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WAMC Sports Report 4/3/24: Walker hits 3-run HR, D-backs end Yankees' streak at 5, win 7-0

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge, right, grimaces after a called third strike as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno, left, heads to the dugout during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/AP
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge, right, grimaces after a called third strike as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno, left, heads to the dugout during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Walker hits 3-run HR, Diamondbacks stop Yankees' win streak at 5 with 7-0 victory


Christian Walker hit a three-run homer, Zac Gallen threw six sharp innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees 7-0 to end the Yankees’ season-opening winning streak at five games. It was only the fourth time in franchise history that New York started the year with five wins in five games. Arizona is off to a 4-2 start this season. The D-backs took a 3-0 lead in the first after five of the first six batters reached base against Nestor Cortes. Blaze Alexander, Eugenio Suárez and Gabriel Moreno all had RBI singles. Walker made it 6-0 in the seventh with his three-run homer.

Trevor Story had three hits and two RBIs and Wilyer Abreu scored the go-ahead run on a double-play grounder in the 11th inning, sending the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics in front of an announced crowd of 5,112. Abreu began the 11th on second as the automatic runner. He advanced on Reese McGuire’s single and scampered home on Tyler O’Neill’s 5-4-3 double play off Mitch Spence. Ceddanne Rafaela made a great running catch in center with one out in the bottom half, robbing Shea Langeliers of extra bases. Josh Winckowski then fanned Lawrence Butler for the final out. Five Red Sox relievers allowed two hits in six scoreless innings.

Bryce Harper homered for his first three hits of the season, including a grand slam, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-4. Brandon Marsh also connected for Philadelphia, which bounced back nicely after dropping the series opener on Monday. Spencer Turnbull struck out seven in five effective innings. Harper went 0 for 11 with a walk while playing in three of the Phillies’ first four games, but he broke out in a big way against the Reds. The two-time NL MVP hit a solo shot in the first and fourth innings against Graham Ashcraft. He capped Philadelphia’s five-run seventh against Brent Suter with his seventh career grand slam.

Detroit's game at Citi Field against the Mets was postponed due to rain. It will be made up at 1:10 Thursday afternoon.

Jackson Chourio singled in a run in his first American Family Field plate appearance, Christian Yelich homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Minnesota Twins 3-2 to open a season with four straight wins for the first time since 2006. Chourio stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the third inning after consecutive one-out singles by Rhys Hoskins, Oliver Dunn and Brice Turang. The 20-year-old responded with an RBI single into shallow right field. Chourio, who signed an $82 million, eight-year contract in the offseason before making his big league debut, is hitting .375 (6 for 16).

Tyler Anderson pitched seven scoreless innings, Aaron Hicks homered and the Los Angeles Angeles beat Miami 3-1, sending the Marlins to their worst start in franchise history. Anderson scattered four hits, walked two and struck out five on Tuesday. Hicks’ solo blast in the fourth put the Angels ahead 1-0. He drove a fastball from Miami starter Jesús Luzardo inside the foul pole in right for his first homer with Los Angeles. The Angels increased their lead on run-scoring singles from Hicks and Taylor Ward in the sixth. Bryan De La Cruz homered in the ninth inning for the Marlins, who lost their sixth straight game to start the season.

Garrett Crochet pitched seven sparkling innings, pinch-hitter Paul DeJong had a tiebreaking homer and the Chicago White Sox got their first win by beating the Atlanta Braves 3-2. Michael Kopech pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and gave up a solo drive to Marcell Ozuna to make it 3-2 with one out in the ninth. He also walked Michael Harris II with two out and gave up a single to Orlando Arcia, putting runners on first and second, before retiring Travis d’Arnaud on a pop fly that ended the game.

Alec Marsh pitched seven innings of two-hit ball, Maikel Garcia drove in three runs and the Kansas City Royals breezed past the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 on a wet, chilly night at Camden Yards. Marsh turned in the best performance of his budding career, dominating the defending AL East champions Tuesday night with an exceptional display of control. He struck out five, walked one and retired the side in order five times. Now in his second season, Marsh previously hadn’t gone more than six innings and never allowed fewer than three hits in any outing longer than an inning. In this one, he threw 72 pitches, only 18 of which were called balls.

