Marte hits tying homer in 9th, Grichuk has winning double in 10th, D-backs beat Cubs 12-11

PHOENIX (AP) — Ketel Marte hit a tying solo homer with two outs in the ninth, and Randal Grichuk won it with a pinch-hit RBI double in the 10th, lifting the Arizona Diamondbacks to a wild 12-11 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

The teams split the first two games of the series, which both went into extra innings. They'll play the finale on Wednesday.

Grichuk ripped the second pitch he saw from Drew Smyly (2-2) into the left-center gap, easily scoring Christian Walker from second as D-backs players poured onto the field to celebrate.

The Cubs rallied from two three-run deficits, but still couldn't get the win. Ian Happ hit a go-ahead grand slam as part of a six-run seventh inning that gave Chicago an 11-8 lead. But the D-backs slowly clawed back. Arizona cut the margin to 11-9 in the seventh on Blaze Alexander’s double and 11-10 in the eighth on Joc Pederson’s sacrifice fly.

Then came Marte's homer off Cubs closer Adbert Alzolay — a liner that barely cleared the right-center wall. After an official review, the homer was confirmed. Marte finished with four hits.

Happ hit his first homer of the season off lefty Kyle Nelson, turning on a cutter and sending a line drive into the D-backs' bullpen. Christopher Morel had a sacrifice fly and Garrett Cooper added an RBI single before Happ's crucial homer.

Nico Hoerner had four hits for Chicago, including a double and triple.

The game was marked by big swings, with the D-backs taking a 4-1 lead after four innings. The Cubs responded with four runs in the fifth before the D-backs scored four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning for an 8-5 advantage.

It was another tough outing for Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks, who gave up seven earned runs over 4 1/3 innings. The veteran right-hander has been hit hard in all four of his outings this year and now has a 12.71 ERA.

Michael Busch's five-game streak with a homer came to an end. The Cubs rookie — who tied a franchise record with his long-ball streak — was 0 of 4 with a walk and run scored.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a two-run homer and Pederson added a solo shot in the third inning to give the Diamondbacks a 4-1 lead. Gurriel has five homers and 20 RBIs through 17 games.

D'backs left-hander Tommy Henry gave up five runs and nine hits over 4 1/3 innings. Kevin Ginkel (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless 10th inning.


Cubs: Manager Craig Counsell told reporters that OF Seiya Suzuki (oblique) is likely out for around four weeks, but the team will have a better timetable once he's symptom-free.

D-backs: Catcher Gabriel Moreno was a late scratch because of a sore right thumb. The team said he was still available to play and is considered day to day.


The teams wrap up the three-game series on Wednesday afternoon. The D-backs will throw RHP Brandon Pfaadt (1-0, 6.48 ERA) and the Cubs counter with LHP Jordan Wicks (0-2, 5.68 ERA).


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


Mookie Betts ties career high with 5 hits as Dodgers beat Nationals 6-2

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mookie Betts tied his career high with five hits, doubling twice and driving in two runs to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.

Betts singled leading off the first against Patrick Corbin (0-3) and scored as Teoscar Hernández grounded into a double play. Betts hit an RBI double that increased the lead to 3-0 in the second, singled in the fourth, doubled and scored in the seventh and hit a run-scoring single that drove in the Dodgers' final run in the eighth.

“You can’t really put extra pressure on yourself,” Betts said after helping the Dodgers to their second win in the past six games. “It’s not like I can just say, ‘Ooh, I’m gonna go get a hit’ and get a hit. Game doesn’t work that way, so extra pressure’s no good. We just have to keep playing the game.”

Betts raised his average to a major league-leading .388. It was the third five-hit game of Betts' big league career, the first since Aug. 23 against Cleveland.

“Having your stars be stars, that’s why they are on our roster and that’s why they are superstars,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “The guy’s step up and carried us when we need it.”

Andy Pages, a 23-year-old Cuban outfielder, went 1 for 4 in his major league debut for the Dodgers. He lined an opposite-field single to right on the first big league pitch he saw, a 91.9 mph fastball in the second inning, and then scored on Austin Barnes' single.

Pages said through a translator that he would give the ball from his first hit to his wife.

“Obviously felt really great to get that hit,” Pages said. “But it was like kind of a fleeting moment to feel that excitement but also just to take it all in and then be ready for what’s next.”

