Atlanta, after the first inning. Fans responded with an ovation which grew louder when Ortiz popped out of the Boston dugout and tipped his cap, both to the fans and to the Braves dugout. Ortiz did not play.


Red Sox: RHP Carson Smith, on the 15-day DL with a right flexor muscle strain, is targeted for back-to-back appearances with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday and Saturday. Manager John Farrell said Smith could join the team as early as next week when the Red Sox play at the Chicago White Sox. … LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (dislocated right kneecap) will make his first rehab assignment on Thursday at Pawtucket.



]]> 0, 26 Apr 2016 22:32:15 +0000
Binghamton hands Sea Dogs sixth straight loss Wed, 27 Apr 2016 02:05:57 +0000 BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Dominic Smith lined a single to left field to drive in Kyle Johnson in the bottom of the eighth for the winning run as the Binghamton Mets handed the Portland Sea Dogs their sixth straight loss, 3-2 Tuesday night.

The Mets (8-9) took an early lead, scoring an unearned run in the bottom of the third inning. L.J. Mazzilli walked and went to second on a wild pitch. He initially stayed at second when Xorge Carrillo grounded out to third, but headed to third and scored when first baseman Tim Roberson’s throw sailed over the head of third baseman Jordan Betts.

Portland (6-14) took the lead on a two-run double by Bryce Brentz in the sixth.

Maikis De La Cruz knocked in the tying run for Binghamton in the bottom of the inning with a soft roller up the first-base line as Johnson scored from third with the plate uncovered.

The Sea Dogs’ offensive woes continued as they were retired 1-2-3 in seven of the nine innings.

Akeel Morris picked up the win for the Mets, his first of the season, going 12/3 scoreless innings, striking out three batters,

Nik Turley suffered the loss in his first appearance for the Sea Dogs.

]]> 0 Tue, 26 Apr 2016 22:38:05 +0000
Major League Notebook: Indictment reveals details of smuggled Cuban players Wed, 27 Apr 2016 01:17:53 +0000 MIAMI — Cuban baseball players paid a South Florida-based smuggling ring more than $15 million to leave the communist island in secretive ventures that included phony documents, false identities and surreptitious boat voyages to Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, federal prosecutors say.

A recently unsealed grand jury indictment against three men provides fresh details about the smuggling of 17 Cuban players, among them Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox and Leonys Martin of the Seattle Mariners. The smugglers usually took a percentage of any Major League Baseball contract a player signed.

The case is an outgrowth of the previous prosecution in Miami of four people for the smuggling of Martin out of Cuba, one of whom is serving a 14-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors have said the investigation is focused on the smuggling organizations and not on the players.

CUBS: Jake Arrieta says it is “flattering” that “some of the best players in the game” are spreading rumors that Arrieta is using performance-enhancing drugs.

The NL Cy Young Award winner wasn’t naming names Tuesday but said his teammates have heard rumors from other players that the right-hander has used PEDs to fuel his emergence with the Cubs.

“I think it’s funny because I’ve always been in good shape,” Arrieta said. “I just (stunk) early in my career.”

Arrieta went from hyped prospect to disappointing big leaguer while with the Orioles but has become one of the game’s best pitchers since a trade to Chicago in 2013. He has two no-hitters in his last 11 regular-season starts, including last week against the Reds.

TWINS: Minnesota will be without two of its top starters as right-handers Ervin Santana and Kyle Gibson were placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.

Santana has a lower back strain. Gibson is suffering from a right shoulder strain.

WHITE SOX: Instead of making his major league debut, catcher Kevan Smith is headed to the disabled list after injuring his back while stretching before Monday’s game at Toronto.

Smith was called up Sunday after Alex Avila was placed on the DL.

METS: Catcher Travis d’Arnaud was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right rotator cuff. He left Monday’s game against Cincinnati in the eighth inning after feeling discomfort while trying to throw out a base stealer.

]]> 0 Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:28:25 +0000
Rise of Johnny Football is eclipsed by the fall of Johnny Manziel Tue, 26 Apr 2016 15:44:16 +0000 He pushed through a set of red curtains on the way to the stage almost two years ago, wearing a Cleveland Browns lapel pin, a brown Cleveland hat and the combined look of relief and determination.

Johnny Manziel had waited backstage at the 2014 NFL draft for more than two hours, franchise after franchise passing on the former Texas A&M quarterback. Some believed he was too reckless on the field, no matter his 20-6 record as a college starter and the 2012 Heisman Trophy. Others, unable to ignore a pattern of off-field behavior and an apparent thirst for attention, were more concerned about his life before and after the games.

But now it was done. The Browns had traded up to select “Johnny Football” at No. 22 overall. He would be their quarterback of the future, and that night in New York City, Manziel seemed steadfast in rewarding Cleveland for its faith.

“I’m going to work extremely hard to get what I want, and I know what that is. I want to win, and I want to be successful,” he told reporters in May 2014 at Radio City Music Hall. “The amount of time I put in and the heart I put into this, which I know I’m capable of doing, will tell the tale.”

Now 720 days later, the 23-year-old Manziel – who has been in and out of rehab; a regular at parties and on social media; cut last month by the Browns; and seems, for all intents and purposes, to be an ex-NFL player – has been indicted in Dallas on a charge of assault for family violence. If convicted of the misdemeanor, stemming from accusations he attacked his ex-girlfriend in January, Manziel could be sentenced to a year in jail.

Appearing before a grand jury is the latest stop on a swift and serious fall for Manziel, a figure simultaneously fascinating and exasperating. He is talented and stubborn, showing signs in these past two years of a promising future and problems kicking his bad habits. The months since the 2014 draft have outlined – in painful, occasionally repetitive detail – Manziel’s steep descent.

Not long after the draft, Manziel traveled to Las Vegas to celebrate. It was one of many trips he would take to Sin City – for UFC fights, to lounge poolside, to stroll once through a casino in a blond wig. More and more, the “amount of time” he committed to Cleveland faded in favor of another trip to Vegas. If he had free time, he was on a plane. He traveled to Vegas between team activities, during a weekend following a Thursday game in November 2014, after he had been ruled out of the Browns’ final contest of 2015 with a concussion. He made at least eight known trips in the 11 weeks following the draft.

By late July 2014, less than three months after his selection, the Browns were expressing concern in Manziel’s pattern of behavior. Then-Coach Mike Pettine called Manziel that summer after photos circulated of the quarterback rolling up a dollar bill in a bathroom.

“I felt very positive coming out of the conversation and I’m very confident moving forward, now that it’s 100 percent about football, that it will be much less of an issue,” Pettine was quoted as saying then by ESPN.

The Browns started Brian Hoyer over Manziel to begin the 2014 season, which Pettine credited to Hoyer’s poise during the preseason – not to Manziel’s late arrival to a training camp meeting or, during a preseason contest against Washington at FedEx Field, flashing his middle finger to the Redskins’ bench. After 13 weeks, though, it was Manziel’s turn: He responded by throwing two interceptions and zero touchdowns, adding three sacks in a 30-0 loss to Cincinnati. A week later, he pulled his hamstring.

“It’s a job for me now,” he told reporters at the end of his rookie year, promising to spend more time in Cleveland during the upcoming offseason. “I have to take it a lot more seriously than maybe I did at first.”

Four days later, after Manziel missed a mandatory treatment session, Browns security staffers had to go to his house to check on him; the quarterback would later admit he had thrown a party the night before.

In January 2015, Manziel checked into a rehabilitation facility in Pennsylvania, eventually spending 10 weeks there. He appeared, at least for a few months, to have his life in better order. Then the new season began, and in mid-October police questioned Manziel after witnesses saw the quarterback allegedly beating his girlfriend, Colleen Crowley. Manziel told police he had been drinking earlier in the day. Manziel downplayed the incident, posting on Twitter that the altercation “was embarrassing but not serious. . .”

He started six games for the Browns in 2015, and on Nov. 7 Pettine named Manziel the starter for the rest of the year. Manziel reportedly promised his coach to avoid trouble during the team’s bye week. A few days later, a video was posted to the Internet showing Manziel holding what appeared to be a bottle of champagne. Pettine – who along with General Manager Ray Farmer was fired in January – rescinded Manziel’s promotion to starter, in fact making him Cleveland’s third-string passer.

Weeks later, Manziel failed to check in with the team’s medical staff for a required post-concussion examination; the quarterback was rumored to have spent the weekend in Las Vegas. ESPN would later report Manziel appeared to have a hangover during a team meeting before his team’s final game.

He was cited Jan. 6 for driving with expired license plates, and a little more than three weeks later Fort Worth police were called to investigate a possible assault. Crowley, the quarterback’s girlfriend, would later say in an affidavit that Manziel pushed her into a car and hit her, dragging her back inside the vehicle after she tried to jump from it. Crowley also said Manziel had threatened to kill himself.

About a week later, the Browns released Manziel after a career that totaled eight starts, 147 completions and seven touchdowns. That same week the quarterback’s father, Paul Manziel, told the Dallas Morning News his son had refused to re-enter rehab and that without help, he was afraid his son “won’t live to see his 24th birthday” next December.

Manziel’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, cut ties with him in February, and last week Manziel’s new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, dropped Manziel. A marketing firm let Manziel go in January, and this month Nike ended its endorsement deal with the quarterback. He reportedly rented a house in Los Angeles recently and, according to the celebrity website Page Six, caused $32,000 in damage.

Two years ago, Manziel was just a complicated but talented young NFL prospect. “I went into the situation telling myself that everything would happen for a reason,” he told reporters on his draft day back in May 2014, “that I would land wherever I did tonight for a purpose.”

The saga has been brief but eventful, frustrating and sad. Now, a grand jury and not an NFL team will decide what, in the twisting saga of Johnny Manziel, lies ahead.

