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Alex Ovechkin had a power-play goal and an assist in his Eastern Conference finals debut Adidas Taylor Hall Jersey , leading the Washington Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Braden Holtby stopped 19 shots and Michal Kempny, Jay Beagle and Lars Eller also scored for the Caps, who are alive beyond the second round of the playoffs for the first time in Ovechkin’s brilliant 13-year career.
Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat scored for Tampa Bay, which trailed 4-0 heading into the third period.
Game 2 is Sunday night at Amalie Arena, where Tampa Bay also lost Game 1 in the second round against Boston.
TORONTO (AP) – The Toronto Raptors fired Dwane Casey after the team was swept in the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second straight season.
Toronto President Masai Ujiri said the move was a ”very difficult but necessary step.”
The 61-year-old Casey led the Raptors to a franchise-record 59 wins and a top seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time. He posted a 320-238 record in seven seasons and is the franchise’s winningest coach.
The Raptors won four Atlantic Division titles and advanced to the postseason five consecutive seasons. But Toronto could not get past the puzzle of the Cavaliers and LeBron James in the playoffs.
ATLANTA (AP) – The Atlanta Hawks are giving Lloyd Pierce his first head coaching job in the NBA, choosing a man who has been an assistant with Philadelphia and Memphis to rebuild the franchise.
The Hawks announced they had agreed to terms on a deal with Pierce.
”It was critically important to find a dynamic teacher who could connect with and develop our young core while instilling the culture and high standards we feel are necessary in a successful program,” Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said in a statement. ”Lloyd Pierce checks every box, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him leading the Atlanta Hawks into the future.”
The Hawks have scheduled a Monday news conference to introduce Pierce.
Pierce, 42, spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach in Philadelphia where the 76ers just reached the Eastern Conference semifinals after finishing third in the conference with a 52-30 record. Pierce also spent two years as assistant coach with Memphis Grizzlies, including 2013 when they reached the 2013 Western Conference finals.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Matt Harvey tossed four innings of one-hit ball in his Reds debut, Scooter Gennett homered and drove in three runs, and Cincinnati defeated the scuffling Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 Zack Smith Jersey , extending their season-high winning streak to four games.
Harvey struck out two and walked none in a 55-pitch outing that was cut short because of his lack of recent game competition. The right-hander’s fastball topped out in the mid-90s.
The lone hit Harvey gave up was a fluke. Right fielder Scott Schebler lost a high popup by Cody Bellinger in the lights against a sky dark with clouds, allowing Bellinger to slide into third for a triple in the second.
Harvey is seeking to revive his career after going 9-19 over the last three seasons with the New York Mets. The team cut him last weekend and the last-place Reds acquired him on Tuesday for catcher Devin Mesoraco and cash on Tuesday after Harvey declined a demotion to the minors. He was 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA in eight games, including four starts, for the Mets this season.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) – The NFL has determined the Buffalo Bills acted properly in the aftermath of team president Russ Brandon’s resignation amid allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a female employee.
The league released a statement saying it will take no further action against the Bills. The league determined the team ”addressed the matter in a timely, thorough and appropriate manner.” The statement comes a week after the NFL wouldn’t rule out launching an investigation in announcing it planned to contact the Bills to discuss the reasons behind Brandon’s abrupt departure.
Brandon resigned May 1 after spending 20 years working up the Bills’ executive ranks. He also spent the past three years serving as president of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, who also are owned by Terry and Kim Pegula.
MADRID (AP) – Top-ranked Rafael Nadal lost to Dominic Thiem 7-5, 6-3 in the Madrid Open quarterfinals, breaking the defending champion’s run of 21 straight wins on clay courts.
Nadal hadn’t lost a single set on clay since falling to Thiem a year ago in the Italian Open quarterfinals.
Since that loss, Nadal had been impeccable on his preferred surface. He won the French Open and the hard-court U.S. Open to take his Grand Slam haul to 16, and he came to the Spanish capital fresh off winning his 11th titles at both Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
David Freitas‘ toddler son was mimicking a home run trot outside the Mariners‘ clubhouse late Wednesday night, waiting to show dad what he had learned.