Kyle Hurt allowed three hits over two scoreless innings as an opener. Ryan Yarbrough (2-0) gave up two runs, two hits and three walks in five innings for the Dodgers, who will try to take the series on Wednesday.

Corbin gave up five runs, nine hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings, but lowered his ERA from 8.44 to 8.06.

Jesse Winker hit a two-run homer for the Nationals, who have alternated wins and losses over the past four games.

“We just couldn’t score any runs today, couldn’t get nothing really going,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We swung at a lot of first-pitch breaking balls today, which is uncharacteristic. I think we should have been a little bit more patient.”

CJ Abrams was thrown at the plate for the first out of the game trying to score from first on Winker's double into the right-field corner. Teoscar Hernández relayed the ball to second baseman Kiké Hernández, and his throw went on the fly to Barnes. The catcher tagged the outstretched arm of Abrams, who made a headfirst slide.

“He was fumbling the helmet all over the place," Martinez said. "He should have just stopped. He hesitated for a second, and that’s all it took.”

Winker homered in the third, and Kiké Hernández went deep for Los Angeles in the fifth.


Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (Tommy John surgery) is scheduled to start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday, with an expected pitch count of 80-85 balls.


Nationals: RHP Jake Irvin (0-1, 4.24 ERA) gave up a solo homer in six solid innings against Oakland on Friday and did not factor in the decision.

Dodgers: RHP Landon Knack will make his major league debut on Wednesday. A second-round draft pick in 2020 from East Tennessee State, Knack allowed two runs while striking out seven over four innings in spring training.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Zion Williamson's injury dampens his otherwise dominant postseason debut for the Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Zion Williamson had New Orleans fans roaring and out of their seats as he burst down the lane on the dribble, finishing a game-tying layup over Lakers star Anthony Davis.

Moments later, the Pelicans star forward was throwing a towel to the floor in disgust as he disappeared down a tunnel leading to the locker room.

Williamson's highlight-filled, 40-point, 11-rebound showing in his postseason debut ended in a worrisome way for him and New Orleans on Tuesday night. He missed the final three minutes of a 110-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference play-in tournament because of a left leg injury.

“This is an unfortunate situation,” Pelicans guard CJ McCollum said. “He was having a great game. We're getting down the stretch of a highly important game where he's dominating and leaving his imprint in all phases. And he ends up having to leave the game early.

“I don't know what happened or the extent of it,” McCollum added. “Hopefully, he's back soon.”

Williamson was due for imaging on Wednesday and his status was unclear heading into a do-or-die play-in finale against Sacramento on Friday night to the decide the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Williamson, who missed most of his first four seasons because of a series of injuries to his knee, hand, foot and hamstring, finally got through a regular season relatively good health in his fifth year as a pro. He played in 70 games, leading the 49-win Pelicans in scoring at 22.9 points.

And for about 45 minutes on the game clock on Tuesday night, Williamson's maiden postseason performance did not disappoint. He was finding numerous ways to get around Davis and LeBron James and create angles to showcase his deft touch around the rim.

Sometimes he used the glass, sometimes he tossed the ball straight in. He slammed down forceful dunks and sprinkled in some midrange shots.

In the final seconds of the first half, he sprinted nearly the length of the court on the dribble before hitting a contested floater off the glass as time expired.

For Pelicans veteran forward Larry Nance Jr., Williamson's performance exemplified why the former Duke star was the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

“That dude is incredible,” Nance said. “My vocabulary is pretty expansive. I don’t have the words to describe his performance tonight and how he’s shouldered us all season. So, you know, hopefully, hopefully he’s healthy and, he can, we can get something similar on Friday.”

James, meanwhile, predicted that Williamson is "going to be great for a long time.”

“He's a generational player, a generational talent. He's going to continue to get better and better,” James said. “Tonight was just a small microcosm of how great he can be, his ability to get downhill, finish vs. smalls, finish vs. bigs, taller guys, shorter guys, doesn't matter,” James said. “One thing about him, he's not afraid to compete. So, that's a great thing. He's a star.”

A star the Pelicans can only hope to have on Friday with their season in the balance.


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba


Golden Knights defeat Blackhawks 3-1 to move up to 3rd in the Pacific Division

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Brayden McNabb, Michael Amadio and Nicolas Roy scored, and the Vegas Golden Knights moved into third place in the Pacific Division after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on Tuesday night.