]]> 0, 26 Apr 2016 17:28:24 +0000
Tom Caron: Don’t be quick to judge Price and Kimbrel Tue, 26 Apr 2016 08:00:00 +0000 April is a time for snap judgments in baseball. Especially in Boston. It’s the time of year when fans decide how much they are willing to invest – both emotionally and monetarily – in the baseball season.

It’s also a time when things can be wildly distorted.

Take the 2016 Red Sox. They lumbered into Atlanta at about 5 a.m. Monday morning, with the glow of a 12-inning win at Houston a foggy memory. Boston got right back to work some 14 hours later, ready to open their final series at Turner Field with a .500 record.

It’s hard to tell a lot about a team that has won as many games as it has lost. Are the Sox as good as they’ve looked in those nine wins – a team that led the American League with 90 runs scored through Sunday, a team that cranked out 55 hits over the previous four games?

Or, were they as bad as they looked in those nine losses – a team with the league’s worst ERA and the most relief innings pitched of any team?

The Sox signed David Price last winter to a seven-year, $217 million contract to solidify the top of the rotation. Yet Price hasn’t pitched like an ace – at least not yet. He took a 7.06 ERA on this road trip, averaging just 51/3 innings per start.

Craig Kimbrel was the other big offseason acquisition, and he’s also struggled to acclimate himself to Boston. He returned to Atlanta, where he began his career, with a 5.00 ERA. He suffered his first blown save Sunday night. He already took a loss in the Fenway opener.

It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that Price and Kimbrel are the latest in a long line of big-money Boston busts, but doing so would be premature.

In fact, a look at the early-season histories of Price and Kimbrel would reveal that 2016 is not unusual – both stars have suffered slow starts in the past.

Price’s career ERA in March and April is 4.14, a run higher than his overall ERA (3.15). His WHIP is higher in April than in any other month, and his strikeouts-per-nine-innings is the lowest.

Last year Price had a 3.48 ERA at the end of April, a full run higher than the league-leading 2.45 ERA he would finish the season with.

Similarly, Kimbrel has struggled at the start of past seasons. His March/April ERA is 3.03 – nearly double his career mark of 1.71. In fact, his ERA drops significantly as the season wears on: May (2.76), June, (1.29), July (0.84) August (0.76). In September and October, Kimbrel’s career ERA rises slightly to 1.55.

Last year, Kimbrel’s ERA was a staggering 5.19 at the start of May. In fact, he wouldn’t really get comfortable until the end of an 11-game stretch from April 18 to May 19 when he allowed 10 earned runs in 92/3 innings.

Over the remainder of the season, Kimbrel posted a 1.44 ERA and .155 opponents’ batting average – the second-lowest of any National League pitcher with a minimum 40 innings pitched in that span.

Power pitchers often take a little while to settle into a season. Those early-season struggles are often magnified, especially when they are trying to earn the faith of a new fan base. Yet snap decisions based on a small sample size are often forgotten by the end of a long baseball season.

The Sox have looked both good and bad over the first month of the season. May is fast approaching. We’ll have a much better feel for what this team really can do by the middle of that month.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.

]]> 0, 26 Apr 2016 00:26:32 +0000
Red Sox Farm Report: Bryce Brentz is back and looking to launch Tue, 26 Apr 2016 08:00:00 +0000 Power was on display in the Red Sox minor league system during the 2010 season.

In Portland, Anthony Rizzo was launching home runs into neighboring Fitzpatrick Stadium. The Red Sox system also featured a couple of pull-happy, left-handers in Josh Reddick (Pawtucket) and Jeremy Hazelbaker (Greenville).

And in the June draft, the Red Sox picked a masher from Middle Tennessee State in the supplemental round (36th overall). Outfielder Bryce Brentz hit 61 home runs over three college seasons and the Red Sox signed him for $900,000 to keep doing the same for them.

Six years later, Boston is looking for power. Rizzo (Cubs), Reddick (Athletics) and Hazelbaker (Cardinals) are hitting homers for other major league teams. The Red Sox are tied for last in the American League with 13 home runs, and no one has more than two homers at the Triple-A or Double-A levels.

Brentz, 27, is back with the Sea Dogs, for now, trying to recapture the swing and oomph that once showed so much potential.

In 2011, Brentz hit 30 home runs combined in Class A Greenville (11) and Salem (19).

Brentz cooled to 17 home runs in 2012 for Portland, but with a .296 average and .833 OPS.

Since then, Brentz has mostly teased with his might while sitting with injuries. In the past three years with Triple-A Pawtucket, he hasn’t played more than 82 games in a season (36 home runs in 204 total games), plus a nine-game cup of coffee with Boston in 2014.

Brentz has been sidelined with knee, hamstring and thumb issues. Entering 2016 – Brentz’s last season with minor league options – he arrived in spring training early and optimistic.

Then, during batting practice, a pain shot though his rib cage.

“I thought it was a little tight,” Brentz said.

Brentz tried to play through it and struggled in spring training games (0 for 16, 12 strikeouts). He was finally diagnosed with intercostal muscle strain.

“The muscles between your ribs,” said Brentz, who has become well versed in ailments.

Brentz remained in extended training when the season began. When he was cleared to play, Pawtucket’s outfield was full, but Portland had an opening. He played his first game in four years at Hadlock on Friday night (a single in four at-bats).

“I didn’t feel any (pain) so that was a confidence booster,” Brentz said.

After three stifling seasons, maybe a healthy year is ahead of him.

“It’s been frustrating but at the same time, it’s part of it,” Brentz said. “Half the battle is staying on the field. I feel like I’m in a good spot – fingers crossed, knock on wood, any other superstition I have to do, I’ll do it.”

MEANWHILE, THE RED SOX have traded some of their big bats, led by Rizzo. He has eight home runs for the Cubs this year after totaling 63 the past two seasons. Reddick was dealt to the A’s, where he has four home runs this year after hitting 20 last season. Hazelbaker was traded to the Dodgers and landed in St. Louis this year, where he is a rookie with four home runs.

PROJECTING POWER can be tricky. Mookie Betts hit zero home runs in 71 games with short-season Lowell in 2012. He swatted 18 in the majors last year and leads Boston this season with four.

BOSTON’S BEST HOME run prospect may be Salem’s Andrew Benintendi, who has 14 extra-base hits this season but no home runs. He broke out with 11 homers combined last year in Lowell and Greenville after being selected by Boston in the first round of the 2015 draft.

The leading home run hitters in the Boston organization can be found in Greenville – Josh Ockimey and Kyri Washington, both with five. One disclaimer about Greenville is the ball carries well in Fluor Field and its “Green Monster” is four feet shorter than Fenway’s (and Hadlock’s) and doesn’t extend much into left-center.

Ockimey, 20, is a fifth-round draft pick out of high school in 2014. He is ranked Boston’s 23rd-best prospect by Baseball America. He’s batting .323/1.093. Washington, 21, a 23rd-round draft pick last year out of Longwood University, is hitting .295/.957.

DAVE DOMBROWSKI TOOK a look at Boston’s prospects in Salem last week. The Red Sox president watched first-hand the production of Benintendi (.333/1.013) and Yoan Moncada (.350/.957, 13 stolen bases).

Aaron McFarling of The Roanoke Times asked Dombrowski how he knew when to move a player up. Dombrowski said there was a combination of factors, including “when you can see that a player is just better than the league.”

In the Carolina League, Benintendi and Moncada are third and fourth in batting average. Benintendi is fourth in OPS and Moncada sixth.


]]> 0, 26 Apr 2016 00:31:11 +0000
Going into Game 5, Celtics and Hawks are familiar foes Tue, 26 Apr 2016 08:00:00 +0000 ATLANTA — At this stage of an NBA playoff series, there’s not much need for extra film work, no point in making any big adjustments.

When two teams are tied heading into their fifth meeting in less than two weeks, familiarity is not an issue.

“We know what they’re trying to do and they know what we’re trying to do,” said Atlanta’s Kyle Korver, looking ahead to Tuesday night’s crucial Game 5 against Boston. “There’s nothing the other team has not seen before.”

While Cleveland and San Antonio breezed through the opening round with four-game sweeps, the Hawks-Celtics series is right back where it started, essentially a best-of-three heading into a potentially pivotal contest at Philips Arena.

After getting blown out in Game 2 in Atlanta, the Celtics bounced back with two nail-biting victories in Beantown, including an overtime triumph Sunday night that evened things up.

The Hawks were kicking themselves for squandering Paul Millsap’s 45-point effort and a 16-point lead in the second half, pointing to a shaky transition defense that allowed Boston to rip off a quick run near the end of the third quarter.

Now, it’s all about the little things.

“It’s going to come down to the 50-50 balls, come down to the hustle plays, come down to that one or two runs that really separates you from the other team,” Korver said.

Boston must avoid the poor starts that plagued the team in its first two games at Atlanta, including a Game 2 debacle that left the Celtics trailing by 21 midway through the first quarter.

“I wouldn’t recommend 24-3 again. Just generally speaking, that would be a bad thing,” Coach Brad Steven said sarcastically.

]]> 0, 25 Apr 2016 22:37:36 +0000
Patriots Beat: Ruling against Tom Brady could put team’s core belief to the test Tue, 26 Apr 2016 08:00:00 +0000 The Patriots always have stressed that their NFL success is all about the next man up. It appears likely they’re going to find out whether that applies to replacing their marquee star.

Tom Brady was sacked for a huge loss Monday when a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 he must serve the four-game suspension imposed by the NFL.

People may be tired of the never-ending Deflategate saga. But you’d better strap on your seat belt, because it might not be over. According to several media reports, Brady is considering his legal options – even if his chances of success appear slim.

