Wide-open Indy expected
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Today's Indianapolis 500 is believed to be the most wide-open race in years. There are no clear favorites and there's a group of new faces vying for attention. And with no Danica Patrick, there's a chance for some new stars to be born in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
The front two rows for the start of the race are stacked with drivers from Penske Racing and Andretti Autosport, so it could be a shootout between those six guys. Penske has Ryan Briscoe on the pole, with Will Power and three-time race winner Helio Castroneves (EHL'-ee-oh kas-troh-NEH'-vehz) in the second row. Andretti has spots two through four with James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay on the front row, and Marco Andretti in the second row.
The Penske team is undefeated so far this season, with four wins and five poles.
Wife of late driver returns to Indy
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Susie Wheldon received a long standing ovation during yesterday's public driver meeting for the Indianapolis 500. Dan Wheldon's wife accepted a replica of the Borg Warner trophy on behalf of the two-time Indianapolis winner. Last year's winner of the 500 was killed in a crash during the October season finale race at Las Vegas.
She was also presented with a plaque from The American Dairy Association to commemorate Wheldon's win last May.
Celtics ride Rondo and defense for Game 7 victory
BOSTON (AP) — It wasn't pretty, it wasn't high scoring, but the Boston Celtics will certainly take it. The Celtics rode their tenacious defense with just enough offense to beat the eighth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers 85-75 in last night's Game 7 showdown to move on to meet the Miami Heat in the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
All five Celtics starters hit double figures after Boston had missed its first 14 3-point shots. Point guard Rajon Rondo (RAH'-zhahn RAHN'-doh) took charge late and scored nine straight points in the final period when he scored 11 of his 18 points. Rondo finished with a triple-double as he had 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Kevin Garnett was big at both ends of the floor, scoring 18 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Paul Pierce scored 15 points before fouling out late.
The Celtics are now 18-4 in their franchise history in Game 7's at home.
The Eastern Conference final starts Monday night in Miami. As Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of the challenge of taking on the top-seeded Heat: "I've already packed. We'll be ready."
Boston took the regular-season series from Miami 3-1. The last of those meetings was in the final game of the season when both teams rested their regulars.
Nats hand Braves sixth straight loss...Hamilton's 20th saves Rangers
UNDATED (AP) — The Washington Nationals continued the Atlanta Braves misery with an 8-4 loss. Stephen Strasburg was not sharp but lasted five innings for the victory. Danny Espinosa delivered a three-run homer and rookie Bryce Harper added his third home run.
The Braves' season-worst losing streak reached six games as they fell three games behind the Nationals.
The Nationals send out six-game winner Gio Gonzalez tonight in attempt to sweep the Braves.
In other NL action:
__ Philadelphia blanked St. Louis 4-0. Kyle Kendrick threw a seven-hitter for his first career shutout, winning his first game of the season. The Phillies can finish their first four-game sweep in St. Louis in 26 years with a win Sunday when they have Roy Halladay on the mound.
— Mark Buehrle (BUR'-lee) pitched into the eighth inning and the Miami Marlins moved within a victory of tying the team record for the most in a month with a 5-3 win over the San Francisco Giants. The Marlins are 18-7 in May.
— New York's Johan (YOH'-hahn) Santana pitched a four-hitter for his first shutout since 2010 as the Mets blanked the Padres 9-0. Santana was backed up with three home runs from his teammates. Mike Nickeas (NIHK'-ee-iss) hit New York's first grand slam of the season, and Scott Hairston and Vinny Rottino also went long for the Mets, who have won five of their last seven games.
— Matt Hague was hit by a pitch from Rafael Dolis with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Pittsburgh Pirates sent the Chicago Cubs to their 11th straight loss, 3-2.
— Chris Heisey gave Cincinnati the lead with his first home run of the season, and four relievers made it stand up as the Reds overcame a poor start by Mike Leake for a 10-3 win over the Colorado Rockies. The Reds have won seven of eight.
— John McDonald hit a three-homer and Milwaukee's Zack Greinke (GREHN'-kee) had his worst outing of the season in the Arizona Diamondbacks' 8-5 victory over the Brewers. Greinke gave up seven runs and a season-high 10 hits in 2 1-3 innings.
— A.J. Ellis hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning, giving the Los Angeles Dodgers a 6-3 victory over the Houston Astros. The Dodgers' 11th victory in 15 games improved the best record in the majors to 31-15 and extended their NL West lead over San Francisco to a season-high 7 1-2 games. — the largest margin in any division.