The Knights, who have won three consecutive games, are one point ahead of Los Angeles. If Vegas beats Anaheim on Thursday, the Knights will open their defense of their Stanley Cup championship against Edmonton in the first round of the playoffs. The Kings host the Blackhawks in their season finale on Thursday night.

“The best time of the year is coming,” Roy said. “We're trying to get our game in the best place possible. I don't think it was our best game tonight, but I think defensively we did a great job, enough to win, so there's a great mood around the team for sure.”

Logan Thompson made 23 saves for Vegas. He was working on his second shutout of the season before Jason Dickinson scored for Chicago with 3:58 to go.

Petr Mrazek stopped 34 shots for the Blackhawks (23-53-5), who have lost five in a row. Connor Bedard picked up an assist, but he has one goal in his past 13 games.

“I think he might be feeling like everybody — a little depleted,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said. “Our record's not been great. You get to this time of the year, he's probably disappointed that we're not in the hunt for a playoff spot, which we all are."

McNabb used a spin-around rebound shot to put the Knights in front with 3:35 left in the second period.

“He stayed on top of the puck," Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He didn't just immediately get back to his point position, which sometimes you have to if you can't find the puck. But I think he might've been the only guy in the building to know where it is. I wasn't even sure how it went in at first. I don't think their guys knew, either, because no one really reacted until he spun around.”

Tomas Hertl had the primary assist for his fourth point in five games since he was acquired in a trade with San Jose.

Vegas extended the lead to 2-0 at 7:13 of the third when Amadio took the puck from Chicago's Frank Nazar to set up a breakaway goal from the right circle.

Amadio received good-natured ribbing from his teammates after switching from black to white tape on his stick to try to end his scoring drought. He had one goal in his previous 15 games.

“I just went cold for a few games, so I was just trying anything I can to get the offense going," Amadio said.

The Knights nearly scored again 2:34 later when a linesman awarded Pavel Dorofeyev a goal, but a replay showed the puck hit the crossbar and stayed out.

Roy's empty-netter closed it out for Vegas with 1:36 left.

U.S. Olympic swimmer Katie Grimes cranked the horn to open the third period. She just missed out on a medal in 2021 at the age of 15 and became the first American athlete in any sport to qualify for this year's Olympic Games in Paris.


Blackhawks: At Los Angeles on Thursday to end the season.

Golden Knights: Host Anaheim on Thursday to close the regular season.


AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

Gilbert dominant on mound and gets help from Rodríguez in the field as Mariners top Reds 3-1

SEATTLE (AP) — Logan Gilbert allowed three hits in 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball, Julio Rodríguez made two highlight defensive plays in the seventh inning to preserve Seattle’s lead, and the Mariners beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Jonatan Clase had an RBI double in his second major league game and Mitch Haniger added a key two-out RBI single. But Gilbert was overpowering for most of the night and got help from Rodríguez in the field.

“Thank God for Julio. What he does out there is unbelievable and we've kind of come to expect that level of play,” Gilbert said.

Rodríguez ran down Spencer Steer’s drive to deep left-center on the warning track for the second out of the seventh inning. Gilbert then walked Jake Fraley and was pulled. Elly De La Cruz walked against reliever Andrés Muñoz, and Cincinnati looked like it was going to pull within one run after Nick Martini singled.

But Rodríguez quickly came up throwing and nailed De La Cruz at third base to end the inning before Fraley crossed the plate.

“Once I got it I just went straight up to third because I was expecting him to go,” Rodríguez said. “I mean he's one of the fastest in the league and I know he likes to run, too.”

Muñoz struck out the side in the eighth. Cincinnati loaded the bases in the ninth off Ryne Stanek after two walks sandwiched around an error. Taylor Saucedo got pinch-hitter Tyler Stephenson to fly out to end it, earning his first save.

Gilbert (1-0) retired 12 of the first 13 batters and faced and gave up an infield single to Fraley in the second inning and singles to Steer and De La Cruz in the fifth. Gilbert struck out six and the walk to Fraley on a 3-2 pitch ended Seattle’s franchise record-setting run of consecutive innings pitched without allowing a free pass at 35.