“I think we’re going to be talking about Deflategate for a couple more months,” said Daniel Wallach, a sports law analyst with the Becker & Poliakoff legal firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Brady has 14 days to file for an en banc hearing – meaning the case would be heard before the full 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Wallach said he could even see the case going to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It’s not just about deflated footballs,” he said. “It’s about the scope of arbitrator’s power under collective bargaining. It could have an impact in many other cases not involving football. It addresses important issues relating to labor arbitration.”

High-profile cases tend to attract more legal attention. And few cases could have a higher profile than the NFL trying to suspend one of its largest stars.

“The case has bucked trends in Round 1, it has bucked trends in Round 2,” said Wallach. “I would not be surprised if this case has more life breathed into it by an en banc hearing or the Supreme Court.”

Still, Wallach said the likelihood of the case advancing is slim. “During the decade from 2000-2010, the 2nd Circuit only reheard eight cases.

“If you’re asking me if I expect Tom Brady to suit up in Week One of the NFL season, I don’t expect to see that.”

So if Brady’s suspension remains in place, will the Patriots be ready to play without him?

After opening the season in Arizona on Sept. 11, their next three games are at Gillette Stadium – against Miami, Houston and Buffalo. It’s not an imposing schedule, but the Cardinals and Texans were playoff teams last year and the Dolphins and Bills are AFC East rivals.

With Brady, you could see the Patriots going 3-1. Without him, they could still go 3-1. Many fans would settle for 2-2.

And that’s not bad. Twice before, in 2014 and 2003, the Patriots began the season 2-2 and ended up winning a Super Bowl. They were even 1-3 in 2001, which ended with Adam Vinatieri kicking a last-second field goal to beat the St. Louis Rams 20-17 in the Super Bowl.

The Patriots have only one other quarterback on their roster right now – third-year pro Jimmy Garoppolo. He was primed to step in last year before Brady’s suspension was vacated by a district court judge just before the season opener.

Given Garoppolo’s lack of NFL experience – 11 games, 31 passing attempts, 20 completions, 188 yards, one touchdown – it’s likely the Patriots will try to sign a veteran backup, just in case.

And there are plenty of free agents available.

Start with Brian Hoyer, the former Patriot backup who was recently released by the Texans after they signed Brock Osweiler. Hoyer knows the system. Bill Belichick has great respect for him. Hoyer, however, might want an organization where he would have a chance to be the full-time starter, not a fill-in backup.

There’s always Matt Flynn or Ryan Lindley, both in the Patriots training camp a year ago. Ryan Fitzpatrick is highly unlikely because his price tag will be too high. T.J. Yates, Tavaris Jackson, Bruce Gradkowski, and Charlie Whitehurst also are out there.

That Monday’s ruling comes days before the start of the NFL draft works in New England’s favor. If the Patriots weren’t looking to draft a quarterback – and most indications are that they would be in later rounds – then they certainly will be now.

The Patriots don’t have a first-round pick this year – another Deflategate casualty – but they have two seconds, two thirds, five sixths and two sevenths. There should be several prospects in Rounds 3-7, including Kevin Hogan (Stanford), Dak Prescott (Mississippi State), Cody Kessler (USC), Jake Coker (Alabama) or Jeff Driskel (Lousiana Tech). There are options.

And it’s likely the Patriots are going to have to find someone to fill the void left by Brady in those first four games because the odds of a legal victory are no longer in his favor.

“They are markedly worse than they were yesterday,” Wallach said Monday. “Yesterday he was a successful litigant. Today he’s a loser on appeal.”


]]> 3, 26 Apr 2016 09:17:17 +0000
Major league roundup: Pitcher Nathan Eovaldi gets strong win as Yankees top Rangers Tue, 26 Apr 2016 03:58:52 +0000 ARLINGTON, Texas — Nathan Eovaldi lost his no-hit bid in the seventh inning but pitched into the eighth for the New York Yankees without allowing a run in their series-opening 3-1 win at Texas on Monday night.

The Rangers were without a hit until rookie Nomar Mazara, a day before his 21st birthday, led off the seventh with a clean single through the left side of the infield.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Starlin Castro had solo homers for the Yankees.

Eovaldi is only the second major league player from Alvin High in Texas. The other is Nolan Ryan, who holds the major league record with seven career no-hitters.

TIGERS 7, ATHLETICS 3: Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs, Jordan Zimmermann’s scoreless innings streak ended after center fielder Tyler Collins appeared to direct an obscene gesture at fans and Detroit snapped a losing skid with a win at home.

Zimmermann (4-0) gave up a run for the first time with the Tigers following 241/3 scoreless innings, and Collins seemed to take the brunt of the blame from fans.

Collins extended the middle finger on his left hand and waved it from right to left, and also appeared to yell an obscenity as he appeared to react angrily to the booing crowd. He seemed to lose Oakland’s Marcus Semien’s fly ball in the lights, and an error charged to left fielder Justin Upton allowed Semien to reach third. Semien scored after Billy Burns, the next batter, hit a single to end Zimmermann’s unblemished start.

RAYS 2, ORIOLES 0: Chris Archer struck out 10 over 62/3 innings to end a 10-start winless streak as Tampa Bay won at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Archer (1-4) allowed five hits to get his first win since beating the Orioles on Aug. 31. The Rays’ Opening Day starter was 0-7 during the winless stretch.

Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman (0-1) returned from the disabled list and struck out seven while pitching one-run ball through five innings. The right-hander missed the start of the season with a right shoulder strain.

WHITE SOX 7, BLUE JAYS 5: Todd Frazier doubled home the go-ahead run in a five-run seventh inning as visiting Chicago rallied for a win.

Frazier went 2 for 3 with three RBI as the White Sox overcame a four-run deficit to win their fourth straight.

TWINS 4, INDIANS 3: Oswaldo Arcia led off the ninth inning with a home run off Zach McAllister to lift Minnesota to a win at home.

McAllister (1-1) gave up his first run in nine appearances this season.


METS 5, REDS 3: Neil Walker hit his seventh home run in 10 games, a tiebreaking shot in the seventh inning for a win at New York.

Michael Conforto and Lucas Duda also homered for the suddenly homer-happy Mets, who won their fourth in a row overall. They returned to Citi Field after connecting 23 times on a three-city trip.

A year after going 7-0 vs. Cincinnati, the Mets won on a night when ace Noah Syndergaard and the bullpen couldn’t hold an early lead. New York has taken nine straight from the Reds dating to 2014.

Syndergaard came out throwing 99 mph fastballs. The Reds’ plan to slow him also involved speed, as they stole five bases on the big right-hander.

]]> 0, 26 Apr 2016 00:42:20 +0000
NHL roundup: Nashville forces a Game 7 by beating Anaheim, 3-1 Tue, 26 Apr 2016 03:47:43 +0000 NASHVILLE, Tenn. — James Neal scored the winning goal late in the second period, and the Nashville Predators held on to beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Monday night and force the first Game 7 in franchise history.

The Predators had lost the previous five Game 6s when needing a win to stay alive in the playoffs, and they snapped a three-game skid to the Ducks to force this series back to Anaheim for the deciding game Wednesday night.

Shea Weber had an empty-net goal with 10 seconds left off an assist by Neal. Mattias Ekholm also scored a goal, and Pekka Rinne made 26 saves for the win.

Ryan Kesler scored a power-play goal for the Ducks. They return to Anaheim where they lost their last Game 7 last spring in the Western Conference finals to eventual Stanley Cup champ Chicago.

BLUES 3, BLACKHAWKS 2: Troy Brouwer tapped in his own rebound to snap a third-period tie and host St. Louis advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in four seasons, eliminating defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago in Game 7 of their Western Conference quarterfinals series.

It is the first time the Blues advanced past the first round since 2012, when they beat San Jose in five games.


PENGUINS: Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury skated alongside some of his teammates on Monday, but said he’s still dealing with concussion symptoms and is uncertain on when he will return.

Fleury hasn’t played since sustaining his second concussion of the season on March 31, but rookie Matt Murray has filled in capably as the Penguins closed out the Rangers in five games.

RED WINGS: There’s recognition on both sides that it might be best for Detroit and goalie Jimmy Howard to part ways.

Howard said Monday that he’d be “OK” with being traded from the only NHL team he has known, because he understands the situation. The Wings are committed to re-signing restricted free agent Petr Mrazek, who, at 24, is their goalie of the future.

]]> 0, 26 Apr 2016 00:34:23 +0000
NBA roundup: Hornets tie series with Heat Tue, 26 Apr 2016 03:36:05 +0000 CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Steve Clifford has seen that look in Kemba Walker’s eye. It tells the Charlotte coach to just give the point guard the ball and let him go.

Walker responded, like he’s done so many times.

Walker had 11 straight Charlotte points during a crucial stretch midway through the fourth quarter Monday night and finished with a playoff career-high 34 points to lead the Hornets to an 89-85 victory against the Miami Heat, evening the first-round series at 2-2.

“He’s so confident late in games that he will make the play,” Clifford said.

The smallest player on the floor at 6-foot-1, Walker finished 13 of 28 from the field.

“Throughout my career I have made big plays. That’s what I’m known for,” Walker said. “Tonight was a good example of it.”

Jeremy Lin finished with 21 points and Courtney Lee sank two free throws with 4.6 seconds left to seal the win after being fouled on an offensive rebound.

Lin, who kept Charlotte in the game in the first half, said it was fun just watching Walker from the corner – and taking a breather – down the stretch.

“I told Kemba to take us home,” Lin said. “It’s on you.”

Game 5 is Wednesday night in Miami.

Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra called Walker “dynamic.”

“He’s a handful in the pick-and-rolls and there is only so much you can do with that little guy,” Dwyane Wade said. “He’s crafty. … And every time we tried to make a comeback, he hit a big shot.”

Lin also was a handful, maneuvering his body in the lane to draw fouls and get to the line. He finished 8 of 9 on free- throw attempts.

