Update on the latest sports


Cole starts against Astros

NEW YORK (AP) — Gerrit Cole starts against Houston for the first time since leaving the Astros for a $324 million, nine-year contract with the Yankees before the 2020 season. He’ll face friend and former teammate Lance McCullers Jr. when the American League powers wrap up their three-game series in a New York matinee.

In other afternoon action:

— Kansas City left-hander Danny Duffy leads the American League with a 0.60 ERA going into this afternoon’s game with Cleveland and is second in the majors to the New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom. Duffy is 4-1 heading into his outing against right-hander Triston McKenzie.

— Milwaukee and Philadelphia conclude their four-game series with an intriguing pitching matchup. Brandon Woodruff starts for the visiting Brewers, and fellow right-hander Zack Wheeler gets the ball for the Phillies. Woodruff has permitted four runs in 31 innings over his last five starts. He is 2-0 with a sparkling 0.50 ERA in three career starts against the Phillies. Wheeler is 1-1 with a 2.90 ERA in five starts versus the Brewers.

— The St. Louis Cardinals, who saw a six-game winning streak end in the nightcap of Wednesday’s doubleheader, send John Gant to the mound against Taijuan Walker of the Mets to wrap up the series in St. Louis.

— The Tigers and Red Sox meet again for the series finale at Fenway Park. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi starts for Boston, and right-hander Spencer Turnbull gets the ball for Detroit.

— Lefthander Jon Lester makes his second start of the season for the Washington Nationals against Atlanta lefty Drew Smyly.

— Texas Rangers righthander Jordan Lyles is hoping for better results today against the Twins. He gave up 12 earned runs in 6 2/3 innings in his last two starts. Lyles faces Minnesota’s Michael Pineda, who was pushed back from his scheduled start yesterday because of wrist soreness.

— The Oakland A’s, still tied for the best winning percentage in baseball despite last night’s loss to the Blue Jays, host Toronto again in the series finale.

On the schedule tonight:

— Arizona left-hander Madison Bumgarner has won three straight starts for Arizona going into tonight’s outing at Miami, which starts right-hander Pablo López. After winning at Washington on April 18, Bumgarner pitched seven no-hit innings at Atlanta on April 25 in the second game of a doubleheader. He allowed one run and four hits over five innings to beat Colorado on April 30.

— Tampa Bay goes for its first four-game sweep at Angel Stadium since 2012.


Nets in Dallas

NEW YORK (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets — two games behind the 76ers atop the Eastern Conference after losing three straight — try to regain their footing tonight in Dallas against the Mavericks.

In other NBA action:

— The Washington Wizards — winners of 13 of their last 17 — face the Toronto Raptors in Tampa, Florida, as they try to avoid getting swept in that regular-season series. The Raptors are jockeying for a spot in the play-in tournament with six games remaining. They are just outside of the No. 10 seed.

— The Charlotte Hornets — who are in solid shape to at least make it to the play-in round of the playoffs — host the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls won both previous meetings this season.

— The Los Angeles Clippers host the Lakers in a possible playoff preview.

— The Indiana Pacers — who’ve won their last six home games against the Atlanta Hawks — will try to make it seven in a row.

— Memphis continues its three-game trip at Detroit. The Grizzlies won their only meeting so far this year against the Pistons.

— The Golden State Warriors play their final six games at home starting tonight against Oklahoma City.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins — tied atop the East Division with the Washington Capitals — try to take solo possession of the lead when they host the Buffalo Sabres.

Also on the NHL schedule:

— The Carolina Hurricanes — still in control of the race for home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs — are at home against the Chicago Blackhawks.

— The playoff-bound New York Islanders, who’ve lost their last two, are at home against the New Jersey Devils.

— The New York Rangers, who’ve lost four straight, visit Boston for the final two games of the regular season tonight and Saturday.

— The Toronto Maple Leafs host the Montreal Canadiens, and Vancouver skates at Edmonton.


Nadal reaches Madrid Open quarters, Barty into final

MADRID (AP) — Rafael Nadal has defeated another young opponent and showed signs he is getting closer to his best form on clay. He has defeated Alexei Popyrin 6-3, 6-3 to make it to the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open.

Nadal overcame eight aces and saved five break points.

Women’s No. 1 Ashleigh Barty cruised into the final with a 6-4, 6-3 win over wild card Paula Badosa, the first Spanish woman to reach the semifinals in Madrid. Barty has won 16 straight matches on clay and will be playing in her fourth final this year. She’s won the previous three.


Dolphins release safety McCain

MIAMI (AP) — Safety Bobby McCain has been released by the Miami Dolphins, who took Jevon Holland of Oregon as a potential replacement in the second round of the draft. Holland is now the front-runner to be paired at safety with veteran Eric Rowe this season.

McCain, who has spent his entire six-year NFL career with Miami, started 15 games last season and has 55 career starts. His release clears $5.6 million in salary cap space for the Dolphins.


Hall of Fame creating behavioral health program for players

UNDATED (AP) — The Pro Football Hall of Fame is forming a behavioral health program seeking solutions to mental and behavioral issues for current and former athletes and their families.

The program, announced Thursday in Canton, Ohio, is supported by such hall members as Ronnie Lott, Brian Dawkins, Steve Atwater, Andre Reed and Tim Brown; current players Adrian Peterson and Calais Campbell; and David Baker, president of the Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Behavioral Health will offer a concierge call center and crisis line to match treatment and counseling services with an accredited network of providers nationwide.