“I don't feel like tonight was super crisp, but my pitches I think were good enough to get outs, get strikeouts when I needed,” said Gilbert, who has pitched at least 6 2/3 innings and allowed one earned run in three of his four starts this season.

Stuart Fairchild had an RBI groundout in the fifth that scored Fraley for Cincinnati’s only run.

Clase got his first extra-base hit when he lined a two-out double off Cincinnati starter Hunter Greene in the fourth inning to score Mitch Garver from first base. De La Cruz’s relay throw beat Garver to the plate, but catcher Luke Maile couldn’t handle the throw near the dirt and get the tag on Garver cleanly.

Garver drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk from Emilio Pagán (1-1) and Haniger tacked on an important run with his two-out RBI single in the sixth.

Greene labored through four innings, needing 98 pitches to record 12 outs. He struck out eight and walked three but allowed only one run.

“Hunter was good. I thought he had good stuff, just too many foul balls and a lot of pitches in four innings. So, if it wasn’t for that it could have been a different night for Hunter,” Reds manager David Bell said.


Reds: Jeimer Candelario was scratched from the lineup due to an illness. Bell said Candelario felt well enough to play on Monday, but was sent back to the hotel from the ballpark on Tuesday with flulike symptoms.


Reds: LHP Andrew Abbott (1-1, 2.60) allowed one run over seven innings against the White Sox in his last start.

Mariners: RHP Bryce Miller (2-1, 1.96) looks for another quality outing after throwing 6 1/3 innings in his last start. Miller has not allowed an earned run in his last 15 1/3 innings.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Vancouver Canucks clinch Pacific Division title ahead of playoffs

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks will finish the NHL regular season as the top team in the Pacific Division.

The Canucks (50-22-9) clinched the title Tuesday when they defeated the visiting Calgary Flames 4-1. 

It's the first time Vancouver has finished atop its division since 2013 when the team went 48-26-15 to finish first in the Northwest. 

The Canucks are still chasing the Stars for the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference, but need a win over the Jets on Thursday and a Dallas loss to the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday to accomplish the feat.

The Canucks are preparing for their first playoff appearance since 2020 and will host post-season games for the first time since 2015. 

They could face the Nashville Predators, Vegas Golden Knights or L.A. Kings in the first round. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2024.

Demko backstops Vancouver Canucks to 4-1 win over Calgary Flames

VANCOUVER — Head coach Rick Tocchet wanted to get his star goalie ample work in his return from injury. 

Or at least that's what he told reporters after Thatcher Demko backstopped the Vancouver Canucks to a decisive 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. 

“I thought he played great," Tocchet said after Demko stopped 39 shots in his first game since March 9. "That was the plan to let him get a lot of work tonight."

The coach waited a beat, surveying the faces assembled in front of him, then smiled. 

"I was joking," he said. "Like nobody's laughing at that one? I thought it was pretty funny.”

There was an air of lightness around the Canucks Tuesday as Vancouver (50-22-9) not only beat the Flames (37-29-5), but captured the Pacific Division title in the process. It's the first time Vancouver has won its division since 2013.

The Canucks are still chasing the Stars for the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference, but need a win over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday and a Dallas loss to the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday to accomplish the feat.

Tuesday marked the third time in franchise history that the Canucks have 50 wins on the season. 

“It's a testament to the work that we've been able to put in this year. I don't think anyone's satisfied though," Demko said. "So one more game here on the road, and then the games get really fun come next week. So really excited to gear up for that.”

Demko has been key to Vancouver's success this season and was again on Tuesday after missing 14 games with a knee injury. 

“He’s one of the best in the league and it's different having him," said Canucks captain Quinn Hughes. "Like I’ve said, (Casey DeSmith’s) been great for us and same with (Arturs Silovs), but having Demmer back there, it's a whole new thing.”

The Canucks got a goal and an assist from Tyler Myers, while Nils Hoglander, Dakota Joshua and J.T. Miller also scored. 

Brayden Pachal replied for the Flames midway through the third period and Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 of 31 shots.

Flames coach Ryan Huska liked his team's effort, despite the result. 

“Not the results but the effort was there for us for the full 60 minutes," he said. "We made three mistakes on coming back in our own zone off the rush, we lost people, and then one turnover but other than those mistakes, I liked what we did tonight.”

Miller sent a blast past Markstrom 15:02 into the third to pad the score at 4-1 with his 37th goal of the season. 