THUNDER 118, MAVERICKS 104: Russell Westbrook had 36 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, and Oklahoma City triumphed at home to win the first-round playoff series 4-1 and advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

Westbrook was 13 of 23 from the field and 7 of 8 on free throws. Kevin Durant scored 33 points, and Steven Adams added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who will play the San Antonio Spurs in a series that begins Saturday.

Oklahoma City shot 50.6 percent from the field and outrebounded the Mavericks, 42-35.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points, Justin Anderson had 14, and Zaza Pachulia added 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Mavericks, who were hampered by injuries throughout the series.


LAKERS: Byron Scott won’t return as coach next season, the team announced late Sunday night.

Scott coached the Lakers for the two worst seasons in franchise history, going 38-126. Los Angeles finished with the NBA’s second-worst record at 17-65 this season, losing four more games than in its previous franchise-worst season in 2014-15.

PACERS: Starting center Ian Mahinmi was limited to non-contact drills at practice because of a lingering lower back injury.

Mahinmi has been listed as questionable for most of the playoff series against Toronto but has started all four games, with the series tied 2-2. On Saturday, Mahinmi scored a career-high 20 points, and had 10 rebounds and five assists, both playoff career highs.

]]> 0, 26 Apr 2016 00:38:31 +0000
Monday’s boys’ roundup: Falmouth collects baseball victory Tue, 26 Apr 2016 03:08:44 +0000 KENNEBUNK — Reece Armitage allowed two hits over six innings and also singled in the go-ahead run Monday as Falmouth downed Kennebunk 5-3 in a Western Maine Conference baseball game.

The Yachtsmen (2-0) broke a 3-3 tie with a pair of fourth-inning runs against the Rams (1-2).

Tyler Gee reached on an error and moved to second when Robbie Armitage was hit by a pitch. Reece Armitage singled home Gee to give Falmouth a 4-3 lead and, after a passed ball, Robbie Armitage scored on Colin Coyne’s sacrifice fly.

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 9, POLAND 3: Josiah Rottari went 4 for 4 with four RBI and a run to lead the Patriots (2-2) over the Knights (0-3) at Poland.

John Henry Villanueva struck out six and walked one, scattering 11 hits for Gray-New Gloucester. He also had two hits and scored twice.

Gawain Tibbetts, Ben Bernier and Gabe Crosby had two hits each for Poland.

WELLS 9, FRYEBURG ACADEMY 1: Charlie Bell hit an RBI triple, and Andrew Skeats and Michael Wrigley each added RBI doubles as the Warriors (1-1) downed the Raiders (0-3) at Wells.

Nick Cousins and Skeats finished with two hits apiece for Wells, which combined for five runs in the third and fourth innings to build a 7-0 lead.

Cousins was also the winning pitcher, giving up one run on two hits, striking out five and walking three over six innings.

CAPE ELIZABETH 16, YORK 4: The Capers (2-0) used an eight-run fourth inning to roll past the Wildcats (2-1) at York.

Cape had five consecutive hits in the fourth, including home runs by Brendan Tinsman and Nate Ingalls.

Dylan Roberts also homered for the Capers.

Christopher Neilsen had a double and a pair of singles for York.

YARMOUTH 4, FREPORT 1: Jack Snyder went 2 for 3 with three runs and two stolen bases to lift the Clippers (2-0) over the Falcons (1-1) at Yarmouth.

Snyder scored on a single by Joe DeFusco that gave the Clippers a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Gibson Harnett gave up five hits and one walk, striking out five batters over 52/3 shutout innings to earn the win.

SACOPEE VALLEY 7, TRAIP ACADEMY 4: Brandon Burnell struck out seven in a five-hitter, had three hits and scored twice to lead Sacopee Valley (3-0) past the Rangers (1-2) at Kittery.

Roderick Maynard drove in two runs, and D.J. Shea and Cam Cyr scored twice each as Sacopee built a 7-0 lead in the fifth inning.

Coleman Pelkey singled with one out in the bottom of the fifth to break up Burnell’s no-hitter. Traip went on to score three times before adding a final run on Alex Foye’s homer in the sixth.

BONNY EAGLE 6, MARSHWOOD 1: Dana McKay held the Hawks (1-1) to two hits as Bonny Eagle (1-1) won at South Berwick.

Arlo Pike of the Scots drove home four runs with a single and a double. Troy Bogdahn also had a pair of hits for Bonny Eagle.

Holden Jackman lined a double for Marshwood.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH 9, WAYNFLETE 1: Pinch-hitter Jacob Maloney hit a two-out, two-run double and Dustin Brown added a pinch RBI single during a six-run seventh inning as the Seagulls (2-0) pulled away from the Flyers (0-2) at Portland.

Logan Melnick relieved in the first inning for Old Orchard with the bases loaded and no outs, down 1-0, and shut the inning down.

Melnick pitched six innings, allowing no runs, striking out nine and walking none.

Sam Cousteau had a double and a pair of singles for the Seagulls.

Ben Mallon finished with two hits for the Flyers.

GREELY 7, LAKE REGION 1: Ryan Twitchell struck out 11 with four hits and one walk over six innings as Greely (2-0) defeated the Lakers (0-2) in Naples.

The Rangers, leading 3-1 after four innings, broke the game open on Brad Spoerri’s three-run homer in the fifth.

Cal Soule had two hits, an RBI and two runs for Greely. Mark Mayo registered two of Lake Region’s hits and the sole RBI.

OCEANSIDE 7, MAINE CENTRAL INSTITUTE 1: Thomas Curtis hit a two-run double and Logan Sheridan added a two-run triple to lead the Mariners (3-0) past the Huskies (1-2) at Pittsfield.

Jake Bartlett struck out three and walked one in a five-hitter for Oceanside.

ERSKINE ACADEMY 13, MEDOMAK VALLEY 2: Erskine Academy (1-1) had five extra-base hits and Luke Peabody hit three singles to lead a 13-hit offense against Medomak Valley (0-2) at Waldoboro.

Nate Howard, Caleb Barden and Cody Beaudoin doubled, and Dylan Presby and Noah Bonsant each hit a triple for Erskine. Howard picked up the win.

CONY 2, CAMDEN HILLS 0: Taylor Heath drove in a pair of runs in the fourth inning to lift the Rams (1-2) over Camden Hills (1-2) at Rockport.

Kolbe Merfeld allowed three hits with five strikeouts and three walks for the win. Riley Boivin and Cam Dunlop each had two hits for Cony, including a double.

Jason Moores doubled for the Windjammers.

HALL-DALE 23, BOOTHBAY REGION 2: Ryan Sinclair drove in four runs to help the Bulldogs (2-0) cruise past the Seahawks (0-2) at Boothbay.

Tyler Dubois drove in three runs for Hall-Dale. Boothbay committed eight errors.

SEARSPORT 7, RICHMOND 0: Troy Reynolds struck out 14 and allowed two hits as Searsport (3-0) rolled past the Bobcats (0-2) at Richmond.

Barrett Grant and Ben Powell doubled for Searsport .

NOKOMIS 4, MARANACOOK 0: Cody Rice picked up the win, and also had two hits and two RBI for Nokomis (2-1) against the Black Bears (2-1) at Readfield.

Rice went six innings, and allowed three hits and a walk, striking out two. Brad Allen added a pair of singles for Nokomis.

]]> 0, 26 Apr 2016 00:19:52 +0000
High school softball: Gorham gets runs late to beat Deering Tue, 26 Apr 2016 02:31:56 +0000 GORHAM — Noelle DiBiase doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and Michelle Rowe followed with an RBI single Monday to help Gorham to a 5-3 victory against Deering in an SMAA softball game.

DiBiase and Rowe finished with two hits apiece for Gorham (2-0), which erased a 3-0 first-inning deficit with two runs in the second, one run in the fifth and two in the sixth.

Grace McGouldrick of Gorham finished with 16 strikeouts and five walks in a two-hitter against Deering (1-1).

FRYEBURG ACADEMY 6, WELLS 3: Alexis L’Heureux-Carland and Makayla Cooper each drove in seventh-inning runs as the Raiders (1-1) pulled away from the Warriors (1-1) at Wells.

Faith Pelkie had three singles and an RBI, and L’Heureux-Carland and Cooper each added a pair of hits for Fryeburg.

Olivia Clay had three hits and an RBI, and Anya Chase added a triple and a double for Wells.

WESTBROOK 13, MCAULEY 2: Maddison LeBeau struck out 13 in a four-hitter as Westbrook (1-1) beat the Lions (1-1) in six innings at Portland.

The Blue Blazes opened a 4-0 lead over the first four innings, then scored six in a fifth inning highlighted by Camryn LaPierre’s two-run homer and three in the sixth on Kayla Horner’s bases-loaded triple.

LeBeau finished with three hits and LaPierre three. Elizabeth Kennedy had a single and a double for McAuley.

YARMOUTH 15, FREEPORT 2: Eleanor O’Gorman went 3 for 5 with a pair of doubles, drove in two runs and scored twice as the Clippers (1-0) cruised past the Falcons (1-1) in five innings at Yarmouth.

Freeport opened with two runs in the top of the first inning but Yarmouth countered with four in each of its first three at-bats.

Andrea St. Pierre, Colleen Sullivan and Cate Ralph each added a pair of hits for the Clippers.

MASSABESIC 1, BONNY EAGLE 0: Grace Tutt scored on a single by Kyra Cartwright in the first inning and the Mustangs (2-0) held off the Scots (0-2) at Waterboro.

Sarah Guimond gave up six hits, striking out three and walking three over six-plus innings to earn the win.

Sarah Howe relieved with a runner on first and no outs in the seventh, then retired the next three batters.

Melissa McDonald hit a pair of singles and Ashlyn Wintle pitched a two-hitter for Bonny Eagle.

