The Boston Bruins have protected home-ice advantage in the NHL’s Eastern Conference final by thrashing the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2. Matt Grzelcyk produced his first multi-goal game and the Bruins followed Thursday’s 6-3 victory with a convincing 6-2 rout of the Canes.
Connor Clifton notched his first career NHL goal while the B’s built a 6-0 lead en route to their fifth straight win. Tuukka Rask needed to make just 21 saves to help Boston get within two victories of the Stanley Cup final. Jake DeBrusk, David Backes and Danton Heinen also connected, while Torey Krug and Charlie Coyle had three assists apiece. Justin Williams and Teuvo Teravainen scored in the third period to deprive Rask of a seventh career playoff shutout. Petr Mrazek stopped just 19 of 25 shots for the Hurricanes, who host Game 3 on Tuesday. Carolina is 5-0 at home this postseason.
The Portland Trail Blazers and Toronto Raptors have extended their seasons. The Trail Blazers have reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 19 years by taking a Game 7 on the road. The Toronto Raptors reached the Eastern Conference Finals by winning a Game 7 with a last-second basket.
The Raptors pulled out a 92-90 win over Philadelphia when Kawhi Leonard nailed a shot from the corner over 76ers center Joel Embiid. Leonard capped his 41-point performance with a shot that bounced off the rim four times before settling through the net. It came after Jimmy Butler tied it with a driving layup with 4.2 seconds remaining. Leonard’s final points set off a wild celebration as the Raptors advanced to the conference finals for the second time in four seasons. They will open the conference finals Wednesday night at Milwaukee. Serge Ibaka added 17 points for Toronto, and Pascal Siakam added 11 with 11 rebounds. Embiid led the 76ers with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
In Denver, CJ McCollum scored 37 points and the Blazers overcame a 17-point, first-half deficit to beat the Nuggets 100-96. Evan Turner delivered 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter after scoring just four in the first six games of the series. Turner also dribbled out the clock after grabbing the rebound of a desperation 3-point attempt by Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets raced to a 39-22 lead midway through the second quarter before Portland began to chip away. The Trail Blazers were down just one point heading into the fourth quarter until Denver shot 7-for-24 the rest of the way, including 3-for-10 by Jokic. Jokic led Denver with 29 points but missed 15 shots. The Western Conference Finals begin Tuesday in Oakland.
Just a half-game separates the top two teams in the American League East, with the Boston Red Sox pushing themselves back into contention. Masahiro Tanaka outpitched reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell as the second-place New York Yankees beat the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays, 7-1. Tanaka matched his season high of seven innings, allowing one run and five hits with seven strikeouts. Snell struck out 12 over 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, four hits, two walks. Thairo Estrada homered just after play resumed following a ninth-inning power outage.
In Boston, J.D. Martinez homered twice and rookie Michael Chavis collected five RBIs as the Red Sox hammered the Mariners, 11-2 to complete a three-game sweep. Spot starter Hector Velázquez gave up two runs in five innings of the Red Sox’s fifth consecutive win and 16th in their last 22 games. Omar Narváez homered for the Mariners, who have lost four straight and 15 of 19 after opening 13-2. Seattle also placed Félix Hernández on the injured list with a strained right shoulder, a day after he became the 36th pitcher in major league history to reach 2,500 strikeouts.
The Phillies cruised to a 6-1 win at Kansas City as Cole Irvin was reached for just one run and five hits over seven innings of his major league debut. Phillies starters have a 2.36 ERA, the second-best in the majors during that span. J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run double and Odubel Herrera followed with a two-run single while the Phils scored six times in the fifth.
Hyun-Jin Ryu took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and Corey Seager launched a grand slam to highlight the Dodgers’ 6-0 shutout of the Nationals. Ryu’s no-hit bid ended when Gerardo Parra hit a ground rule double with one out in the eighth, one night after Parra cracked a go-ahead grand slam. Ryu struck out nine in eight innings and threw a career-high 116 pitches as the Dodgers earned a four-game split.
The Marlins and Mets were rained out in New York, creating a doubleheader on Aug. 5.
Elsewhere in the majors, the Astros picked up their fifth straight win as George Springer went 5-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs in a 15-5 thrashing of the Rangers. Alex Bregman also homered twice and tied his career high with five RBIs as the Astros completed a four-game sweep. Corbin Martin struck out nine to win his major league debut, allowing two runs, three hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings.
Lucas Giolito allowed one run and four hits over seven innings of the White Sox’s 5-1 win against the Blue Jays. Giolito matched his season high with eight strikeouts and improved to 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in his past four games. Tim Anderson and Yonder Alonso homered off Aaron Sanchez as Chicago handed Toronto its 10th loss in 12 games.
Nicholas Castellanos had three hits, including a two-run homer in the Tigers’ 5-3 victory at Minnesota. Brandon Dixon also hit an early round-tripper to back Daniel Norris, who went 6 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on six hits. Ehire Adrianza homered and had two hits for the Twins, but designated hitter Nelson Cruz exited early with a left wrist injury.