The marker extended Miller's point streak to 11 games, with four goals and 10 assists across the stretch.

Cheers of "J-T Mill-er!" rang throughout Rogers Arena after he scored.

Pachal beat Demko on Calgary's 33rd shot of the night, sending a puck sailing through traffic and into the top corner of the net. The goal — Pachal's second of the season and first with the Flames — cut Calgary's deficit to 3-1 at the 8:35 mark of the third period.

“Yeah, it definitely feels good," he said of the tally. "Obviously, you wish it sparked a little bit of a come back but we fell a bit short. It still feels nice, but would have felt a lot sweeter with the win.”

Tempers flared midway through the second when Hoglander shoved Pachal in the chest and Pachal snapped his head back in response. 

A scrum erupted in front of the benches, including a skirmish between Vancouver's Conor Garland — who stands five-foot-eight — and Calgary's Adam Klapka — who's listed at six-foot-eight — where Garland was nearly tossed into the Flames' bench. 

Garland and Klapka were both tossed from the game for roughing, and Hoglander was sent to the box for cross-checking. 

Demko made one of his best saves of the night on the ensuing penalty kill, robbing Nazem Kadri in tight, then dropping and rolling on to his back to smother the rebound. 

“I felt pretty good. Definitely some stuff that I want to clean up," Demko said of his performance Tuesday. "But I think the important thing is getting back, seeing some game action. And obviously, getting the win was great … and clinching the division was great.”


Both Calgary and Vancouver went 0-for-2 on the power play. … Flames defenceman Oliver Kylington played his 200th regular-season game. … Canucks defenceman Nikita Zadorov turned 29 on Tuesday. 


Canucks: Wrap up the regular season Thursday by visiting the Winnipeg Jets.

Flames: Host the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2024.

The Kings eliminate the Warriors from play-in tournament with 118-94 win

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The chants of “Light the Beam!” started midway through the fourth quarter as the Sacramento Kings kept piling on the Golden State Warriors.

A year after having their season ended by their neighbors, the Kings dealt the Warriors a bit of payback in emphatic fashion with a victory that might have signaled the end of a dynasty.

Keegan Murray scored 32 points, De'Aaron Fox added 24 and the Kings stayed alive in the play-in tournament, eliminating the Warriors with a 118-94 victory on Tuesday night.

“We knew what was on the line,” Fox said. “This was just another obstacle in our way. We have to get over this hump. Obviously, losing to this team last year and obviously facing this team now, it’s like, of course we have to face this team.”

Sacramento advanced to play at New Orleans on Friday night with a chance to return to the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Western Conference after snapping an NBA-record 16-year playoff drought last season.

The Kings avenged a Game 7 loss at home to Golden State in last year's first round by playing cleaner and being quicker to loose balls against the older Warriors in what was one of the most consequential wins for the franchise in two decades.

The loss kept Golden State out of the playoffs for the third time in the past five seasons, including two eliminations in the play-in tournament. The Warriors committed 16 turnovers, gave up 15 offensive rebounds and way too many open 3-pointers, looking nothing like the dynastic team that won four titles from 2015-22.

“I was a sophomore in high school watching them win championships,” Fox said. “We’ve been watching this team for a long time. If it is the end, it is what it is. I’m I’m glad we’re able to beat this team at this at this moment but, they definitely had a hell of a run.”

Klay Thompson missed all 10 shots from the field in what could have been his final game with the Warriors as he heads to unrestricted free agency this summer and a potential breakup of the championship trio of Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.

“We need Klay back. I know he had a tough night tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said. “I know I speak for everyone in the organization, we want him back. Obviously there's business at hand and that has to be addressed. ... But what Klay has meant to this franchise, as good as he is, we definitely want him back.”

With Thompson struggling, Curry didn't get nearly enough help. Curry finished with 22 points but was hounded for much of the game by Keon Ellis.

The undrafted Ellis, who was on a two-way contract until February, added 15 points to go with his strong defense. Harrison Barnes scored 17 and Domantas Sabonis had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Sacramento.

“For the most part, they just took it to us the whole game,” Curry said. “There’s really no way around it.”

The meeting between the Northern California rivals separated by less than 100 miles was a rematch of last year's series won by Golden State. Curry scored 50 points in the seventh game.