THORNTON ACADEMY 13, NOBLE 0: Louisa Colucci pitched a no-hitter, striking out seven and walking one as the Golden Trojans (1-1) handled the Knights (1-1) in a five-inning game at North Berwick.

Abby Pomerleau had three doubles, Kaylee Burns had a double and a pair of singles, and Olivia Howe, Maizie Lee and Hannah Collins added two hits each.

BIDDEFORD 12, WINDHAM 6: Grace Martin’s two-run homer capped a five-run second inning as the Tigers (1-1) took a 9-1 lead against Windham (0-1) at Biddeford.

Martin also had an RBI single during a four-run first keyed by Brittany Roy’s two-run single.

Jocely Moody finished with three RBI and two runs, and Martin and Roy also had three RBI each for Biddeford. Olivia Mora had two hits and two RBI, and Christina Mooradian added two hits and two runs for Westbrook.

SOUTH PORTLAND 2, MARSHWOOD 1: Stephanie Aceto had five strikeouts and no walks while tossing a three-hitter to lift the Red Riots in an opener at South Berwick.

Marshwood took the lead in the third inning when Emersyn Stevens scored on a groundout by Meaghan Sandler.

South Portland scored twice in the seventh on an RBI double by Miranda Gleason and an RBI groundout by Maddie Houlette.

Emily Robida finished with a two-hitter for Marshwood, striking out seven batters and walking three.

PORTLAND 9, CHEVERUS 0: Jess Brown struck out 18 in a no-hitter as the Bulldogs (1-1) defeated visiting Cheverus (0-2) at Portland.

Brown also had two hits, two runs and a pair of RBI. Sydney Gilbert added two RBI and two runs.

LAKE REGION 9, OLD ORCHARD BEACH 6: Brooke Harriman went 3 for 4 with a triple and five RBI to lead the Lakers (1-1) over the Seagulls (0-2) at Naples.

Kaylyn Lorrain added an RBI single, and Liz Cole walked three times and scored three runs for Lake Region.

HALL-DALE 16, BOOTHBAY 0: Becca Ackerson struck out 10, walked two and pitched a no-hitter to lead the Bulldogs (1-1) over the Seahawks (0-2) at Boothbay Harbor.

MEDOMAK VALLEY 6, ERSKINE ACADEMY 3: Josie Jameson had a double and two RBI to lead the Panthers (1-1) over the Eagles (0-2) at Waldoboro.

CONY 10, CAMDEN HILLS 4: Delaney Keithley homered and doubled to lead Cony (3-0) over the Windjammers (0-3) at Rockport.

]]> 0 Mon, 25 Apr 2016 23:22:11 +0000
Maine Milestones Tue, 26 Apr 2016 02:31:56 +0000 Zach Dulac made a hole-in-one on the fourth hole at Nonesuch River Golf Club on April 13. Dulac used a 5-hybrid for the 182-yard shot, which was witnessed by Peter Gwilym, Joe Savino and Paul Reny.

William Ray used a gap wedge to ace the 125-yard 18th hole at Toddy Brook Golf Course on April 15.

The shot was witnessed by Cody McCallister, Tim Morgan and Nate Dupuis.

Nate Leahy-Trask of South Portland carded a hole-in-one on the second hole at South Portland Municipal on April 20, using an 8-iron. Matt Lee and George Christie witnessed the ace.

]]> 0 Mon, 25 Apr 2016 22:51:22 +0000
After slow start, Scarborough pulls away from Sanford Tue, 26 Apr 2016 02:27:03 +0000 SCARBOROUGH — With her softball team struggling early and falling behind by three runs, sophomore Chloe Griffin’s first career home run couldn’t have come at a better time for Scarborough High.

Griffin unloaded a no-doubt two-run drive over the tall left-field fence and into the parking lot in the third inning Monday. The offense came to life from there, and the Red Storm came away with a 13-4 victory against Sanford.

It was the program’s 43rd straight regular-season win and its 27th consecutive victory at home.

“That was huge,” said leadoff hitter Maggie Murphy. “That was a momentum builder. It’s players and hits like that that get us going. When we’re down, things like that get us back on top.”

Griffin added a two-run double and walked twice, and was joined by Murphy (4 for 4, triple, three stolen bases, walk) in scoring three runs.

“That was the key to everything, going out there and getting that big hit,” said Scarborough Coach Tom Griffin. “You could see all of the energy come back. We know any of the girls can do the same thing so it just gave us confidence.”

The Red Storm pounded out 14 hits, and also got two-run homers from Chloe Gorey and Kaleigh Scoville (2 for 3, two walks).

“We worked hard all winter long and we knew we could come back if we just made adjustments each time through the lineup,” said Griffin. “Each time we went through the lineup we were saying to each other ‘OK, we can do this differently or that differently.'”

Sanford pitcher Jen Jones was able to hold Scarborough in check the first time through the order before its depth proved too much to handle as the game continued.

Scarborough sent a combined 22 hitters to the plate between the fifth and sixth innings, including an eight-run, 14-batter sixth.

“The thing that makes them very good is one through nine, they have great hitters,” said Sanford Coach Mike Bailey. “You really have to focus every single batter. There are no freebies in that lineup.”

Added Murphy: “It was just getting everyone to relax, but keep the excitement that we know we’re all good hitters and we know how to come back.

Lilly Volk earned the pitching win, tossing four innings of one-hit relief with four strikeouts, surrendering one unearned run. Abbie Murrell started for the Red Storm, allowing three runs, two earned, in three innings.

“We call it a three-headed monster here,” said Coach Griffin. “We have three outstanding pitchers and we’re going to use all of them.

“It was Lilly’s turn to come in in relief and she was warmed up for the game. She’s a competitor, the kids have a lot of confidence in her, and she comes in and throws a lot of strikes.”

Jones led Sanford, going 2 for 3, driving in two runs and scoring another. Nicole Main, Marli Wilson and Lauren Thompson also scored for Sanford.

]]> 0, 25 Apr 2016 22:48:09 +0000
Porcello blanks Braves, Bradley homers and Red Sox win, 1-0 Tue, 26 Apr 2016 02:23:34 +0000 ATLANTA — Rick Porcello combined with three relievers on a four-hitter, Jackie Bradley Jr. hit his first homer and the Boston Red Sox shut out Atlanta 1-0 on Monday night, giving the punchless Braves their sixth straight loss.

The Braves’ home-run drought reached 14 games, matching the longest streak in their Atlanta history.

Porcello (4-0) won his fourth straight start, allowing only four hits with two walks. Porcello gave up a double to Jeff Francoeur with one out in the seventh and left the game after walking Freddie Freeman. Robbie Ross Jr. stranded runners on first and third by striking out pinch-hitter Erick Aybar to end the inning.

Julio Teheran (0-3) allowed only two hits before Bradley pulled a belt-high fastball over the right field wall for his first homer in the seventh.

The Braves hit their last home run on April 10 and have only three for the season, easily the fewest in the majors.

The Braves also went 14 games without a homer Sept. 11-26, 1970, their fifth season in Atlanta. They haven’t had a longer span without a homer since a 16-game streak in September, 1946, when they were based in Boston, according to STATS.

Closer Craig Kimbrel, returning to his former Atlanta home, struck out Freeman to cap a perfect ninth for his sixth save.

Teheran allowed one run on six hits and three walks in seven innings. He set a season high with eight strikeouts.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez shuffled his lineup with Freeman hitting sixth for the first time since 2012. Adonis Garcia hit third and A.J. Pierzynski hit fourth.

Freeman, the normal No. 3 hitter, took a .177 average into the game and had two hits with a walk. One of the hits was a bunt single toward third base against a defensive shift.

The move down in the order is expected to be temporary. “We’ve got to do our best for him to get out of this thing and get going,” Gonzalez said.

A large turnout of Red Sox fans cheered when David Ortiz was used as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. Braves fans cheered when Arodys Vizcaino struck out Ortiz. The Red Sox also rested Hanley Ramirez after arriving at their team hotel in Atlanta at 5:30 a.m. after Sunday night’s 12-inning win in Houston.


]]> 0, 26 Apr 2016 00:28:53 +0000
Sports Digest: Bates softball sweeps UMaine-Farmington Tue, 26 Apr 2016 02:00:00 +0000 COLLEGES

Bates softball sweeps UMaine-Farmington

Jenney Abbott hit a three-run homer to cap off a nine-run sixth inning as Bates rallied for a 12-8 win in the second game and a sweep of the University of Maine at Farmington on Monday in Lewiston.

Maddie Inlow added two hits, two RBI and two runs scored for the Bobcats (5-28) while Abby Abbott had two hits, two RBI and one run scored.

Alison Hamilton hit a three-run triple for the Beavers (6-19) and Kylie Cunningham had three hits and two RBI.

In the opener, Karen Lockhart went 2 for 3 with a triple, four RBI and one run scored, and Kylie Martin pitched a five-hitter to lead Bates to a 7-1 victory.

Inlow had two RBI.


U.S. WOMEN: Carli Lloyd has a sprained right knee and will miss from three to six weeks, the Houston Dash announced.

Lloyd was injured in the fifth minute of a National Women’s Soccer League match between the Dash and the expansion Orlando Pride at the Citrus Bowl on Saturday.

Lloyd scored three goals in the first 16 minutes of the United States’ 5-2 victory over Japan in the final of the Women’s World Cup last summer. She was also named FIFA World Player of the Year.

EUROPE: Real Madrid Coach Zinedine Zidane expects Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, recovered from injuries, to start against Manchester City in the semifinals of the Champions League on Tuesday.

ITALY: Juventus clinched its fifth straight Serie A title after Napoli was beaten 1-0 at Roma.


JURISPRUDENCE: Johnny Manziel is expected to be indicted Tuesday for a misdemeanor assault charge on allegations that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend during a night out in January.

