The Orioles went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position and left 13 runners stranded.


That big hit has been elusive for us, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. We’re scuffling to score runs.

Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar made a diving catch to retire Mark Trumbo for the first out of the seventh, but the next four Orioles batters reached safely. Trey Mancini singled and scored on Chance Sisco’s double and Sanchez left after walking Jace Peterson.

Brewers: RHP Chase Anderson (4-5) has a 2.79 ERA over his last three starts against Chicago. But the Brewers have been shut out each time, outscored by a combined 9-0.Surging Cubs look to keep rolling vs. Brewers

MILWAUKEE After moving into first place in the NL Central with an extra-inning victory Monday night, the Chicago Cubs look to create a little separation when they continue a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday night at Miller Park.

Chicago, the division champ two years running, has spent all of three days in first place this season. The Cubs were tied after winning their season opener on March 29, then fell as far as fourth before taking a half-game lead with a victory over Colorado on April 30.

The Indians took the lead with two runs in the second. Francisco Lindor singled, stole second and took third when Hicks’ throw sailed into centerfield. Yonder Alonso followed with a ground-rule double to left-centerfield to put the Indians ahead, and he scored on Cabrera’s one-out sacrifice fly.

Martin’s groundout in the third brought home Hicks to make it 2-1 and end Kluber’s 20-inning scoreless streak against Detroit.

Cabrera’s second sacrifice fly of the game, scoring Lindor again, gave the Indians a 3-1 lead in the fourth.

The Indians loaded the bases with one out in the sixth off reliever Drew VerHagen and Gonzalez followed with a three-run double to put the Indians ahead 6-1.

VerHagen got a little unlucky, but that was a bad pitch with the bases loaded, Gardenhire said. He needs to have a good breaking ball to be successful, and he couldn’t find it today.

He goes out and throws strikes, Indians manager Terry Francona said. He works ahead, and when teams get contact, it isn’t off the barrel.

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Pat Bowlen’s daughter is disappointed by inaccurate comments


Thursday saw dueling statements released by Beth Bowlen-Wallace, the daughter of longtime Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, and the trustees appointed by her father to oversee the future of the team.

However it plays out, everyone will know more about whether Beckham is willing to take a stand once he gets clearance to practice. And that’s apparently coming very soon.

James once had more than 25,000 fans show up just to watch him give a speech. In August 2014, the city of Akron wanted to welcome James back home so it essentially threw a giant rally at the University of Akron’s football stadium, which was nearly at capacity, including thousands of seats on the field.

Judge probably doesn’t even let sentences run on him.

Get your popcorn ready for the newest edition of Madden, which will feature Terrell Owens on the cover. This is the Hall of Fame version of the popular EA Sports football video game  (a regular cover player will be announced in June) and it will have Owens, who was inducted into the most recent class of Canton, dressed up as a Cowboys receiver. That has plenty of people questioning it, even if he’s best remembered as a member of Dallas. He was drafted by the 49ers and spent the majority of his career with San Francisco from a most years on one team perspective.

Bird was slated to hit sixth and play first base.

The 25-year-old had missed all season following surgery to remove a bone spur from his right ankle.

Regardless, there was no unanimity. There was no vote. And this becomes further proof that, in its quest to make things better when it comes to the national anthem, the NFL actually made things worse.

You can see the signs even in May. Adams, the first-round draft pick from 2017, raised the competitive energy at practice, telling the defensive backs to be a soldier out there and acted like a completion in seven-on-seven was third-and-5 in the Super Bowl.

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Welcome to the NFL’s annual scramble for top talent.


Less than two months remain before the 2018 draft (April 26-28), when teams will jockey for the prospects who will make up the majority of the league’s rosters in the coming years. Free agency, of course, is a supplementary exercise.

What follows is a subjective ranking of the high-end players still available, and the ones who have already agreed to terms.

A preseason trade from the Jets to Seattle, if nothing else, gave Richardson tape in both the 4-3 and 3-4 defenses. The Seahawks, who gave up a second-round pick and receiver Jermaine Kearse to get Richardson, might want him as a younger replacement for Michael Bennett. Richardson made a few splashy plays in Seattle, but he probably wasn’t dominant enough to spark a frenzied bidding war.

Although he has been slowed at times by knee injuries, Mathieu started all 16 games last season and is as young as anyone on the free agent market. Safeties are critical to current defensive schemes and he should find many suitors.

Crabtree, 30, has made 579 catches for 6,870 yards and 51 touchdowns in nine NFL seasons. He played six seasons in San Francisco after the 49ers made him a first-round pick before spending the past three seasons in Oakland.