The crowd was loud from the start even if the energy didn't quite reach the level of last year's matchup, when Sacramento fans celebrated the end of the record-long playoff drought.

Murray hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter and the Kings built their lead to 16 points in the second quarter before the Warriors rallied behind their bench to cut the deficit to 54-50 at the half.

Golden State got within one early in the third quarter before Sacramento responded with a 19-5 run keyed by a pair of 3-pointers from Ellis and more big shots from Murray to build the lead back to 15 points. The Kings were never threatened after that.

“The first play was for me and we just kind of kept going to that early on in the game,” Murray said. “When you’re shot is falling, especially when mine is falling, they always seem to find me.”


Kings: Sacramento went 0-5 in the regular season against New Orleans and hasn't gone winless in six or more games against the same opponent in a season since going 0-8 against the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1983-84 regular season and playoffs.


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba

Lynn earns his first win in second stint with Cards, who beat A's before season-low crowd of 3,296

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Lance Lynn earned his first win for the St. Louis Cardinals in seven years, a 3-2 victory over the Athletics on Tuesday night before a season-low crowd of 3,296 at the Oakland Coliseum.

Lynn (1-0) allowed two runs — one earned — and five hits in seven innings, lowering his ERA to 2.18 in four starts. The 36-year-old right-hander went 72-47 for the Cardinals from 2011-17. After pitching for five other teams, he returned to St. Louis during the offseason for an $11 million, one-year contract.

“From the get-go, they weren’t going to let me try to get to two strikes or get them in a strikeout situation,” Lynn said. “So then you just mix and match early and let them have some weak contact. We had some great plays behind me. All in all, that’s a good recipe.”

JoJo Romero and Ryan Helsley each got three straight outs, with Helsley earning his major league-leading seventh save in eight chances.

St. Louis won its second straight over the A's and got back to .500 at 9-9.

Masyn Winn and Jordan Walker hit consecutive sacrifice flies off Dany Jiménez (1-1) as the Cardinals overcame a 2-1 deficit in the sixth. Nolan Arenado led off with a single, Jiménez issued back-to-back walks and center fielder JJ Bleday heaved the ball home with no chance for a play on Winn's fly, allowing the other two runners to advance.

Oakland fell to 3-9 at home and 7-11 overall. The team's average home attendance has been 5,968 through 12 games. The A's have announced plans to move to Sacramento from 2025-27 and Las Vegas after that.

Kyle McCann hit an RBI single in the second and hit his first major league homer, a fifth-inning drive off Lynn that left McCann's bat at 106.3 mph and traveled 385 feet to right-center.

“Dream come true,” McCann said. “As soon as I hit it, I actually looked up at the scoreboard to see how hard I hit it, and once I saw that I got it pretty well, I was just praying it went out. And then as soon as it did, obviously I was fired up running around the bases. It was a great moment.”

Brendan Donovan had a run-scoring grounder in the third off JP Sears, who allowed two hits in five innings.

Willson Contreras singled in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. He has reached base safely in 22 straight games dating to last year.


Whitey Herzog was honored with a moment of silence before the game. The former Cardinals manager died Monday at the age of 92. Herzog played for the Kansas City A's from 1958-60.


Cardinals LHP Steven Matz (1-0, 1.80 ERA) starts Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against Athletics RHP Paul Blackburn (1-0, 0.00 ERA), who has yet to allow a run in 19 1/3 innings this season.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

Pirates stay careful with prized rookie Jared Jones despite overpowering performance vs Mets

NEW YORK (AP) — Although the Pittsburgh Pirates lost a close ballgame Tuesday night, they might have found their future ace.

And like it or not, they're going to handle him with kid gloves.

Rookie right-hander Jared Jones fired five shutout innings in his fourth major league start, throwing 50 of 59 pitches for strikes during a dominant performance against the New York Mets.

“That’s a special arm,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said.

Featuring a 97-99 mph fastball and a nasty 90-92 mph slider, Jones struck out seven, walked none and allowed just one hit. Even he was wowed by his astounding strike-to-ball ratio.

But with the 22-year-old pitching on four days’ rest for the first time in the majors, he was pulled by manager Derek Shelton after five innings as planned.

“This kid’s really important to us, as anybody that watched will see,” Shelton said. “He was really good. When you’re really good and you make a decision like that, then people are going to wonder what’s going on. He’s healthy. He’s good. But it was something we had, going in, predetermined.”