Already dropped by the Cleveland Browns, two separate agents and all of his endorsers, the 23-year-old will face the possibility of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. The prosecution also further imperils an already jeopardized NFL career.


THOROUGHBREDS: The Breeders’ Cup is returning to its old Kentucky home at Churchill Downs. The two-day event of championship thoroughbred racing will return to the iconic twin spires in 2018.

The Louisville track, home of the Kentucky Derby, has hosted the Breeders’ Cup eight times, most recently in 2011.


LAWSUIT: Rafael Nadal is suing a former French minister who accused him of doping, saying he needs to defend his integrity and image as an athlete.

The player filed a defamation lawsuit against Roselyne Bachelot, France’s former minister for health and sport.

Bachelot said on French television last month that the Spaniard’s seven-month injury hiatus in 2012 was “probably due to a positive doping test.”

BMW OPEN: Sixth-seeded Thomaz Bellucci advanced to the second round at Munich when Mikhail Youzhny fell ill and retired as bad weather, including light snowfall, disrupted the opening day.


RETIRING: Former time-trial world champion Michael Rogers of Australia has retired from competitive cycling because of a heart condition.

Rogers, 36, is a bronze medalist from the 2004 Olympics who also won three consecutive time-trial world championships.

]]> 0 Mon, 25 Apr 2016 22:12:53 +0000
Mets rally to beat Sea Dogs in Binghamton, 6-4 Tue, 26 Apr 2016 01:34:57 +0000 BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — The Binghamton Mets know what a long losing streak looks like. They lost six straight before finally winning Sunday.

Now it’s the Portland Sea Dogs attempting to shed the burden of losing.

Portland’s losing streak reached five games Monday night when Binghamton scored in each of its final four at-bats and rallied past the Sea Dogs for a 6-4 victory.

The Sea Dogs (6-13) have the worst record in the Eastern League.

Still, Portland did see some positives from an offense that ranks last in the league in batting average and runs, and started the night tied for last in home runs.

When the Sea Dogs managed three runs in the fifth inning, it was more than they had produced in the previous five games combined.

When Jordan Betts hit a homer with two outs in the ninth, it was the first by the team in 15 games.

“I think the offense was the bright spot of the game,” Sea Dogs Manager Carlos Febles said. “We’ve been struggling offensively. I don’t remember the last time we were able to score more than two runs in a game, so we got some positives out of it.”

The last time was a 4-2 victory against Trenton on April 19. The Sea Dogs added a 1-0 win over the Thunder the next day and haven’t won since.

Tzu-Wei Lin’s bases-loaded double accounted for two runs in the fifth inning when the Sea Dogs moved in front, 3-1.

Binghamton got one run in 31/3 innings of relief by Mitch Atkins, who entered when starter Kevin McAvoy had control problems.

“He kept us in the game,” Febles said of Atkins, who struck out five, didn’t walk a batter and gave up three of his four hits on singles in the fifth inning. He left the game with the lead.

The Sea Dogs couldn’t hold it.

Binghamton scored a run in the sixth, and two each in the seventh and eighth.

Febles said the game came down to two plays, one in the infield and one on a pitch.

The tying run came when Lin tried to make a tough play from short for the third out of the sixth and instead threw the ball away as the tying run scored.

“He was trying to be aggressive and make a play for the team,” Febles said.

After giving up the lead on the unearned run, Chandler Shepherd (1-1) allowed two more in the sixth: Matt Oberste singled and Victor Cruzado followed with a two-run homer to right.

Febles said Shepherd, who recovered to retire the next three batters, otherwise threw well.

McAvoy’s return to upstate New York went sour.

The graduate of Westhill High in Syracuse, 73 miles to the north of Binghamton, last pitched at NYSEG Stadium in the 2010 state semifinals when he got the win. He was prominent in two baseball and one basketball state title for Westhill, but his return did not go well.

McAvoy, who won his first three Eastern League starts and has accounted for half of the Sea Dogs’ wins this season, couldn’t get through the second inning.

He walked or hit seven of the last nine batters he faced.

After issuing a bases-loaded walk for the game’s first run with two outs in the second, McAvoy left without having allowed a hit.

]]> 0 Mon, 25 Apr 2016 22:59:46 +0000
Major league notebook: Orioles option Ryan Flaherty to minors Tue, 26 Apr 2016 00:49:46 +0000 ST. PETERSBURG. Fla. — The Baltimore Orioles reinstated right-hander Kevin Gausman from the 15-day disabled list and optioned infielder Ryan Flaherty to Triple-A Norfolk.

The moves were made before Monday night’s game at Tampa Bay.

Gausman, on the DL since opening day with a right shoulder strain, was scheduled to make his first start of the season against the Rays.

Flaherty, a Portland native, is 2 for 10 in four games this season.

YANKEES: Alex Rodriguez says he feels good a day after coming out of a game because of stiffness in his left side.

Rodriguez wasn’t in the lineup for the New York Yankees for their series opener Monday night at Texas.

In Sunday’s 8-1 home loss to Tampa Bay, Rodriguez drove in New York’s run with a fourth-inning double that snapped a 1-of-18 slide.

Rodriguez was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the sixth after he felt something amiss in his lower back.

MARINERS: Seattle placed right-handed reliever Joaquin Benoit on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder.

Seattle made the roster move Monday before opening a three-game series against Houston, retroactive to April 22.

The Mariners recalled right-hander Mayckol Guaipe from Triple-A Tacoma to take Benoit’s roster spot.

Benoit has been Seattle’s main reliever in the eighth inning this season, but was unavailable for a couple of games earlier this month due to the shoulder issue.

INDIANS: Starter Carlos Carrasco could miss six weeks because of a strained left hamstring, a significant blow to Cleveland’s staff.

Carrasco got hurt while covering first base in the third inning of his start Sunday in Detroit. He returned to Cleveland for an MRI, which the team said revealed a moderate strain. The right-hander, who had a breakout 2015 with 14 wins, will be out for at least one month.

Cleveland also activated star outfielder Michael Brantley, who had been on the disabled list since the start of the season after right shoulder surgery in October.

TWINS: Center fielder Byron Buxton was sent back to the minors after the organization’s top prospect had another rough start at the plate. Buxton, 22, is batting .156 with 24 strikeouts in 45 at-bats. He also struggled to hit in his 46-game debut last season.

ROCKIES: Colorado reinstated catcher Nick Hundley from the disabled list and optioned struggling right-hander Jordan Lyles to Triple-A Albuquerque. Hundley has been out since mid-April with a concussion.

REDS: Right fielder Jay Bruce went on the three-day paternity list and right-handed reliever Layne Somsen was called up from Triple-A Louisville. Bruce leads the Reds with 15 RBI and is hitting .265 with four home runs.

He’s in Houston this week with wife Hannah for the birth of their first child.

]]> 0, 25 Apr 2016 21:46:17 +0000
Johnny Manziel indicted on charge of assaulting ex-girlfriend Mon, 25 Apr 2016 17:12:11 +0000 DALLAS — A Dallas County grand jury voted to indict former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel after an allegation that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend.

The indictment will be made public Tuesday.

Manziel faces a charge of misdemeanor assault. He is accused of kidnapping, hitting and threatening to kill ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley earlier this year.

Dallas police referred a Class A misdemeanor domestic violence assault case to a grand jury instead of making an arrest. Typically, Dallas County’s grand juries hear only felony cases.

One of Manziel’s attorneys, Bob Hinton, said Monday that the 2012 Heisman trophy winner will plead not guilty. Hinton said Manziel remains in Los Angeles.

Once the indictment is official, Hinton said, the attorneys will appear before a judge.

“Judge, set the bond at whatever you think is right,” Hinton said he plans to say. “We will produce Johnny and we will pay the bond.

“We are not asking for any special treatment.”

Hinton said he could not yet address how Manziel is doing or if he is seeking treatment as he has before for alcohol use.

“Johnny is coming around. He is awfully young and he is thrust into the maturation process,” Hinton said. “It is unfortunate that these circumstances have presented themselves.”

Dallas police referred a Class A misdemeanor domestic violence assault case to a grand jury instead of making an arrest. Typically, Dallas County’s grand juries hear only felony cases.

The maximum punishment for a Class A misdemeanor assault is a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

The grand jury voted Thursday to indict Manziel, but in Dallas County, indictments are official after two working days. In Dallas County, unlike smaller counties, four grand juries meet multiple times each week to hear cases. Indictments require paperwork and staffing before they are formally issued.

It was not immediately clear why the indictment was delayed a day, although grand jury referrals are somewhat different from other cases heard by the grand jury.

It was almost certain Manziel was going to be indicted after a “no bill” — a notice that he was not indicted — was not issued on Thursday.

The NFL’s own investigation into the incident is ongoing, a league spokesman said Monday.

If Manziel signs with a new team, he would be subject to all aspects of the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

If the NFL rules that Manziel violated the policy, he would be suspended without pay for at least six games for a first offense and would face a lifetime ban from the NFL for a second offense.

Manziel doesn’t have to be found guilty in court to face punishment by the league.

It’s been a bad month for Manziel.

He was dropped by his agent and lost all his endorsement deals.

Manziel released a statement last week, saying he still hopes to play pro football this year and that he needed to resolve his problems. Manziel’s NFL future is uncertain. He was cut by the Browns in March after two tumultuous seasons marked by inconsistent play and off-the-field headlines about partying and drinking. He had a stint in rehab.

“I’m hoping to take care of the issues in front of me right now so I can focus on what I have to do if I want to play in 2016,” Manziel said in a statement to USA Today. “I also continue to be thankful to those who really know me and support me.”

He’s been dropped by two agents. The first, Erik Burkhardt, cut ties with Manziel after last season. Burkhardt’s successor, Drew Rosenhaus, dropped the quarterback last week after giving him five days to seek help.