Roberto Pérez belted a three-run homer in the sixth inning of the Indians’ 5-3 victory at Oakland. Jefry Rodríguez allowed three runs and six hits over six innings for his first win. Matt Olson hit his first home run of the year for the Athletics, five days after making his season debut.
Chris Davis homered in his return to the cleanup spot to help the Orioles beat the Angels, 5-1 and avoid a three-game sweep. Davis is hitting .290 with five home runs and 17 RBIs since stopping an 0-for-54 skid on April 13, a record hitless streak among position players. Dwight Smith Jr. and Pedro Severino also went deep to help the Orioles stop a four-game losing streak.
Jon Lester pitched into the seventh and Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer as the Cubs knocked off the Brewers, 4-1 to take a two-game lead over Milwaukee in the NL Central. Lester allowed an unearned run and nine hits while throwing a season-high 116 pitches, one day after the Cubs went 15 innings against the Brewers. Bryant had three hits and scored three times in helping Chicago close out an 8-2 homestand.
Josh Bell extended his hitting streak to 12 games by going 4-for-4 with a homer and five RBIs in the Pirates’ 10-6 win over the Cardinals. Pittsburgh trailed 6-3 in the seventh until Bell tied it with a three-run blast and pinch-hitter Adam Frazier added a two-run double. Paul Goldschmidt and José Martínez homered for the Redbirds, who have lost five of six and nine of 11.
Charlie Blackmon homered twice and Antonio Senzatela pitched effectively into the seventh inning of the Rockies’ 10-7 victory against the Padres. Raimel Tapia belted a two-run homer and pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy hit a three-run double as Colorado took the rubber match of the three-game set. Tapia and David Dahl each had three of the Rockies’ 13 hits.
Pablo Sandoval smacked a two-run homer and scored the go-ahead run on Kevin Pillar's two-out single in the eighth inning of the Giants’ 6-5 verdict over the Reds. Pillar saved a run in the first inning when he threw out José Iglesias at the plate trying to score on Kyle Farmer's single. Pinch-hitter Brandon Belt slammed a tying, two-run homer on a hanging curveball from Cincinnati starter Tyler Mahle in the seventh.
Max Fried worked five innings and Johan Camargo hit an early two-run single as the Braves downed the Diamondbacks, 5-3. Fried gave up three runs and nine hits in his first start since being hit on the left hand by a line drive Tuesday against the Dodgers. Tyler Flowers had two RBIs, including a run-scoring triple in the eighth inning.
In MLB news, the Yankees plan to activate center fielder Aaron Hicks before Monday's homestand opener against the Orioles. Hicks hurt his back during batting practice March 1 and needed a pair of cortisone shots. He went 3 for 4 with two doubles and a homer for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday, leaving him 3 for 18 in five minor league injury rehabilitation games.
The Brewers have recalled right-hander Jacob Barnes from Triple-A San Antonio and optioned reliever Burch Smith to their top farm club. The addition of Barnes gives Milwaukee a fresh arm in the bullpen a day after its 15-inning loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was out of the starting lineup for their series finale against Milwaukee because of back tightness. Rizzo's back tightened up on him during Saturday's 15-inning victory over the Brewers. The slugger has a history of back issues.
Sung Kang picked up his first PGA victory in 159 career starts by capturing the Byron Nelson. Kang made a 23-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole to finally take the lead for good. It was the second of three consecutive birdies for the Texas resident, who closed with a 4-under 67 to finish at 23 under. Matt Every and Scott Piercy finished two strokes back.
The final round of the Regions Tradition has been pushed back to Monday. Play was suspended following a 4 ½-hour delay created by thunderstorms and steady rain. Steve Stricker holds a two-stroke lead at 14-under 202. Two-time Tradition winner Bernhard Langer, David Toms and Billy Andrade are all two strokes back.
Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 to win his third Madrid Open title on Sunday, tying Rafael Nadal for most Masters 1000 trophies with 33. It was the second title of the season for the top-ranked Djokovic, adding to his triumph in the Australian Open. Nadal and Djokovic have five Masters 1000 titles more than Roger Federer, third in the all-time list.
F1-SPANISH GRAND PRIX
Lewis Hamilton beat teammate Valtteri Bottas to win the Spanish Grand Prix for a third consecutive year on Sunday, securing a fifth one-two finish for Mercedes to start the Formula One season. Hamilton's third win of the campaign let him take the championship lead by seven points over Bottas.
The Miami Dolphins have signed running back Mark Walton, who is already familiar with local authorities. Walton has been arrested three times by police in Miami this offseason, the latest being on charges of reckless driving, marijuana possession and carrying a concealed weapon. He was arrested with Marijuana possession in January and was detained on a battery charge a month later after police say he got into an argument about a parking situation. The latest arrest caused the Bengals to release him after taking Walton in the fourth round of last year’s draft.
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