The Raiders cut him Thursday after signing receiver Jordy Nelson.

Instead, designate one of the three to ask two or even three questions so it becomes more of a conversation and the guest is heard. It allows for a flow and a much better listen than hopscotching from one question to the next.

A little inside baseball: Over this past summer, Yankees lead TV play-by-player and ESPN New York afternoon host Michael Kay hired Excel’s Casey Close and Jim Murray as his agents. Close is most famous for being Derek Jeter’s player agent and is considered at least among the top five agents in baseball. The Yankees and Close feuded over Jeter’s final contract.

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The winners and losers from a crazy start to NFL free agency


Wednesday at 4 p.m. marked the official free-agent signing period, though negotiations were permitted prior to that. And, based on the flurry of activity in the past two days, particularly Tuesday, a lot of teams and players already have either bettered themselves or find themselves in a lurch.

Here’s a look at the winners and losers based on the early frenzy of activity leading into Wednesday’s official signing period.

2. Da Bears: Chicago added some key weapons to surround second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, especially in landing Allen Robinson, the best receiver on the open market this offseason. He’s coming off a knee injury, but Robinson is a terrific route-runner who has the ability to break a game open and is highly productive.

The Bears also agreed to terms with former Eagles tight end Trey Burton, who’s best known for throwing that TD pass to Eagles quarterback Nick Foles in the Super Bowl. They, too, are bringing in receiver Taylor Gabriel, a speedster who can stretch the field.

The 27-year-old was serving life without parole for the 2013 murder of Odin L. Lloyd and had recently been acquitted of committing a double murder in 2012.

Baez, who insists the ex-NFL star was innocent, chose to come forward in a two-part docu-series on Oxygen titled, Aaron Hernandez Uncovered, which aims to explore the athlete’s secret double life before his sudden death.

It also features interviews with former teammates, detectives, as well as Shayanna Jenkins, his fiancée and the mother of his only child.

After his death, I can tell you it really disturbed me how many people were throwing out stories and saying certain things that were not only factually inaccurate, but just outright abusive, Baez told Fox News about his involvement with the show.

I thought and I felt, and I still do to this day, that the real story has to get out there. … No one has ever captured the true Aaron Hernandez. It’s been bothersome to me and that’s why I decided to take part of it.

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The space Giants can clear if they want Ogletree’s dream signing


Not long after he was traded to the Giants, linebacker Alec Ogletree took to Twitter to try to lure safety Tyrann Mathieu, recently released by the Cardinals:

Come to the big apple bro!!! It’s going to be lit bro I promise. #1 defense.

It has not reached a level of financial desperation for the Giants but they do not have much more to spend in free agency, edging ever closer to owning almost no space at all under the NFL-mandated salary cap of $177.2 million per team. The trade last week for Ogletree and the signing this week of left tackle Nate Solder trimmed a hefty $20 million off the cap, as each player will count $10 million on the 2018 salary cap. The expectation is the Giants will convert Ogletree’s $7 million roster bonus into a signing bonus, which would free up $5.25 million in cap space.

It is not possible for a down-to-the-dollar accounting of where the Giants are as far as cap space, given that contracts for their free-agent additions are being tabulated in real time. The Giants are about $5.3 million under the cap, according to Spotrac, but that does not include the contracts for linebacker Kareem Martin (expected to be in the three-year, $15 million range) and guard Patrick Omameh (three years, $15 million for a cap hit of $2.5 million).

The Giants can gain a decent chunk of cap space if they trim their roster. They would gain $7.5 million in cap space by releasing receiver Brandon Marshall ($5.1 million cap savings) and receiver/special teamer Dwayne Harris ($2.4 million cap savings).

Ostensibly, the former Minnesota Vikings starter will be the backup to incumbent Josh McCown, but the Jets are expected to select a quarterback with the third overall pick in the draft, acquired last Saturday in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts.

On Wednesday, coach Todd Bowles and the Jets’ top decision-makers attended Sam Darnold’s pro day at Southern California, and they will be in Wyoming on Friday for Josh Allen’s pro day. On the way home, they will stop in Oklahoma for a private workout with Baker Mayfield, the NFL Network reported. UCLA’s Josh Rosen also will have a private workout with the team.

Bridgewater’s contract includes only $500,000 in guaranteed money, so his roster spot can’t be considered secure. He’s a wild card, not having played a full game since the 2015 playoffs. The following training camp, he wrecked his knee in practice — a torn ACL, a dislocation and other structural damage. Some feared that his career was over.