Manziel, 23, is accused of abusing Crowley in a fight over another woman Jan. 29 at Hotel ZaZa in Dallas. Crowley and Manziel broke up in December after dating for two years and living together in Cleveland. She said she saw him that night in January when he invited her to his hotel room to talk.

Crowley, also 23, told police that Manziel slapped her on the head and ruptured her left eardrum, causing her to lose her hearing.

She said Manziel hit her, dragged her by the hair, forced her into a car and drove her to Fort Worth, where she lives.

Dallas police opened an investigation on Feb. 5, a day after Crowley alleged in a Fort Worth police report that Manziel had hit her at the hotel.

Investigators interviewed witnesses at the hotel and reviewed hotel video.

Dallas and Fort Worth police eventually combined the cases into one. Dallas had jurisdiction because Crowley alleged that the assault began there.

]]> 0, 25 Apr 2016 18:58:50 +0000
Warriors’ Curry will miss at least two weeks Mon, 25 Apr 2016 16:49:02 +0000 OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry will miss at least two weeks for Golden State with a sprained ligament in his right knee, dealing a blow to the Warriors’ hopes of following a record-breaking season with a second straight championship.

The Warriors said an MRI on Curry’s knee Monday determined he had a Grade 1 sprain of the MCL and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

That timetable would lead to Curry missing the rest of the first round of the playoffs and likely at least the first four games in round two if the Warriors are able to advance.

Golden State leads Houston 3-1 in its first-round series. Game 5 is Wednesday night in Oakland.

Curry was injured on the final play of the first half of Sunday’s 121-94 win in Houston when he slid awkwardly on a wet spot on the court and fell. He immediately grabbed his knee and jogged with a limp to the locker room.

He came out with the team after halftime, but sat on the bench for most of the warmup time. After talking with coaches, he returned to the locker room with his second injury of the series. Curry had missed the previous two games with a sprained right ankle.

The Warriors thrived without Curry on Sunday, hitting eight 3-pointers in the third quarter alone to turn a tie game into a 21-point lead on the way to the easy win.

But doing that without the reigning MVP for a longer period of time figures to be more problematic. The Warriors have gone 3-2 this season without Curry playing, including wins against the Rockets on New Year’s Eve and at home in Game 2. Golden State also lost Game 3 in Houston by one point while Curry sat with the ankle injury.

Replacing everything Curry does is almost impossible because no one has ever had the collection of skills he has with the ability to spread the defense with long-range shooting, the ballhandling to create his own shot and the playmaking that leads to easy baskets for his teammates.

Curry led the NBA this season by averaging 30.1 points per game, while averaging 6.7 assists, 5.4 rebounds and a league-leading 2.1 steals as well. Curry made a record 402 3-pointers, eclipsing his own previous mark by 116.

While backup point guard Shaun Livingston and do-everything power forward Draymond Green can shoulder much of the playmaking load and Klay Thompson is the second-best 3-point shooter in the league, the Warriors go from a historically great team that won a record 73 games in the regular season with Curry in the lineup to a vulnerable one if he misses significant time.

With a 3-1 series lead and two potential games at home against the eighth-seeded Rockets, Golden State is still primed to advance to the second round without Curry. But a second-round series against either the Los Angeles Clippers or Portland would be much more problematic.

The second round of the playoffs won’t start until this weekend at the earliest. No matter when the second round starts, Game 4 would likely be either May 8 or 9, which will be in two weeks.

That would make Curry’s earliest possible return in Game 5 but Golden State could be forced to go the entire round without him, which could open a path for teams like San Antonio, Oklahoma City, the Clippers or Cleveland to win the title.

The Warriors benefited from injuries to opponents last season on the way to the NBA title with Memphis point guard Mike Conley missing time in the second round and Cleveland missing point guard Kyrie Irving for the last five games and power forward Kevin Love for the entire NBA finals.

This would not be the first time a playoff injury potentially derailed a historic run. In 1972-73, the Celtics won 68 games in the regular season but star forward John Havlicek injured his right shoulder in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the New York Knicks. Havlicek missed one game and played hurt in the final three as New York won the series in seven games.

The Los Angeles Lakers rolled through the 1989 playoffs with 11 straight wins to get to the finals as they sought a third straight title. Byron Scott pulled his hamstring before Game 1 and missed the entire series against Detroit and Magic Johnson then injured his hamstring with the Lakers leading in the second half of Game 2. The Pistons came back to win that game and sweep the series against the short-handed Lakers.

Just four years ago, the Chicago Bulls tied for the best record in the NBA in the lockout-shortened regular season only to lose point guard Derrick Rose to a torn ACL in Game 1 of the playoffs against Philadelphia. The Bulls lost the series in six games.

]]> 0, 25 Apr 2016 16:18:29 +0000
Judges rule Tom Brady must serve 4-game ‘Deflategate’ suspension Mon, 25 Apr 2016 15:42:43 +0000 NEW YORK — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady must serve the four-game suspension imposed by the NFL in the “Deflategate” case, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, overturning a lower-court judge and siding with the league in a battle with the players union.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled 2-1 that Commissioner Roger Goodell did not deprive Brady of “fundamental fairness” with his procedural rulings. The split decision may end the legal debate over the scandal that led to months of arguments over air pressure and the reputation of one of the league’s top teams.

It also fuels a fresh round of debate over what role, if any, Brady played in using underinflated footballs in the AFC championship game in January 2015. The Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7, then won the Super Bowl two weeks later.

The ruling can be appealed to the full 2nd Circuit or to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it would likely be a steep and time-consuming climb even if the courts took the unusual step of considering it.

In a majority opinion written by Judge Barrington D. Parker, the 2nd Circuit said its review of labor arbitration awards “is narrowly circumscribed and highly deferential – indeed, among the most deferential in the law.”

“Our role is not to determine for ourselves whether Brady participated in a scheme to deflate footballs or whether the suspension imposed by the Commissioner should have been for three games or five games or none at all. Nor is it our role to second-guess the arbitrator’s procedural rulings,” the opinion said. “Our obligation is limited to determining whether the arbitration proceedings and award met the minimum legal standards established by the Labor Management Relations Act.”

The panel said the contract between players and the NFL gives the commissioner authority that is “especially broad.”

“Even if an arbitrator makes mistakes of fact or law, we may not disturb an award so long as he acted within the bounds of his bargained-for authority,” the court said.

In a dissent, Chief Judge Robert Katzmann said Goodell failed to even consider a “highly relevant” alternative penalty.

“I am troubled by the Commissioner’s decision to uphold the unprecedented four-game suspension,” Katzmann said. “It is ironic that a process designed to ensure fairness to all players has been used unfairly against one player.”

The NFL Players Association said in a statement that it is disappointed.

“We fought Roger Goodell’s suspension of Tom Brady because we know he did not serve as a fair arbitrator and that players’ rights were violated under our collective bargaining agreement,” the statement said. “Our union will carefully review the decision, consider all of our options and continue to fight for players’ rights and for the integrity of the game.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the court ruled that Goodell acted properly in cases involving the integrity of the game.

“That authority has been recognized by many courts and has been expressly incorporated into every collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFLPA for the past 40 years,” McCarthy said.

In September, Manhattan Judge Richard Berman ruled against the league, letting Brady skip the suspension last season. Goodell insisted that the suspension was deserved.

The appeals court settled the issue well before the start of the 2016 season, avoiding the tension that built last year when Brady didn’t learn until a week before the season whether he would be allowed to start in the Patriots’ opener.

The Patriots open the 2016 season Sept. 11 at Arizona, followed by games at home against the Dolphins, Texans and Bills. Brady’s backup at quarterback is Jimmy Garoppolo, who appeared in 11 games over his first two seasons but hasn’t made a start.

In oral arguments in March, appeals judges seemed skeptical of arguments on Brady’s behalf by the NFL Players Association.

Circuit Judge Denny Chin said evidence of ball tampering was “compelling, if not overwhelming” and there was evidence that Brady “knew about it, consented to it, encouraged it.”

The league argued that it was fair for Goodell to severely penalize Brady after he concluded the star quarterback tarnished the game by impeding the NFL’s investigation by destroying a cellphone containing nearly 10,000 messages.

Parker said the cellphone destruction raised the stakes “from air in a football to compromising the integrity of a proceeding that the commissioner had convened.”

“So why couldn’t the commissioner suspend Mr. Brady for that conduct alone?” he asked. Parker added: “With all due respect, Mr. Brady’s explanation of that made no sense whatsoever.”

Parker also was critical of the NFL during the arguments, saying Brady’s lengthy suspension seemed at “first blush a draconian penalty.”

]]> 20, 25 Apr 2016 23:53:33 +0000
Red Sox beat Astros in 12 innings Mon, 25 Apr 2016 05:26:24 +0000 HOUSTON — Jackie Bradley Jr. singled home the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th inning early Monday morning, and the Boston Red Sox survived a blown save by Craig Kimbrel as they beat the Houston Astros 7-5 in a game that lasted more than five hours.

The Red Sox led 5-3 with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth, but Carlos Correa doubled just over the leap of right fielder Mookie Betts and Colby Rasmus followed with a game-tying home run.

Heath Hembree, Boston’s sixth pitcher of the night, earned the victory with three scoreless innings.

Back-to-back singles by Hanley Ramirez and Travis Shaw started the winning rally against Astros reliever Ken Giles. After a sacrifice bunt by Brock Holt, Ryan Hanigan drew a 13-pitch walk to load the bases for Bradley, who hit a line drive to right.

Hanigan scored an insurance on a wild pitch.

IF JOHN FARRELL has lost the Red Sox clubhouse, if his players are tired of playing for him and if the 53-year-old manager’s voice has grown stale, there are no clear signs of it.

“I think he’s done fine,” said Dave Dombrowski, the president of baseball operations, when asked about Farrell’s performance during a conversation with the Boston Herald. “I think he’s a good manager, actually.”

