Wednesday Sports In Brief
WASHINGTON (AP) Max Scherzer struck out 20 batters, matching the major league record for a nine-inning game as he pitched the Washington Nationals past the Detroit Tigers 3-2.
Scherzer had a chance to break the mark when James McCann stepped to the plate with two outs in the ninth inning. McCann, who whiffed his previous three times up, grounded to third for the final out.
The astounding performance came in Scherzer's first outing against the Tigers, his former team. The right-hander, who pitched two no-hitters last season and struck out 17 in the second one, joined Roger Clemens (twice), Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson as the only big league pitchers to compile 20 strikeouts in nine innings.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Noah Syndergaard became the second pitcher in Mets history to hit two home runs in a game, driving in all of New York's runs in a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Syndergaard (3-2) allowed two runs and six hits in eight innings, struck out six and walked one. He gave up five hits in the first four innings and then retired 11 in a row.
Syndergaard hit a solo homer on the first pitch from Kenta Maeda (3-2) in the third inning, and slammed a three-run shot in the fifth. Walt Terrell was the first Mets pitcher to hit two homers in a game at Wrigley Field on Aug. 6, 1983.
The last major league pitcher to homer twice in a game was Arizona's Micah Owings, who accomplished the feat against Atlanta on Aug. 18, 2007.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Bryce Harper was suspended one game and fined Wednesday by Major League Baseball for his behavior following an ejection this week.
Harper appealed the penalty and remains eligible to play for the Washington Nationals until the process is finished, the commissioner's office said.
During the bottom of the ninth inning of Washington's 5-4 victory over Detroit on Monday night, Harper was in the dugout when he was ejected by plate umpire Brian Knight after Nationals batter Danny Espinosa was called out on strikes. When someone is tossed from a game in the majors, he is required to leave the dugout.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Klay Thompson scored 33 points with six 3-pointers, Stephen Curry added 29 and sealed it with a 3 with 24.9 seconds left, and the Golden State Warriors advanced to the Western Conference finals for the second straight season with a 125-121 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 5.
Curry finished with five 3s a day after becoming the first unanimous MVP in NBA history. He added 11 assists after returning to the starting lineup for the first time all series because of a knee injury.
Draymond Green, who had his left ankle re-taped in the fourth quarter, had 13 points, 11 rebounds and six assists after guaranteeing Golden State would advance from this game.
Damian Lillard scored 28 points and CJ McCollum had 27 for the Trail Blazers.
TORONTO (AP) – DeMar DeRozan matched a playoff high with 34 points, Kyle Lowry had 25 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Miami Heat 99-91 to take a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Bismack Biyombo had 10 points for the Raptors, who can clinch their first conference finals berth with a win in Game 6 in Miami on Friday. It was DeRozan's franchise-best 13th 20-point game in the playoffs and his sixth this postseason.
Dwyane Wade scored 20 for Miami, Goran Dragic and Josh Richardson each had 13 and Joe Johnson 11.
TORONTO (AP) – Miami guard Goran Dragic has been assessed a technical foul and fined $2,000 for swinging at Toronto guard Cory Joseph under the basket late in the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The NBA announced the ruling after a review.
DALLAS (AP) – Robby Fabbri, Paul Stastny and Troy Brouwer each scored a goal and had two assists, and the St. Louis Blues dominated the Dallas Stars to advance to their first Western Conference finals since 2001 with a 6-1 victory in Game 7 of their series.
The Blues, in the playoffs for the 40th time and still in search of their first Stanley Cup, will have home-ice advantage in the Western Conference finals against Nashville or San Jose – and for the Stanley Cup as well if they advance. The Predators and Sharks play the deciding Game 7 on Thursday night.
David Backes, their captain, and Patrik Berglund also had goals for the Blues, who won their third road game in this series. Vladimir Tarasenko added an empty-netter with 4:40 left.
Patrick Eaves had the lone goal for Dallas.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) – Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette is retiring six months after suffering a serious neck injury in a game at Dallas.
The team confirmed the retirement and has scheduled a news conference with Lockette on Thursday.
Lockette was knocked out and remained motionless on the field for several minutes after a hit by Cowboys safety Jeff Heath during the Nov. 1 victory over Dallas. He was eventually strapped to a backboard and taken off the field. Lockette underwent surgery at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas the next day to stabilize his neck.
NEW YORK (AP) – A woman who unsuccessfully tried to intervene in Tom Brady's legal case against the NFL over the ''Deflategate'' scandal is asking the court to reconsider his four-game suspension.
The filing this week in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes as the New England Patriots quarterback and the NFL Players Association consider whether to challenge a decision to reinstate the discipline for Brady's role in using footballs that were improperly inflated.
The woman does not appear to have any connection to Brady or legal standing in the case.
The players union and Brady have argued that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell overreached in imposing the suspension. Brady has until May 23 to ask for either a rehearing with the same three-judge panel that reinstated his suspension or seek a new hearing in front of the entire circuit.
LONDON (AP) – With the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro less than three months away, a Canadian professor has called for the Olympics to be postponed or moved because of the Zika outbreak, warning the influx of visitors to Brazil will result in the avoidable birth of malformed babies.
''But for the games, would anyone recommend sending an extra half a million visitors into Brazil right now?'' University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran, who specializes in public health, said in an article published this week in the Harvard Public Health Review.
Brazil is by far the country most affected by Zika, a mosquito-borne virus which has now been scientifically proven to cause a range of disturbing birth defects, including babies born with abnormally small heads and neurological problems.
In February, the World Health Organization declared the epidemic to be a global health emergency. The WHO says there are no restrictions on travel or trade with countries affected by Zika outbreaks but advises pregnant women not to travel to those regions.
MONTREAL (AP) – A whistleblower who uncovered Russia's doping scourge says most of the changes in the country's track and anti-doping programs are, in his words, ''just fake,'' and not extensive enough to allow the team into this summer's Olympics.
Vitaly Stepanov, who along with his wife, Yulia, blew the lid off systemic doping in Russia, tells The Associated Press that about 80 percent of coaches in Russian track used doping to prepare athletes for London's Olympics.
A decision on the track team's eligibility for the Rio de Janeiro Games is coming next month. But Stepanov tells the AP he hasn't seen enough reform or penalties to believe the team could be clean by the time the Olympics start in August.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A policy that would nearly triple the number of University of California student-athletes guaranteed continued financial aid in the event of a career-ending sports injury received unanimous approval from a committee of the university's governing board.
The proposal came from a working group of UC athletic directors tasked with making recommendations for improving the academic and emotional well-being of students who participate in college sports at the highest levels.
A number of other universities and athletic conferences are wrestling with the issue amid concerns over low graduation and high injury rates among student-athletes in high-profile sports such as basketball and football.