Speaking on a conference call, Bridgewater, 25, wouldn’t say if he will participate in offseason practices, which begin in May.

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What NBA scouts will be watching in each Thursday tourney game


What are the best NBA draft matchups of the day in the NCAA tournament, what’s at stake, and what will scouts be watching for? We’re breaking down the field game by game.

Up first: a Thursday slate featuring nine prospects in the lottery in our latest mock draft.

While trying to develop neophyte point guard Dejounte Murray, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is trying to keep a 20-year postseason streak alive. Troy Taormina/USA TODAY
The loss to the Rockets left San Antonio sitting at 10th in the West behind the LA Clippers, Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets, teams that occupy the Nos. 7, 8 and 9 spots. The Jazz own the tiebreaker with the Spurs, while a tiebreaker with Denver will come down to both teams’ final conference records.

The Spurs are on pace to win just 45 games.

We’re in a position now where we’ve dropped, veteran center Pau Gasol said. We’ve lost a few in a row, and now, there’s no margin for error anymore. Before, it was slim. Now, there is none. So now we’ve just got to go out there, and compete and win.

The current playoff format really hampers the Jets in that they’d have to face the titan of their own division in the second round. I just think Nashville is a deeper team overall — even though I don’t think the gap is as significant as you might think — and after getting so close last year, the Predators are even better now. On the other side, the Caps are used to the playoff format putting them in a tough spot, but you have to find a way, right? They might have just enough to get past the Penguins this time, but I’m going to need to see it to believe it.

Regardless of which team goes further, I think this is going to be an important building-block season for Winnipeg. The Jets are right on the cusp of taking their place among the league’s heavyweights. They have a few key contracts to resolve this summer, namely Hellebuyck’s and Jacob Trouba’s new deals as restricted free agents, but the Jets’ core has a chance to be special over the next few seasons. That Stanley Cup window seems like it’s peeking open. It will be interesting to see what Winnipeg can do during this postseason, where it should be viewed at least as a legitimate threat.

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Ivan Nova will start Opening Day, might not finish season with Pirates


Ivan Nova will be the Pirates’ Opening Day starting pitcher at Detroit on March 29. It is unclear whether he will remain with Pittsburgh through the entire season.

Following the offseason trades of 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen and former 19-game winner Gerrit Cole, Nova is a veteran on a team that has turned toward youth. Nova is owed $8.5 million in each of the next two seasons as part of a $26 million, three-year contract.

I said it when I signed here, and I still feel this way: This is [the] place I want to be, Nova said. I love playing for the Pirates.

There is an intersection here between Antetokounmpo, arguably the most productive fantasy player in the NBA when everything clicks, his Bucks team that has fallen to eighth place in the Eastern Conference, but that is still only three games out of the four seed (and potential home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs), and the Grizzlies, an opponent that has been wracked with injury and has nothing left to play for this year.

At 6’9, Anderson gets a nice bump from non-traditional point guard stats (10.2 rebounds and 6.4 steals-plus-blocks per 48 minutes over his past six games), and if we are looking at a spike in shot attempts, there is the possibility he smashes value with a well-rounded offensive night in addition to his ability on the defensive end.

Although not a middle reliever, the present landscape is more open to using a third closer in shallower mixed leagues. In previous seasons, the wins and punch outs from the seventh starter outweighed the hurt his efforts put on ratios. Now, the added saves often swing the pendulum towards the closer, since their strikeouts are closer in number to what your SP7 can offer — with no significant difference in the affect on ratios. This is yet another reason for investing in an upper-tier anchor, as their innings and superb ratios helps absorb the impact of poor reliever ratios.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all approach to dealing with the pitching trends, especially give the plethora of formats and league sizes. However, as so much has changed in the pitching landscape over just the last three seasons, the prudent fantasy manager should recognize the trends and enjoy the edge over those languishing behind the curve.

The insurance for Ovechkin on breaking Gretzky’s record is that if he is short of the 894 mark after the next eight full seasons, he has time in his 40s to break the record if he is close — and has the appetite and health to eclipse it.

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Rawson scores 22, Utah rolls Washington State 82-69


Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak acknowledges he doesn’t have NBA-ready players on the roster, but knows his team can be successful when everyone contributes. The Utes got exactly that Sunday night and are now back to .500 in Pac-12 play after a rough first half of January.

Tyler Rawson scored 22 points and knocked down a career-high six 3-pointers as Utah beat Washington State 82-69.

The Utes (12-7, 4-4) won their second consecutive game for the first time since late December and the Cougars (9-10, 1-6) have now lost 6 of 7.