From eschewing his first chance to pinch-hit for red-hot Travis Shaw with lefty-mashing specialist Chris Young, to using Young against a right-handed starter, to his bullpen management during tight games in a season-opening homestand, Farrell’s in-game decision-making has been dissected and critiqued by sports talk radio hosts, newspaper columnists and, surely, thousands of fans across New England.

Farrell knew what he was getting into when the season began. It’s part of the job in Boston, where coaches and managers can’t go long without winning before speculation begins to swirl about their job security.

It’s his fourth year as the Red Sox manager. Since winning a World Series in 2013, the Red Sox are 157-183. Some might believe it’s time for Farrell to move on.

Farrell was asked how he’s been handling the pressure.

“I have higher expectations than anyone else,” he said.

Asked if he’s been ignoring the voices that have been clamoring for his job, Farrell was resolute.

“I care about our players, and that’s where my focus remains,” he said. “It’s always been there.”

Dombrowski made his support for Farrell clear.

“I think John Farrell has done a fine job managing our team,” Dombrowski said. “The only thing I would tell him is the same I would tell any manager: You need to manage with your conviction. Whatever you believe is the right move, you’re the one who is most knowledgeable in the case, and you do what you think is the right thing to do.”

]]> 0, 25 Apr 2016 10:04:35 +0000
Major League Roundup: Nationals beat Twins in 16th Mon, 25 Apr 2016 02:09:21 +0000 WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper tied it with a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning, pitcher Oliver Perez put down a bunt in the 15th that kept the game going and Chris Heisey homered in the 16th to give the Washington Nationals a wild 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins.

At 5 hours, 56 minutes, it was the longest regular-season game in Nationals history, and one of the craziest, too.

Harper was supposed to have a day off, but stepped up to lead off the ninth with Washington trailing 4-3 and connected for the first pinch-hit homer of his career.

The Nationals were down 5-4 in the 15th when Danny Espinosa drew a two-out walk and stole second. With no one else left to hit, Perez (1-0) batted for the first time since 2010 and bunted down the third-base line. Catcher John Ryan Murphy picked up the ball but threw it wildly past first, allowing Espinosa to score.

American League

RAYS 8, YANKEES 1: Steven Souza Jr. homered twice on his 27th birthday and Tampa Bay went deep five times, finally giving Drew Smyly some run support in a victory in New York.

BLUE JAYS 6, A’S 3: Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer, Ezequiel Carrera added a solo shot and Toronto won at home.

INDIANS 6, TIGERS 3: Francisco Lindor got three hits and Cleveland overcame an early injury to starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco to win in Detroit, finishing a three-game sweep.

WHITE SOX 4, RANGERS 1: Mat Latos pitched six solid innings for his fourth consecutive win, and Chicago beat Texas in Chicago.

ROYALS 6, ORIOLES 1: Yordano Ventura settled down after a shaky first inning, Eric Hosmer homered to continue his hot streak and host Kansas City beat Baltimore.

MARINERS 9, ANGELS 4: Wade Miley overcame a shaky first inning that included a home run by slumping Albert Pujols to post his first victory in a Mariners uniform, helping Seattle win in Anaheim, California.


Pirates 12, Diamondbacks 10: Arizona pitcher Shelby Miller played left field and chased after Sean Rodriguez’s go-ahead double in the 13th inning before striking out to end the game, and Pittsburgh beat the Diamondbacks in Phoenix.

CUBS 9, REDS 0: Anthony Rizzo drove in four runs with his 10th career two-homer game, Jason Hammel pitched six scoreless innings and Chicago routed host Cincinnati.

BREWERS 8, PHILLIES 5: Scooter Gennett and Alex Presley homered in a six-run sixth inning, backing an encouraging outing by struggling starter Wily Peralta in host Milwaukee’s victory over Philadelphia.

METS 3, BRAVES 2: Jacob deGrom made a successful return to the mound after tending to his ill infant son and an injury, pitching New York to a win in Atlanta for a three-game sweep.

MARLINS 5, GIANTS 4: J.T. Realmuto matched his career high with four hits, including a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, and Miami won in San Francisco to avoid a three-game sweep.

ST. LOUIS 8, SAN DIEGO 5: Jedd Gyorko homered, tripled and singled, and rookie Aledmys Diaz had a homer among his three hits as St. Louis rallied to win in San Diego.

DODGERS 12, ROCKIES 10: Chase Utley drove in the go-ahead run with a double in Los Angeles’ five-run ninth, and the Dodgers won in Denver.

]]> 0, 24 Apr 2016 22:19:22 +0000
Sports Digest: Former Patriots defensive tackle Brace found dead Mon, 25 Apr 2016 01:33:39 +0000 FOOTBALL

Former Patriots’ defensive tackle Brace found dead

Ron Brace, a former defensive tackle for the New England Patriots, died Sunday at age 29.

The cause of death was not immediately known. Police told that the death was not suspicious.

Brace, was the 40th overall pick of the 2009 draft out of Boston College. He played 29 games and made seven starts, but his career was shortened by injuries.


PREMIER LEAGUE: Even with top-scorer Jamie Vardy suspended, league leader Leicester overpowered Swansea 4-0 in London to move another step closer to collecting the trophy.

The only team that can catch Leicester is Tottenham, but the preseason 5,000-1 outsiders have their destiny in their own hands. Tottenham is eight points behind Leicester in second place going into Monday’s game against West Bromwich Albion.

FA CUP: Connor Wickham headed Crystal Palace into the final for the first time in 26 years as his team beat Watford 2-1 at Wembley Stadium.

The south London side will meet Manchester United on May 21 in a repeat of the 1990 final, which United won after a replay.

Road racing

LONDON MARATHON: Eliud Kipchoge defended his London Marathon title by running only eight seconds slower than the world record and setting a course record on a chilly morning.

The 31-year-old Kenyan completed the 26.2-mile route in front of Buckingham Palace in 2 hours, 3 minutes, 5 seconds.

The world record of 2:02:57 was set by Dennis Kimetto in 2014.

Stanley Biwott was 46 seconds behind Kipchoge, while Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia was third.

Jemima Sumgong of Kenya won the women’s race in 2:22:58 after overcoming a fall with about four miles remaining. Defending champion Tigist Tufa of Ethiopia was five seconds behind, and Florence Kiplagat of Kenya was third.


INDYCAR: Simon Pagenaud led most of the way and overcame late contact with Graham Rahal to win at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, for his second straight victory.

OPS: Reigning Oxford 250 champion Glen Luce of Turner opened his season with a victory in the Super Late Model 50-lap feature at Oxford Plains Speedway.

Luce held off a challenge from Buckfield’s Timmy Brackett, last year’s series champion. Chris Coolidge of Norway finished third.

Other feature winners were Calvin Rose Jr. of Turner in Street Stocks; Nicholas Naugle of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in INEX Legends; Brandon Varney of Auburn in Bandits; and Shane Green of South Paris in the Figure 8 division.


BARCELONA OPEN: Rafael Nadal beat defending champion Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-5 to win the title for the ninth time, in Barcelona, Spain, equaling Guillermo Vilas’ record of 49 career clay-court titles.

PORSCHE GRAND PRIX: Angelique Kerber defended her title with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-0 win over qualifier Laura Siegemund in an all-German final in Stuttgart, Germany.

NASTASE TIRIAC TROPHY: The final in Bucharest, Romania, between unseeded Lucas Pouille and Fernando Verdasco scheduled for Sunday was postponed because of rain.

– From staff and news services

]]> 0 Sun, 24 Apr 2016 21:44:12 +0000
NHL Roundup: Capitals finish off Flyers in Game 6 Mon, 25 Apr 2016 01:15:27 +0000 PHILADELPHIA — Nicklas Backstrom scored, Braden Holtby had 26 saves, and the Washington Capitals beat the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 on Sunday in Game 6 to win the series 4-2 and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Capitals will play the Pittsburgh Penguins, setting up a marquee matchup of Alex Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby.

Ovechkin had an assist on Backstrom’s second-period goal that was easily enough against the punchless Flyers.

Riding the momentum of Michal Neuvirth in net, the Flyers won two straight to force an unlikely trip home. Neuvirth was sensational again, but the Flyers were ultimately doomed by a power play that could not cash in against Holtby. The Flyers wasted nearly two minutes of a five-on-three power play in the second period.

The Flyers took only 11 shots against Holtby in Game 5 and matched that feeble total midway through the second period.

STARS 5, WILD 4: Jason Spezza scored his fourth goal of the series and added three assists, and goalie Kari Lehtonen and Dallas needed every last one of them to hold off host Minnesota and wrap up the first-round series in six games.

Jared Spurgeon scored two of Minnesota’s four third-period goals, both on the power play, and the Wild came within a fraction of an inch of tying the game with 34 seconds remaining when Nino Niederreiter whacked at a loose puck in the crease.

Freeze-frame replays showed it in the net, but not quite fully across the goal line as it connected with Lehtonen’s right pad, an oh-so-close call that was upheld by review. Jason Demers was there trying to pounce on the puck, too.

ISLANDERS 2, PANTHERS 1: John Tavares tied it in the final minute of regulation and got the winner at 10:41 of the second overtime, leading host New York past Florida and into the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

Tavares skated in and fired a shot that Roberto Luongo saved, but the New York captain got the rebound, wrapped around the net and stuffed the puck in to end the longest home game in Islanders history.

The Islanders will next face Tampa Bay.

Thomas Greiss finished with 41 saves in the teams’ second straight double-overtime game and third in the series to go past regulation. The Islanders won 4-3 in the first extra period in Game 3, and took Game 5 in Florida, 2-1, at 16 minutes of the second OT.

]]> 0 Sun, 24 Apr 2016 23:38:36 +0000