Zach Eflin took a shutout into the seventh inning, Isaac Paredes hit a three-run homer in a four-run fifth and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Texas Rangers 5-2. Eflin allowed three of his five hits and lone run in the seventh and was pulled after Jonah Heim’s one-out RBI single. Heim had a two-out run-scoring single in the ninth off Pete Fairbanks, who retired Leody Tavares on a game-ending flyout. Tampa Bay has a home run and stolen base in each its first six games, matching Cleveland in 1998 as the only teams since 1901 to accomplish the feat.

Davis Schneider’s two-run homer off closer Josh Hader with two outs in the ninth inning lifted the Toronto Blue Jays to a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros. It looked like the Blue Jays were going to be shut out for a second straight night after Ronel Blanco threw the first no-hitter of the season in Houston’s 10-0 win Monday. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled to start the ninth, but Bo Bichette grounded into a double play. Hader, signed by the Astros to a five-year, $95 million contract this offseason, walked Justin Turner to bring up Schneider.

Dominic Canzone hit a three-run homer and Julio Rodríguez thrilled the crowd with a pair of highlight-reel catches as the Seattle Mariners beat the Cleveland Guardians 5-4 on Monday night. Canzone’s big fly came in the bottom of the second inning against Guardians starter Triston McKenzie. Ty France put the Mariners on the board earlier in the inning with an RBI single, and Canzone made it 4-0 with a 411-foot home run to center field, his first of the season. Mariners starter Emerson Hancock pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and three earned runs for his first MLB win.

Cody Bellinger, Seiya Suzuki, Christopher Morel and Garrett Cooper homered, and the Chicago Cubs pounded the Colorado Rockies 12-2 for their third straight win. Bellinger’s two-run drive off the right-field scoreboard at Wrigley Field was his first homer of the season. The 2019 NL MVP re-signed with the Cubs for a $80 million, three-year contract in February. Cooper hit a three-run shot in the sixth that gave Chicago a 10-0 lead. He also doubled and tripled in his first home start with the Cubs. Nick Madrigal added two hits and three RBIs on a chilly, breezy night at Wrigley Field.

Willson Contreras hit a two-run homer off Yu Darvish in the sixth inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 5-2 to win the first two of a three-game series. Miles Mikolas, who broke into the majors with San Diego in 2012, improved to 3-2 against his old squad. He allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. Ryan Helsley worked the ninth for his first save in two chances. The Padres held a pregame moment of silence for Larry Lucchino, their CEO and president from 1995-2001 who led the push for Petco Park. Lucchino died early Tuesday morning of congenital heart failure. He was 78.

Mookie Betts hit his major league-leading fifth home run, Freddie Freeman had three hits and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Tuesday night for their third straight victory. Betts lifted a hanging changeup from Giants starter Logan Webb into the left-center field bleachers in the third inning for a game-tying solo home run and the 1,500th hit of his career. Betts finished 2 for 5 with two runs scored and a stolen base. He is batting .500 and has reached base in 23 of 38 plate appearances to open the season.

Former Red Sox, Padres and Orioles executive Larry Lucchino has died. He was the force behind baseball’s retro ballpark revolution and the transformation of the Boston Red Sox from cursed losers to World Series champions. Lucchino was 78. He died of congenital heart failure. He had survived cancer three times. Lucchino's career included three major league baseball franchises and one in the NFL. After law school, Lucchino landed a job with Washington lawyer Edward Bennett Williams and worked on Williams’ sports teams. With the Baltimore Orioles, Lucchino helped build Camden Yards, the ballpark that ended the trend of cookie-cutter stadiums.


Terry Rozier scored 34 points, capped by a beat-the-shot-clock 3-pointer in the final minute, and the Miami Heat inched closer to an Eastern Conference playoff spot by holding off the New York Knicks 109-99 on Tuesday night. Jimmy Butler scored 17 points, Bam Adebayo added 15 and Haywood Highsmith finished with 14 for the Heat. Miami saw a 16-point lead erased in the final minutes, but found a way to hang on and Rozier’s eighth 3-pointer of the night with 34.7 seconds left sealed the win. Donte DiVincenzo scored 31 points for New York, while Deuce McBride added 24 and Jalen Brunson finished with 20 points and 10 assists.