Jones exited with a 1-0 lead. But the Pittsburgh bullpen faltered in the seventh, giving up three runs in a 3-1 defeat.

Shelton acknowledged it was difficult not to try and push Jones through six innings, especially considering how overpowering and efficient he was.

“It’s extremely hard. But you know, it’s something I think we have to stick to our process a little bit. And again, I understand how that’s frustrating to people,” Shelton said. “But again, this kid is really important to us and we have to make sure that when we put a process in place or we put a plan in place that we stick to it.”

Jones understood the decision, and Shelton said he “took it like a pro.”

“Do you want to see me down the road or do you want to see me get shut down?” Jones said. “It all makes sense to me, the way he worded it and told me. ... It’s awesome that they’re looking out for me and my health.”

Jones racked up 10 strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings to win his big league debut March 30 at Miami.

With the improving Pirates in what they hope are the latter stages of a long rebuild, he is 1-2 with a 3.13 ERA and 32 strikeouts against only two walks. He's given up 16 hits in 23 innings, and had thrown anywhere from 80 to 89 pitches in each of his first three outings.

“He understands where he’s at and where we’re at,” Shelton said. “We have to make sure we take care of our pitchers.”

Jones became the fourth pitcher since 1893 (when the mound was established at its current distance from home plate) to strike out at least seven batters in each of his first four games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The others were Masahiro Tanaka (2014), Stephen Strasburg (2010) and Pittsburgh right-hander José DeLeón (1983), who all had five-game streaks.

“Going out there and giving my team a chance to win — that’s what I’m most proud of. And I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that so far,” Jones said.

The lone hit off Jones was Pete Alonso’s soft leadoff double in the second, which could have been caught by a sliding Bryan Reynolds in shallow left field.

Jones generated 15 swings and misses, giving him 73 after four career starts. That's the most for any big leaguer since pitch tracking began in 2008, MLB.com's Sarah Langs posted on the social media platform X, citing Jason Bernard of Major League Baseball.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Jones was selected by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2020 amateur draft out of La Mirada High School in California.

A top-rated prospect coming into this season, he threw 122 2/3 innings for High-A Greensboro in 2022 and 126 1/3 innings combined at Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis last year. So the Pirates will limit his innings this season.

“I’m going to attack the same way I do for however long,” Jones said. “I threw 126 the past two years. It doesn’t make sense for me to go out and throw seven, eight, nine, you know what I mean? They want me to stay healthy and they want to limit what is going on. So it all makes sense.”


AP freelance writer Jerry Beach contributed to this report.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Reynaldo López pitches 6 scoreless innings, Braves beat Astros 6-2

HOUSTON (AP) — Reynaldo López struck out seven over six scoreless innings, Orlando Arcia homered and the Atlanta Braves won their third straight, 6-2 over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

López (2-0) allowed four hits and walked one in his third straight sterling outing to start the season.

“It’s like I’ve always said, for me, the important thing is to focus,” López said through an interpreter. “To have the focus during the outings and then, to be able to locate those pitches.”

He has given up one run in 18 innings for an ERA of 0.50.

“He threw the ball really well against a really good hitting club,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Another solid one.”

Arcia hit a solo home run to left in the second and a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Luis Guillorme and backup catcher Chadwick Tromp each hit a two-run double in the ninth to put the Braves ahead 6-0.

“Tromp has done a good job ever since we’ve been bringing him in these situations and filling in,” Snitker said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in him back there. ... He’s an aggressive hitter. He’s knocked in some big runs for us in the limited time that he’s played.”

Kyle Tucker homered for the Astros leading off the ninth against Aaron Bummer, and Mauricio Dubón had a two-out RBI single to cut the lead to four. After Bummer walked Chas McCormick to put two on, Raisel Iglesias induced a groundout by Victor Caratini to end it and secure his fourth save.

“They pitched well, and our guys are grinding out at-bats,” Houston manager Joe Espada said. “Even in the ninth inning there, we’re grinding, fighting until the end.”

Hunter Brown (0-3) yielded two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks in six innings. Brown allowed nine runs in two-thirds of an inning in his previous start, last Thursday against Kansas City.

Brown said he executed better Tuesday than he had in his previous two starts.