Over in the AL:
— Josh Hamilton hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 13th inning, lifting the Texas Rangers to an 8-7 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto had taken a 7-5 lead in the top half. Hamilton's third game-ending homer came off Jason Frasor and was his 20th home run of the year.
— Albert Pujols (POO'-hohlz) hit a home run in his third straight game and pinch hitter Alberto Callaspo (ky-AS'-poh) came through with a grand slam in the sixth inning to give the Los Angeles Angels a 5-3 win over Seattle. Pujols now has seven homers after not hitting any in April.
— Jarrod Saltalamacchia (sahl-tah-lah-MAH'-kee-ah) had a pinch-hit, two-run homer off Fernando Rodney with one out in the ninth inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
__ Mark Teixeira (teh-SHEHR'-uh) hit a two-run homer and a solo shot and tied his career high of four hits to back CC Sabathia's sixth win of the year, and the New York Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 9-2 for their fourth straight win. The Yanks have won nine straight times in Oakland.
— Dayan Viciedo homered in his third straight game, Paul Konerko had four hits, and the Chicago White Sox pounded Derek Lowe and the short-handed Cleveland Indians 14-7 Saturday for their eighth win in nine games.
— Eric Hosmer singled in the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning, Billy Butler homered and the Kansas City Royals rallied to beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3. Hosmer went 3 for 4 with two RBIs to help the Royals make up a three-run deficit.
— Max Scherzer struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings and Prince Fielder had his first four-hit game with the Detroit, as the Tigers beat the Twins 6-3. The 4-3 Sherzer gave up three runs and six hits before leaving due to a rain delay. The loser was Carl Pavano (pah-VAH'-noh), who falls to 2-4.
Jones heads to DL
UNDATED (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have placed Chipper Jones on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left leg. He injured the leg on May 18 and missed seven straight starts.
The 40-year-old Jones, in his final season, is hitting .307 with five homers and 24 RBIs. The Braves have gone 19-5 with Jones in the starting lineup this year, and 7-16 without him.
In other baseball news:
— Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana is likely headed to the seven-day concussion list. He was hit in the facemask by a foul tip in Friday's game with the White Sox. Manager Manny Acta also says All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (ahs-DROO'-buhl kah-BREHR'-uh) is day to day because of tightness in his left hamstring.
— Francisco Liriano is getting another shot in the Minnesota Twins' starting rotation. Manager Ron Gardenhire has announced that the left-hander is moving out of the bullpen and will start Wednesday against Oakland. Liriano was demoted to the bullpen May 9 after going 0-5 with a 9.45 ERA in six starts.
GOLF-CROWNE PLAZA INVITATIONAL
Dufner the one to catch
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Jason Dufner is 18 holes away from another tournament win. After three rounds of the PGA's Crowne Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas, Dufner tops the leaderboard at 15-under par. He had a 4-under-66 in round three and tops Zach Johnson by one shot. Johnson had a good day, shooting a 5-under-65.
Dufner has gotten used to winning, as he has won two of the last five events.
GOLF-SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
Chapman stands on top
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Roger Chapman has a five-shot lead after three rounds of the 73rd Senior PGA Championship. Chapman shot a 7-under-64 and stands 14-under par for the tournament. His round featured eight birdies and one bogey.
John Cook is in second place at minus-9.
Webber to start from the lead
MONACO (AP) — Former world champion Michael Schumacher posted the fastest time in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, but his previous grid penalty means Mark Webber's Red Bull will start today's race at the pole. Webber beat Nico Rosberg's time on his final lap, only for the 43-year-old Schumacher to surpass Webber's effort just moments later.
But the grid penalty Schumacher got at the Spanish Grand Prix means he starts from sixth on the grid.
It's an all-Maryland final
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The top-seeded Loyola of Maryland Greyhounds struggled against Notre Dame's tight defense, breaking through just often enough to pull ahead by four goals and hold off the Fighting Irish 7-5 in the NCAA lacrosse semifinals Saturday.
It was the fewest goals the 17-1 Greyhounds scored in a game this season. Eric Lusby matched a career high with five goals.
The Greyhounds will play Maryland — a 16-10 winner over Duke in the second semifinal — in the title game Monday. Drew Snider had four goals for the Terps, who lost to Virginia 9-7 in last year's NCAA final.