Joel Embiid put Philadelphia ahead with four free throws in the final 40 seconds and finished with 24 points in his first game in nine weeks following knee surgery, leading the 76ers to a 109-105 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Embiid added seven assists and six rebounds in nearly 30 minutes. The Sixers trailed by 11 points with 7:27 left before rallying. Embiid made all 12 of his free throws, and Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 25 points. Chet Holmgren scored 22 points to lead the Thunder, who are in a tight race with Minnesota and Denver for the top spot in the West.

Joel Embiid returned to the Philadelphia 76ers lineup on Tuesday night. He made his first start nearly two months after the reigning NBA MVP had knee surgery. Embiid was cleared to return ahead of Philadelphia’s game with Oklahoma City and played for the first time since he was injured in the Sixers’ last game of January. The Sixers plummeted in the Eastern Conference standings without him. The Sixers are 14-27 overall without him this season and 11-18 since he was injured in a Jan. 30 loss at Golden State. Embiid has averaged 35.3 points and 11.5 rebounds.

LeBron James scored 23 points, Anthony Davis had 21 points and 12 rebounds and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Toronto Raptors 128-111 on Tuesday night for their seventh win in eight. D’Angelo Russell shot 7 for 14 from 3-point range and scored 25 points, Rui Hachimura had 14 and Max Christie 12 as the Lakers handed slumping Toronto a 14th straight loss. The NBA’s career scoring leader, James shot 10 for 12 and had nine assists. RJ Barrett scored 28 points and Immanuel Quickley added 20 for the Raptors. Toronto lost a franchise-worst 17 consecutive games in 1997-98.

Corey Kispert scored 27 points and Deni Avdija added 23 to help the Washington Wizards beat the Milwaukee Bucks 117-113 despite Giannis Antetokounmpo’s triple-double. Antetokounmpo had 35 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists and reached double figures in all three categories by the end of the third quarter. That wasn’t enough for Milwaukee, which came into the night with a 2 1/2-game lead over Cleveland for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Jordan Poole had 16 points and a career-high 13 assists for Washington, and Jared Butler provided a lift off the bench with 17 points.

Naz Reid had 25 points and six rebounds, Anthony Edwards scored 19 points, and the Timberwolves kept up their push for the Western Conference’s No. 1 playoff seed with a 113-106 win over the Rockets on Tuesday night. Houston had a seven-game road win streak snapped. The Rockets have dropped two in a row following 11 straight victories that brought them back into the playoff picture. Houston is now two games out of the Western Conference’s final play-in position. Jalen Green led the Rockets with 26 points, five rebounds and six assists. Fred VanVleet finished with 22 points for Houston.

Caris LeVert scored 26 points and Jarrett Allen had 21 points and 12 rebounds, helping the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Utah Jazz 129-113. LeVert started in place of Donovan Mitchell, who missed the game due to injury management. Evan Mobley added 21 points for the Cavs, and reserve Sam Merrill had 18 points on six 3-pointers. Brice Sensabaugh scored 22 points for Utah, matching his season high in his rookie year. The Jazz played without starters Lauri Markkanen and John Collins in their 10th consecutive loss. Reserve center Walker Kessler was held out in the second half after suffering a nasal fracture.

Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic scored 42 points and outdueled Rookie of the Year favorite Victor Wembanyama in Denver’s 110-105 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night to retake sole possession of first place in the West. Jokic also grabbed 16 rebounds and had six assists. Wembanyama had 23 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists and nine blocks.

Domantas Sabonis had 22 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists, and the Sacramento Kings beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-95. The Kings moved within one game of sixth-place New Orleans in the Western Conference as they seek to avoid the play-in tournament. Sacramento is tied with Phoenix with seven games left, including a four-game trip that begins Thursday at New York. The Clippers are fourth in the West. Los Angeles played without star Kawhi Leonard, who has a sore right knee. Russell Westbrook led the Clippers with 20 points.

Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points and the Golden State Warriors overcame Luka Doncic’s 20th triple-double of the season to beat Dallas 104-100 on Tuesday night, snapping the Mavericks’ seven-game winning streak. Doncic, the NBA’s leading scorer at 33.9 points per game, finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. His 20 triple-doubles trail only Domantas Sabonis (26) and Nikola Jokic (23). Doncic also recorded his 48th 30-point game of the season, second only to Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (50). The Mavericks cut the deficit to 102-100 with 15 seconds remaining, but the Warriors were able to close out the game with late free throws from Klay Thompson.


