AP Sports Digest for Saturday, April 17

·6 min read

The highlights of Saturday’s AP Sports report. An up-to-the minute listing of all stories planned, including games and events, is available in Coverage Plan on AP Newsroom, http://newsroom.ap.org/coverageplan You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom home page, http://newsroom.ap.org

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All times EDT

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by Jay Cohen at 5 p.m. and Vin Cherwoo at 1 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636. Agate, 800-300-8340.

TOP STORIES

CAR--INDYCAR-BARBER PREVIEW

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Jimmie Johnson makes his IndyCar debut with a slow but steady first practice session. The seven-time NASCAR champion is last in the 24-driver field but calls the experience “amazing.” Johnson will be a 45-year-old rookie in Sunday’s season opener. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 300 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Qualifying ends 7:10 p.m.

FBN--DRAFT-PANDEMIC PRO DAYS

Pro days have added significance this year, with the NFL scouting combine off and teams unable to invite prospects to their facilities. But even the pro days have changed in the pandemic. Gone is the usual contingent of underclassmen offering support as players are tested and timed. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 900 words, photos.

BBN--DODGERS-PADRES

SAN DIEGO -- A day after a tense, benches-emptying game, the Dodgers and Padres go at it again, with aces on the mound for the NL West rivals -- Clayton Kershaw for Los Angeles and Yu Darvish for San Diego. On Friday night, the Dodgers won 11-6 in 12 innings, a game lasting nearly five hours. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8:40 p.m.

SOC--MLS-AUSTIN FC-LAFC

LOS ANGELES -- Austin FC makes its debut as Major League Soccer’s 27th team. Led by coach Josh Wolff, Austin faces Carlos Vela and Los Angeles FC, the model franchise among recent MLS expansion teams. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. Game starts 6 p.m.

NOTABLE

BBN--METS-ROCKIES

DENVER -- Jacob deGrom opens a doubleheader for the New York Mets, who have had had seven postponements this season, including Friday night’s series opener against Colorado. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner (0-1, 0.64 ERA) was unable to start the past two days because of rain and snow. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 5:10 p.m.

— With Leading Off (what’s happening around majors) by 8 p.m., updated after late games.

GLF--RBC HERITAGE

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Stewart Cink, 47 years old and with the best 36-hole score of his PGA Tour career, enters the third round of the RBC Heritage with a five-stroke lead over Canada’s Corey Conners. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m. With LPGA Tour (upcoming).

CAR--NASCAR--RICHMOND PREVIEW

RICHMOND, Va. -- Like many drivers in NASCAR’s top series, Chase Elliott had a hard time figuring out the Richmond Raceway layout. Now that he has, the reigning series champion has come to love the oval, the site of Sunday’s race. By Hank Kurz Jr. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m. With Trucks race (1:30 p.m. start).

BKN--HEAT-BUTLER

MIAMI -- The Heat are losing, and their highest-paid player isn’t happy. Jimmy Butler labeled the reigning Eastern Conference champions as “soft” after a loss in Minnesota, Miami’s 10th loss in its last 16 games. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 500 words, photos.

FBN--NFL NO WORKOUTS

Players from four more NFL teams will be skipping in-person voluntary workouts because of the pandemic: Rams, Chargers, Falcons, Dolphins. They are joining groups from 11 other teams that plan to pass on the sessions. SENT: 350 words, photos.

BC--ALABAMA QUARTERBACKS

Bryce Young is the heir apparent to Mac Jones, the quarterback who led Alabama to the national championship. The former five-star prospect makes his case to run the offence in the Tide’s spring game. He is joined by Bear Bryant great-grandson Paul Tyson and freshman Jalen Milroe. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 600 words by 5 p.m. With sidebar on Ohio State quarterbacks.

HKW--US WOMEN-COACHING CHANGE

Assistant coach Joel Johnson is taking over the U.S. women’s national hockey team after Bob Corkum abruptly leaves less than three weeks before the world championships in Canada. Corkum says in a text to the AP he was “uncomfortable” with the COVID-19 protocols. SENT: 400 words.

SOC—ENGLISH ROUNDUP

LONDON — Manchester City’s bid for a quadruple trophy ends with a 1-0 loss to Chelsea in an FA Cup semifinal at Wembley Stadium. Even more concerning could be the injury to Kevin De Bruyne. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 300 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m. With separates on two Premier League games.

TEN--MONTE CARLO MASTERS

MONACO -- Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev reach the Monte Carlo Masters final. Tsitsipas cruises in the semifinal against Dan Evans, who upset Novak Djokovic in the third round. Rublev, who knocked out 11-time champion Rafael Nadal, defeats Casper Ruud. SENT: 500 words, photos.

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Saturday Time Schedule (EDT)

Baseball

Arizona at Washington, 1:05 p.m.

Tampa Bay at N.Y. Yankees, 1:05 p.m.

Toronto at Kansas City, 2, 1st game at 2:10 p.m.

Atlanta at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.

St. Louis at Philadelphia, 4:05 p.m.

Chicago White Sox at Boston, 4:05 p.m.

Detroit at Oakland, 4:07 p.m.

Cleveland at Cincinnati, 4:10 p.m.

N.Y. Mets at Colorado, 2, 1st game at 5:10 p.m.

San Francisco at Miami, 6:10 p.m.

Baltimore at Texas, 7:05 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m.

LA Dodgers at San Diego, 8:40 p.m.

Minnesota at L.A. Angels, 9:07 p.m.

Houston at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.

NBA

Utah at L.A. Lakers, 4:30 p.m.

Cleveland at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Detroit at Washington, 8 p.m.

Golden State at Boston, 8:30 p.m.

Memphis at Milwaukee, 9 p.m.

San Antonio at Phoenix, 10 p.m.

NHL

New Jersey at N.Y. Rangers, 12:30 p.m.

Washington at Philadelphia, 12:30 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 3 p.m.

Ottawa at Montreal, 4 p.m.

St. Louis at Arizona, 6 p.m.

Edmonton at Winnipeg, 7 p.m.

Nashville at Carolina, 7 p.m.

Florida at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.

Chicago at Detroit, 7 p.m.

San Jose at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Columbus at Dallas, 8 p.m.

MLS

Toronto at Montreal, 2 p.m.

Atlanta at Orlando City, 3 p.m.

Austin at Los Angeles FC, 5:30 p.m.

Colorado at Dallas, 8 p.m.

Kansas City at N.Y. Red Bulls, 8 p.m.

New York City FC at D.C. United, 8 p.m.

Cincinnati at Nashville, 8:30 p.m.

New England at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

The Canadian Press