I thought there were several defensive breakdowns, Washington State coach Ernie Kent said. We tried to do a couple of different things to offset that, but our focus and attention to detail on that end of the floor was not there tonight and they made us pay.

Everything, to me, came back to what went on at the defensive end of the floor. When we can get stops and get out and run, we’re very good. When we don’t, we become a stagnant offensive team.

UNC Asheville (12-9, 5-3 Big South) made 11 of 15 3-pointers in the first half and cruised.

UNC Asheville doubled Liberty, 36-18, through the first 13 minutes with 12 points from Thomas and Vannatta’s 10. The Bulldogs led 51-30 at halftime after having 14 assists on 16 field goals and shooting 67 percent overall. Vannatta tied a career-high with five 3-pointers and scored 19 points. The Flames were just 1 of 10 from distance and shot 35.5 percent.

Raekwon Miller added 12 points and Macio Teague scored 11 with three 3-pointers for the Bulldogs, who have won four of their last five.

Scottie James had 19 points for Liberty (12-9, 3-5).

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Shane Beamer to become assistant head coach at Oklahoma


Shane Beamer is leaving Georgia to become the assistant head coach for offense and tight ends coach at Oklahoma.

Beamer was the special-teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Georgia the past two seasons. He was previously associate head coach and running backs coach at Virginia Tech, where he worked for his father, Hall of Famer Frank Beamer.

The Texans and Denver Broncos have been prominent in the Romo speculation. Several agents and coaches and executives with other NFL teams said in recent days at the NFL scouting combine that they regard the Texans as the most likely destination for Romo.

That one makes the most sense to me, a high-ranking official with one franchise said. I don’t think anyone in the league would be surprised to see that one happen.

It is not clear yet if Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will release Romo, putting the quarterback completely in charge of picking his next team, or try to get something in return for Romo via a trade. Even in a trade scenario, Romo potentially could exert some control over where he is headed. He is to count $24.7 million against next season’s salary cap under his current contract. A team trading for Romo would inherit that contract and might be interested in reworking the deal. It’s also unlikely a team would trade for Romo if he does not want to play there.

Evans was a combined 5-of-20 shooting, 2-of-13 on 3-pointers, as Tech lost twice on the road last week. After making 1 of 4 shots before halftime against the Cowboys, he was 6 of 9 in the second half.

Keenan didn’t play any different tonight than he has been. He’s a great shooter, Tech coach Chris Beard said. He’s remained aggressive.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have lost all four of their true road games, all in Big 12 play. At home, they have won their last three games in overtime or on the final shot in regulation.

Texas Tech: After a tough week on the road, the Red Raiders got a much-needed boost with an impressive comeback after halftime. They made only one of 12 field goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half, but made 15 of 28 after halftime, including 6 of 9 3-pointers.

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Jalen Crutcher’s 3 helps Dayton hold off Davidson 65-64


Trey Landers scored 16 points, Jalen Crutcher made a key 3-pointer and Dayton held off Davidson 65-64 on Tuesday night.

Crutcher’s 3 gave the Flyers (10-10, 4-4 Atlantic 10 Conference) a 63-61 lead with 56 seconds remaining. Kellan Grady missed a jumper on Davidson’s next possession, then Landers hit two free throws to stretch the Flyers’ lead to 65-61. Grady’s 3-pointer made it a one-point game with 3.3 seconds left.

Darrell Davis missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Will Magarity grabbed the defensive rebound, but Grady couldn’t get off a midcourt shot as time expired.

With the Hawks poorly defending inside, Markkanen took his game to the rim. The 7-foot, 227-pound Finn, a prolific 3-point shooter, had five dunks. He went 0 for 4 beyond the arc, marking the first time in 17 games that he didn’t hit a 3.

Markkanen hit 100 3s in his first 41 games, faster than any rookie in NBA history, but he wants to make the adjustment inside when teams focus on taking his perimeter game away.

The game was tied at 43 with 49 seconds remaining before the break. The Antelopes had a 22-9 surge that spanned the halves for a 65-52 lead. Braun scored 11 points, and capped the surge with a 3-pointer. The Warriors pulled within nine points, but didn’t get closer.

Vrabel is the other candidate still alive here. The real question is, was there a shift with Patricia being more interested in the Giants job? While Patricia won’t make a call until after his team is done playing, there has not been enough credible information to make one believe he’d pick the Giants over the Lions.

The Giants haven’t officially eliminated candidates, but it’s clear there are four left with legitimate chances at the head coaching job — McDaniels, Patricia, Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Patricia has received a lot of love inside the building, but the search is not to the point where anyone is considered a favorite.

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