Bo Horvat and Simon Holmstrom scored in the third period to help the New York Islanders top the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1. Ilya Sorokin made 18 saves for New York, which pulled within one point of Washington for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. Jason Dickinson scored for last-place Chicago, which had won three of four. Connor Bedard had an assist, and Petr Mrazek made 27 stops.

JJ Peterka scored twice, including the go-ahead goal, and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Capitals 6-2 to slow Washington’s late-season playoff push. Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch and Rasmus Dahlin had a goal and two assists each in an outing the Sabres blew open by scoring three times in a 2:30 span in the opening minutes of the third period. Zemgus Girgensons also scored and Buffalo inched to within five points of the Capitals, who began the day holding the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot. Martin Fehervary and Dylan Strome scored for the Capitals, who dropped to 0-2-1 in their past three games.  

Linus Ullmark made 32 saves and had an assist on Charlie Coyle’s short-handed goal in the third period that led the Boston Bruins to a 3-0 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. David Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha each recorded a goal and and assist in the big period as the Bruins won for the third time in four games and extended their lead in the Atlantic Division to four points over Florida, which lost at Montreal. Juuse Saros made 30 saves for Nashville, which has lost three straight. The skid follows a franchise-record 18-game point streak. 

Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby each scored twice in Pittsburgh’s five-goal third period and the Penguins kept their playoff hopes alive, rallying for a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. The Devils led 3-1 after two periods on goals by Timo Meier, Curtis Lazar and Jesper Bratt. Crosby and Malkin scored 67 seconds apart early in the third to tie the score. Rickard Rakell then put Pittsburgh ahead with 3:44 to play before Malkin scored again 21 seconds later. Crosby added an empty-net goal. Alex Nedeljkovic had 23 saves for the win.

Nick Suzuki scored the tying and go-ahead goals in the second period and Sam Montembeault made 37 saves in leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. Joel Armia, Cole Caufield and Jake Evans also scored as the Canadiens beat the Panthers for the first time in four games this season. Anton Lundell, Aleksander Barkov and Sam Bennett tallied for the Panthers. Anthony Stolarz made 34 saves for Florida. The feisty game featured 66 minutes in penalties, including 52 in the third period.

Vinni Lettieri scored the winning goal with just under seven minutes to play and the Minnesota Wild beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 to earn a crucial two points and keep their faint playoff hopes alive. Mason Shaw scored for the first time in more than a year, Matt Boldy also had a goal, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves for the Wild, who are six points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the second Western Conference wild-card spot with eight games to play. Ottawa's Drake Batherson and Jakob Chychrun each had a goal and an assist and Joonas Korpisalo made 17 saves.

Alex Killorn scored twice, Troy Terry had a goal and two assists and the Anaheim Ducks snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames. Mason McTavish and Cam Fowler rounded out the scoring for Anaheim while rookie defenseman Olen Zellweger had three assists for his first career multi-point game. Lukas Dostal made 21 stops as the Ducks won for just the second time in their last 14 games. Andrei Kuzmenko had two goals and Yegor Sharangovich also scored for the Flames, who have lost six of their last seven games. Jacob Markstrom had 24 saves.

Jonathan Marchessault had a goal and two assists and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-3. The defending Stanley Cup champions have won three straight and six of seven since a 6-10-1 slide that dropped them into the second slot in the wild-card race. Anthony Mantha, Jack Eichel, Noah Hanifin, William Karlsson and Brett Howden also scored for Vegas, while Logan Thompson stopped 27 shots to win his sixth straight start in his 99th career game. Quinn Hughes scored twice and Nils Hoglander added one goal for the Canucks. Casey DeSmith made 24 saves.


The future of the Royals and Chiefs in Kansas City was thrown into question when residents of Jackson County, Missouri, voted against a sales tax to help to pay for a new downtown ballpark and renovations to Arrowhead Stadium. Royals owner John Sherman and Chiefs president Mark Donovan acknowledged about two hours after polls closed Tuesday night that the ballot measure would fail. They were hoping to replace an existing three-eighths of a cent sales tax that has been paying for upkeep of current stadiums with a new three-eighths of a cent tax that would have been in place for the next 40 years.

An attorney says one of two speeding sports cars that police say caused a chain-reaction crash on a busy Dallas highway over the weekend was being leased by Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice. An attorney for a Dallas-based car rental company said Rice was leasing the Lamborghini sport utility vehicle involved in Saturday’s crash. Police have said the drivers of a Corvette and a Lamborghini were speeding on North Central Expressway when they lost control. Police said the occupants of the Lamborghini and Corvette left without determining if anyone needed medical attention or providing their information. Police said Tuesday they are still working to identify suspects. Police have not said whether Rice is among the people they are seeking.


Caitlin Clark can claim another record — the most-watched women’s college basketball game in history. Iowa’s 94-87 victory over LSU averaged 12.3 million viewers on ESPN, according to Nielsen. Clark scored 41 points as the Hawkeyes avenged last year’s loss to the Tigers in the national championship game. It was one of the most-viewed games in any sport other than NFL football over the past year. Iowa-LSU outdrew all but of the five games in last year's NBA Finals, along with the clinching game of last year’s World Series. The previous biggest audience for women's college basketball was the 1983 national title game between Southern California and Louisiana Tech.

Caitlin Clark's last college games are booked. The record-breaking Iowa star, who has been basketball's biggest story all season, will try to win a national title this weekend in the Final Four. Clark scored 41 points on Monday night as the Hawkeyes avenged a loss to LSU in last year's championship game to earn a spot in Cleveland. Iowa will face UConn in Friday's second semifinal. The Huskies are making their 23rd appearance under Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma. The first semifinal will pit undefeated South Carolina, making its fourth straight trip with coach Dawn Staley, against North Carolina State.

North Carolina State is riding an emotional wave with its men's and women's basketball teams both reaching the Final Four. It marks the first trip to the Final Four for the men's team since Jim Valvano's “Cardiac Pack” won the 1983 NCAA title by stunning heavily favored Houston. For the women, it marks the first Final Four trip since 1998 under Hall of Famer Kay Yow. Sunday's wins marked a breakthrough moment for both programs. N.C. State is now the 11th school to have its men's and women's teams reach the Final Four in the same year.


Four assistant coaches arrested in a 2017 FBI probe designed to clean up college basketball are Black. All are out of the sport, banned by the NCAA. One coach, Book Richardson, tells The Associated Press he knows why: Because Black assistants were the low-hanging fruit — the ones on the front lines making connections with recruits. The numbers back him up. An AP analysis of the six biggest conferences in college hoops reveals that Blacks hold nearly 60% of the riskier assistants’ jobs, but fewer than 30% of head-coaching jobs. And while Richardson and his Black counterparts remain on the outside, most of the white coaches whose teams were targeted in the probe are still working.’

Washington State has hired David Riley as its basketball coach, nabbing the two-time Big Sky Conference coach of the year at a time of uncertainty for the Cougars. Riley will move down the Palouse highway after three successful seasons as the coach at Eastern Washington. He’ll take over a Washington State program coming off its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 16 years, but with significant questions after the collapse of the Pac-12 Conference. The Cougars will play the next two years as affiliate members of the West Coast Conference. Riley replaces Kyle Smith, who spent five years in Pullman before taking the head job at Stanford.

Black coaches in the top six men's college basketball leagues are still facing a tough climb in going from assistant to the top job. An analysis by The Associated Press found Black coaches holding 59.4% of assistant jobs in the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences for the 2022-23 season. But the head-coach rate stood at just 29.9%. Richard Lapchick is founder of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. He says the percentage of Black coaches holding top jobs across all of Division I has largely been stagnant around 25% going back decades.

© 2024 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A 2022 Siena College graduate, Alexander began his journalism career as a sports writer for Siena College's student paper The Promethean, and as a host for Siena's school radio station, WVCR-FM "The Saint." A Cubs fan, Alexander hosts the morning Sports Report in addition to producing Morning Edition. You can hear the sports reports over-the-air at 6:19 and 7:19 AM, and online on WAMC.org. He also speaks Spanish as a second language. To reach him, email ababbie@wamc.org, or call (518)-465-5233 x 190. You can also find him on Twitter/X: @ABabbieWAMC.