Update on the latest sports
Springer expected to make Toronto debut
DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo is optimistic that outfielder George Springer will finally be ready to make his Blue Jays debut when they host Washington in Dunedin, Florida. The MVP of the 2017 World Series with Houston, Springer signed a team-record $150 million, six-year deal with the Blue Jays during the offseason but has been slowed by injuries since spring training. Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, who has pitched 17 1/3 straight scoreless innings, is on the mound for the Nationals.
Also on the big-league schedule:
— Right-hander Merrill Kelly starts for the Diamondbacks when they host Fernando Tatis Jr. and the Padres following a dominant pitching performance in a doubleheader at Atlanta. Madison Bumgarner tossed a seven-inning no-hitter against the Braves on Sunday after Zac Gallen threw a one-hit shutout in the opener.
— Fresh off their first four-game sweep on the road since 1999, surprising Kansas City opens a three-game series at Pittsburgh. The Royals are 14—and-7 and own the best record in the American League. They’ve won a season-high five in a row, boosted by four straight wins at Detroit.
— There’s a quality pitching matchup in Cleveland for the second of 19 meetings this season between the Indians and Minnesota Twins. Kenta Maeda, runner-up for the AL Cy Young Award last year in his first season with Minnesota, has won all three of his career starts against Cleveland, posting a 0.50 ERA with 20 strikeouts over 18 innings. Indians right-hander Aaron Civale has not lost in four starts this season.
— After snapping a seven-game losing streak in a 5-3 win over the Dodgers on Monday, the Cincinnati Reds send Jeff Hoffman to the mound against the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler.
— Texas Rangers righthander Mike Foltynewicz, who’s given up more homers this season than any other pitcher — eight — takes his 0-and-3 mark into tonight’s game at home against the Angels.
—New York Mets lefty David Peterson gets the start in a series opener in Boston. He earned a win against the Red Sox in his big-league debut last July. Garrett Richards is on the mound for the Sox.
— The Atlanta Braves — whose ten hits Monday night against the Cubs were ten times as many as they could produce in a Sunday doubleheader against Arizona — will try to beat Chicago again at home.
— New York Yankees righthander Corey Kluber hasn’t pitched into the sixth inning yet this season. He’ll try again tonight against the Orioles.
— The Phillies start righthander Zach Eflin against righty Carlos Martinez of the Cardinals in the second game of a four-game series in St. Louis.
— After routing the Rockies 12-0 Monday night, the San Francisco Giants host Colorado again. The Giants’ pitching staff took over the major league ERA lead at 2.81 with the shutout.
— The Astros continue a series at home against the Seattle Mariners. Houston was a 5-2 winner Monday night with Jose Altuve back in the lineup after testing positive for COVID-19. He had three hits in his return.
— Brewers righthander Adrian Houser and Miami lefty Daniel Castano are on the mound in Milwaukee. Houser has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his first four starts this season, while Castano threw four scoreless innings after allowing three two-out runs in the opening inning his last time out.
— The Detroit Tigers face the Chicago White Sox and Lucas Giolito for the first time this season, hoping José Ureña can earn his first win since 2018.
— The Oakland Athletics are hoping for a new winning streak to build on last night’s 2-1 win over the Rays; the two teams meet again at Tropicana Field.
Celtics host Thunder
BOSTON (AP) — After winning seven of eight, the Boston Celtics have lost their last two games, but still hold the sixth spot in the NBA’s Eastern Conference heading into tonight’s game at home against Oklahoma City. One more loss for the Thunder will make it 15 in a row — and that’s a franchise record.
Elsewhere in the NBA:
— The Portland Trail Blazers — who’ve lost five straight and nine of their last 11 to fall to seventh place in the Western Conference — try to regroup against the Pacers in Indiana.
— The Milwaukee Bucks continue a four-game road trip at Charlotte.
— The Brooklyn Nets, coming off of a win over Phoenix on Sunday, head to Tampa, Florida to play the Toronto Raptors, who’ve won five of their last six.
— The Dallas Mavericks play the Warriors in San Francisco. Dallas has won five of the last six against Golden State, though the two teams split a pair of games earlier this season.
— The struggling Houston Rockets, at 15-and-46, are at home against Minnesota. The Rockets have learned that John Wall is likely to miss the rest of the season with a strained right hamstring.
Penguins host Bruins again
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins meet again in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins took a 1-0 victory Sunday for their fourth straight win. Pittsburgh and Boston are battling for two of the top four spots in a tightly contested East Division.
In other action:
— The Washington Capitals, one point behind Pittsburgh in the East, return home against the third-place New York Islanders.
— The New York Rangers, who’ve pulled within four points of Boston for the final playoff spot in the East Division, again host the Buffalo Sabres.
— The Tampa Bay Lightning, within a point of Florida for second place in the Central Division, is in Chicago to meet the Blackhawks.
— The Dallas Stars and Carolina Hurricanes complete a back-to-back in Dallas. It’s the Stars’ final home game of the season. They remain two points behind Nashville for the last playoff spot in the Central Division with eight games to play.
— The Predators and the Florida Panthers complete a back-to-back in Nashville. The Panthers trail Carolina by two points for the top spot in the Central.
— The New Jersey Devils, who’ve gone 10 straight games without a win, host Philadelphia.
— The Columbus Blue Jackets, whose winless streak has reached nine games, are at home against the Red Wings.
NHL reaches 7-year deal with Turner Sports, ending NBC run
UNDATED (AP) — The National Hockey League is coming to TNT.
The league and Turner Sports announced a seven-year agreement that begins next season. It includes three Stanley Cup Finals, up to 72 regular-season games, half of the first- and second-round playoff games on TNT and TBS as well as a conference final series.
The deal means NBC’s run of covering the league ends after after this season’s playoffs. NBC has broadcast games since 2005 and is in the final season of a 10-year contract.
When the Stanley Cup Finals are shown on Turner in 2023, it will mark the first time since 1994 they will be only on cable.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-WEST VIRGINIA-CULVER
WVU’s Derek Culver signs with agent, will enter NBA draft
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia forward Derek Culver has decided to skip his senior season to enter the NBA draft. Culver announced Monday night that he has signed with an agent.
Culver was named to the all-Big 12 first team as a junior. He was second on the Mountaineers with a scoring average of 14.3 and led the Big 12 with 9.4 rebounds per game. He had 11 double-doubles this past season.
West Virginia’s roster has seen an extensive makeover since the Mountaineers lost to Syracuse in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to finish the season 19-10. Coach Bob Huggins this month announced the signings of three graduate transfers.
Geno Hayes, former NFL, Florida State linebacker, dies at 33
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Former NFL linebacker and Florida State star Geno Hayes has died. His death was confirmed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He suffered from liver disease and had been in hospice care.
Hayes spent four seasons with the Bucs, who drafted him in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. He then played one year with Chicago and two with Jacksonville.
Geno Hayes was 33 years old.
Wimbledon Middle Sunday play in ’22; fans, money TBD in ’21
LONDON (AP) — The All England Club says there will be play on Wimbledon’s middle Sunday starting in 2022. That is a significant break in tradition for the grass-court Grand Slam tournament. There only has been play on the middle Sunday in the past when rain created a backlog of matches.
Wimbledon returns in 2021 after it was called off last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The club says it received about $250 million in cancellation insurance.
Some aspects of the 2021 tournament are still to be determined. That includes the number of spectators and prize money.