“He mixed all his pitches well,” Espada said. “The breaking ball was effective. He threw some cutters in on the hands to some of those lefties. He mixed his pitches really well. That was a really strong performance.”


Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies was placed on the 10-day injured list with a broken right big toe. IF David Fletcher had his contract selected from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Albies’ place on the roster.

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (right shoulder inflammation) threw a side session Tuesday, but Houston will wait until Wednesday to see how Verlander feels before deciding whether he will make his first start this weekend against the Nationals, Espada said. ... RHP Luis Garcia (right elbow surgery) threw around 20-25 pitches off the bullpen mound, and RHP José Urquidy (right forearm strain) also threw off the mound, Espada said. ... LHP Framber Valdez (left elbow soreness) played catch off flat ground.


Atlanta LHP Max Fried (1-0, 8.74 ERA) starts Wednesday in the series finale opposite RHP J.P. France (0-2, 8.22).


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

José Ramírez gets key hit to help the Guardians beat the Red Sox 10-7 in 11 innings

BOSTON (AP) — José Ramírez hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the 11th inning, and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Boston Red Sox 10-7 on Tuesday night.

With no outs and runners on first and second, Ramírez hit a low liner back up the middle against Josh Winckowski (1-1). After Brayan Rocchio sacrificed and Bo Naylor was walked intentionally, Estevan Florial added a two-run single.

Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase (1-0) pitched the 10th for the win, surrendering a tying sacrifice fly to Connor Wong. Scott Barlow got three outs for his first save of the season, striking out two.

Gabriel Arias had two hits and two RBIs for the AL Central-leading Guardians, who earned their third consecutive victory. Steven Kwan had three hits and scored twice, and Tyler Freeman homered.

Cleveland improved to 12-5. It has won nine of its first 11 road games for the first time since 1948.

“It’s really fun to be a part of the camaraderie, the team. It’s been really fun this year,” Barlow said.

“Just the resilience and never backing down. Anything can happen. And that’s kind of like an example of tonight and it’s really fun.”

Wong hit a two-run homer for Boston, which trailed 5-1 after five innings. Enmanuel Valdez and Triston Casas also went deep.

“It’s tough,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “But we’re going to show up tomorrow. We still got two games on this homestand. It’s been a tough one so far. But we come here, we win two games, and then get ready for Pittsburgh (on Friday).”

Rafael Devers capped Boston's five-run sixth with a two-run double, lifting the Red Sox to a 6-5 lead.

But Cleveland tied it up on Andrés Giménez's RBI single against Kenley Jansen in the ninth. It was Jansen’s first blown save of the season.

“Today’s a day that you just got to tip your hat to the Guardians,” said Jansen, who noticed none of the issues he had with gripping the ball that he had in his previous outing on Sunday. “They did a great job, put the ball in play, nothing you can do about it."

Arias put the Guardians in front again when he singled in Rocchio in the 10th. But Wong responded for the Red Sox in the bottom half.

“That’s unbelievable. I mean, what a game,” first-year Cleveland manager Stephen Vogt said. “We got kicked in the teeth pretty good there in the sixth and it felt pretty bad. But then we come fighting back and then again they tied it up and here we come."

Right-hander Tanner Bibee started for Cleveland and went five innings, giving up one run on Valdez’s homer with two outs in the fourth. Bibee allowed five hits and walked two.

Boston right-hander Garrett Whitlock was charged with two runs and three hits in four innings. He departed because of left oblique tightness.


Red Sox: Cora said OF Tyler O’Neill cleared the concussion protocol and could return to the lineup on Thursday. O’Neill left Monday’s game against Cleveland after a collision with Devers, suffering a cut on his forehead that required eight stitches to close. ... INF Vaughn Grissom, out all season with a left hamstring strain, continued his rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester, going 1 for 3 while serving as the designated hitter. ... INF/OF Rob Refsnyder, out all season with a left toe fracture, continued his rehab assignment with Worcester, hitting a home run and playing first base. ... Devers left before the eighth with left knee discomfort.


The Guardians and Red Sox play the third of their four-game set on Wednesday. After being sidelined by a viral illness, RHP Ben Lively will make his 2024 debut for Cleveland. RHP Tanner Houck (2-1, 2.04 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Red Sox.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

More Sports News

Upcoming Sports Events



Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada