Update on the latest sports


Bolts down Canes

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The defending Stanley Cup champs are one win away from reaching the semifinals.

The Tampa Bay Lighting own a three-games-to-one lead in their second-round series after Nikita Kucherov (KOO’-cheh-rahv) and Steven Stamkos each had two goals and an assist in a 6-4 win over the Hurricanes.

The Lightning trailed 4-2 before scoring three straight goals in the second period. Stamkos and Kucherov tallied on the power play and Tyler Johnson also beat Petr Mrazek with 5:22 left in the period.

Tampa Bay finished 3 of 6 on the power play, and it has scored five times with the man advantage in the last two games.

Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy (va-sih-LEHV’-skee) finished with 21 saves and blanked Carolina after Jaccob Slavin’s (JAY’-kahb SLAY’-vihnz) goal at 12:41 of the second.

The Bolts can wrap up the series on Tuesday in Raleigh.


Clifford won’t return as Magic coach…Embiid status still uncertain

UNDATED (AP) — Nets guard James Harden left less than a minute into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals tonight against Milwaukee with a right hamstring injury, potentially dealing a huge blow to Brooklyn’s championship hopes.

Harden appeared to grab at the hamstring on a drive to the basket on the Nets’ first possession against Milwaukee.

The Nets announced after the first quarter that he wouldn’t return to the game.

Harden missed 20 games because of problems with the hamstring in the second half of the season, including a pair of losses to Milwaukee in May.

In other NBA news:

— Steve Clifford is out after three years as Orlando’s head coach, with the team saying it was a mutual decision. Magic President Jeff Weltman indicated that Clifford might not have wanted to be part of a long rebuild around young players and draft picks. Clifford was 96-131 in his three years, reaching the playoffs each of his first two seasons.

— Joel Embiid’s (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEEDZ’) status for Game 1 of Philadelphia’s playoff series against Atlanta is still unknown. The Sixers are set to open their playoff series with the Hawks at home Sunday. The All-Star has a small lateral meniscus tear in his right knee and coach Doc Rivers says no decision has been made on his availability.


Essential Quality wins Belmont Stakes

NEW YORK (AP) — Essential Quality has won the third leg of the Triple Crown, capturing the Belmont Stakes.

Essential Quality went off as the 6-5 favorite and passed early leader Hot Rod Charlie around the final turn before holding on to win the 1 1/2-mile race.

Brad Cox’s gray colt finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby after going off as the favorite and enduring a rough trip.

Hot Rod Charlie was second, Preakness winner Rombauer third and Known Agenda fourth.


Nadal, Djokovic in 4th round, as usual

PARIS (AP) — A trio of familiar names have advanced to the Round of 16 at the French Open.

Rafael Nadal has advanced to the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the 50th time by beating Cameron Norrie in the French Open, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. The defending champion is trying to add to his record 13 French Open championships and seeks his 21st major title, which would break the men’s record he shares with Roger Federer.

Federer survived a draining 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5 win over 59th-ranked Dominik Koepfer in a match that ended around 1am local time.

Men’s top-seed Novak Djokovic (JOH’-koh-vihch) reached the fourth round for a record 12th consecutive year with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 win over 93rd-ranked Ricardas Berankis. Djokovic’s streak of appearances in the Round of 16 in Paris is one more than the previous mark shared by Nadal and Federer.

Other winners on the men’s side include ninth seed Matteo Berrettini and No. 10 Diego Schwartzman.

In the women’s bracket, defending champion Iga Swiatek (shvee-AHN’-tehk) rallied from a slow start to beat Anett Kontaveit 7-6, 6-0. The eighth-seeded Swiatek has won 20 consecutive sets at Roland Garros and dropped just 12 points in the second set.

Fourth-seeded Sofia Kenin remains the highest seed in the women’s draw after rallying to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 against American countrywoman Jessica Pegula (peh-GOO’-luh). American teenager Coco Gauff is into the fourth round for the first time after her opponent Jennifer Brady stopped playing because of an injured left foot.

Former French Open runner-up Sloane Stephens also advanced to the fourth round, but fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina (svih-toh-LEE’-nah) was upset by Barbora Krejcikova.


Guerrero hits 18th homer as Blue Jays beat Astros 6-2

UNDATED (AP) — The Blue Jays were able to bounce back from Friday’s 13-1 blowout loss to the Houston Astros, Toronto’s only home loss since returning to Buffalo.

Homers by Vladimir Guerrero and Joe Panik (PA’-nihk) powered the Blue Jays past the Astros, 6-2 in Buffalo.

Panik’s tiebreaking three-run shot off José Urquidy (ur-KEE’-dee) gave Toronto a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning. Guerrero connected in the fifth, sending a two-run drive deep to left for his 18th homer.

Ross Stripling pitched five innings of one-run ball for the Blue Jays, who improved to 3-1 at their temporary home in Buffalo.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— Rich Hill pitched another five scoreless innings on just 59 pitches as the Rays blanked the Rangers, 3-0. Austin Meadows delivered a two-run single off in the first inning before Manuel Margot (mahn-WEHL mahr-GOH’) hit a solo homer in the eighth as Tampa Bay improved to an AL-best 37-23.

— Tarik Skubal (TAH’-rihk SKOO’-bul) struck out a career-high 11 and Eric Haase (hahs) homered twice in the Tigers’ 4-3 downing of the White Sox. Skubal allowed one run and four hits in five innings to help Detroit beat Chicago for just the second time in their last 15 meetings.

— Homers by Ryan Jeffers, Kyle Garlick and Miguel Sanó helped the Twins beat the Royals, 5-4 and end a four-game skid. Hansel Robles gave up Kelvin Gutiérrez’s leadoff double in the ninth before the Twins eventually turned a game-ending double play with the potential tying run on third.

— Cesar Hernandez and Harold Ramirez homered off John Means before the Orioles ace who exited with shoulder fatigue in the first inning of the Indians’ 10-4 thumping of the Orioles. Yu Chang also homered to help Aaron Civale improve to 8-2, tying him for the major league lead in victories.

— Bryce Harper poked a run-scoring single that stopped an 0-for-18 skid in his return from the injured list, helping the Phillies top the Nationals, 5-2. Andrew McCutchen hit a three-run homer in Philadelphia’s second win in six games.

— Jonathan India and Eugenio (ay-oo-HEH’-nee-oh) Suárez homered for the Reds in a 5-2 victory over the Cardinals. St. Louis finished the game without catcher Yadier (YAH’-dee-ehr) Molina, who came out in the fourth inning with a bruised knee.

— Arizona’s road losing streak has reached a team-record 16 games after Christian Yelich (YEH’-lihch) and Omar Narváez (nahr-VY’-ehz) hit back-to-back homers in the eighth inning to send the Brewers past the Diamondbacks, 7-5. Willy Adames (ah-DAH’-mehs) smacked a two-run homer in the sixth before Milwaukee squandered a 5-2 lead.


Yanks call up slugger

UNDATED (AP) — The Yankees have promoted slugging prospect Chris Gittens from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, hoping the hulking 27-year-old can provide a jolt at first base in his first turn in the majors.

Luke Voit led the majors with 22 homers as the Yankees’ first baseman in 2020 but has played in just 12 games this season.

In other baseball news:

— Right-hander Jon Gray has been placed on the 10-day injured list by the Rockies with a right flexor strain. Right-hander Jordan Sheffield also went on the 10-day injured list and the team recalled left-handed pitchers Ben Bowden and Lucas Gilbreath from Triple-A Albuquerque.

— The Tigers have placed right-hander Spencer Turnbull on the 10-day injured list with a strained right forearm.


Packers CEO says team’s fans divided on Rodgers situation

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy says he believes the uncertainty surrounding MVP Aaron Rodgers’ future has divided the team’s fan base.

Murphy said in a monthly column on the Packers’ website that emails and letters he’s received regarding Rodgers reflect this division. Murphy added that “we remain committed to resolving things with Aaron and want him to be our quarterback in 2021 and beyond.” ESPN reported in late April that Rodgers doesn’t want to return to Green Bay.

Rodgers hasn’t participated in the Packers’ voluntary organized training activities. That’s a change from his usual offseason routine.


Coronavirus knocks Rahm out of Memorial after 6-shot lead

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — One minute, Jon Rahm was headed for a blowout victory in the Memorial. The next minute, he was out of the tournament with a positive test for the coronavirus.

Rahm was subject to daily testing this week after being in close contact with a person who was COVID-19 positive. He passed every test until Saturday morning when the second round of the rain-delayed tournament ended.

The final result was returned as he was on the 18th green capping off a 64 to tie the 54-hole record and lead by six.

The positive test now puts Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay back in contention for the title. Morikawa fired a 6-under 66 to pull into a first-place tie with Cantlay at minus-12.

Branden Grace and Scottie Scheffler are three shots back.


Tim Herron shoots 9-under 63 to take 4-shot lead in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Tim Herron shot a 9-under 63 and will carry a four-stroke lead into the final round of the the PGA Tour Champions’ Principal Charity Classic.

Trying to win for the first time on the 50-and-over tour, Herron birdied the par-4 18th for a back-nine 30 and 14-under 130 total at Wakonda Club.

Shane Bertsch and Rod Pampling share second after 67s.


Leclerc on pole for Azerbaijan after crashes halt qualifying

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Charles Leclerc will start the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from the pole position after a crash halted qualifying early and stopped rivals from challenging his time.

Leclerc set a time of 1 minute, 41.218 seconds early in Saturday’s third session.

Lewis Hamilton was second and championship leader Verstappen third.