A few hours earlier, Freitas hit his first major league home run on the way to catching a shutout for Seattle in a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
”If you look at my past career in the minor leagues Kawann Short Jersey , maybe six or seven years in the minor leagues to get my first call-up (in 2017), I came a long way since 2010,” said Freitas, who reached base three times for the first time in his career. ”It was a proud moment for me and especially since I had my mom, my wife and my son all here. They got to share this, too.”
Mariners starter Marco Gonzales (10-5) retired his first 10 batters and tossed seven sharp innings. He gave up just two hits and struck out four without issuing a walk.
”It seems like we face him every time we play the Mariners,” Angels star Mike Trout said. ”He just keeps you off balance. You can’t miss a pitch on him. He’s at the corners and you just can’t miss a pitch.”
Alex Colome pitched the eighth and All-Star closer Edwin Diaz worked a perfect ninth for his major league-leading 36th save.
As good as Gonzales was, he really enjoyed talking about Freitas afterward.
”That was really fun to see,” the left-hander said. ”Those who know him know that he’s an absolute phenomenal guy. I’m so happy for him to have some success and he has been great behind the plate.”
Freitas, who had been hitless in seven at-bats since being recalled July 5, went deep in the third against starter Jaime Barria. It was Freitas’ 32nd career game, 26 with the Mariners.
Barria (5-6) allowed three runs and five hits in five-plus innings with five strikeouts and no walks. The right-hander has lost his last five decisions, including the past two to Seattle.
The Mariners have won 11 of 15 overall. They improved to 27-18 on the road.
Seattle shortstop Jean Segura reached base twice after finding out Wednesday he won the online vote for the final AL All-Star spot. He doubled and was hit by a pitch on the left arm.
Los Angeles did not have a baserunner until the fourth Tracy Walker Color Rush Jersey , when Andrelton Simmons hit a comebacker off Gonzales’ left leg for a single. Trout followed with a single before Gonzales retired his next 11 batters.
The Angels are 7-17 in games started by an opposing left-handed pitcher, and their 78 runs scored against lefties are the second-fewest in baseball to the San Diego Padres’ 73.
”We’ve looked at everything and historically, we have some guys that are really, really dynamic hitters against left-handed pitching,” manager Mike Scioscia said. ”They just haven’t really gotten into a groove for whatever reason.”
After Freitas gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the third, Segura doubled leading off the fourth and Mitch Haniger was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch from Barria put both runners in scoring position, and All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz delivered a two-run single for a 3-0 lead.
REMAIN STANDING, PLEASE
As a precaution, Gonzales declined to take a seat between innings after he was hit in the back of the left leg by Simmons’ comebacker.
”He was in the batting cage running, trying to keep it loose because once you calm that thing down, it tightens up,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
His active evening paid dividends. Gonzales not only earned his seventh victory since May 17, he became the 10th pitcher in Mariners history to reach 10 wins before the All-Star break.
”I tried to block it out Nevin Lawson Jersey ,” Gonzales said, adding he took some pain medication. ”I tried to just keep throwing pitches and keep us in the ballgame. But I was thinking about it. It was pretty painful at first.”
Mariners: C Mike Zunino (bruised left ankle) should be ready to return after the All-Star break, according to Servais. … RHP Erasmo Ramirez (right lat strain) threw a 25-pitch bullpen at Class A Everett and will advance to 40 pitches before beginning a minor league rehab assignment. … RHP Dan Altavilla (right elbow flexor strain) has started to play catch but is not yet throwing from a mound.
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards was diagnosed with damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and placed on the 10-day disabled list. Richards will decide on surgery or a more conservative rehabilitation process. … RHP Shohei Ohtani (elbow), already back on the active roster as a designated hitter, will be re-evaluated July 19 in an exam that could determine if he can begin the rehab process to make a return to the mound.
Mariners LHP James Paxton (8-3, 3.49 ERA) will pitch Thursday on normal rest, moving into the rotation spot left unoccupied when RHP Felix Hernandez (back soreness) went on the 10-day DL. Angels LHP Tyler Skaggs (6-5, 2.64), who had a 0.84 ERA in five June starts, is expected to come off the DL after recovering from a groin strain.
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