Dario Saric (Phoenix Suns) with a 2-pointer vs the Utah Jazz, 04/07/2021
Dario Saric (Phoenix Suns) with a 2-pointer vs the Utah Jazz, 04/07/2021
The Canucks and Oilers will not Friday as originally rescheduled.
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NEW YORK — Nolan Arenado’s contract was amended when the All-Star third baseman was traded to the Cardinals by the Colorado Rockies, adding a $15 million salary for 2027 to leave him owed $214 million over seven seasons by St. Louis. As part of the amended contract, $50 million of that $214 million will be deferred and payable through 2041, according to details obtained by The Associated Press. Colorado would pay St. Louis $51 million, if Arenado decides to keep his entire contract and not opt out early. Arenado had been set to be paid $199 million over the remaining six seasons of a $260 million, eight-year contract he signed with the Rockies: $35 million annually from 2021-24, $32 million in 2025 and $27 million in 2026. As part of the amendment reached when Arenado agreed to the Feb. 1 trade, a $15 million salary was added for 2027, when he turns 36. While his original contract allowed him to opt out after the 2021 season, the amended contract allows him to opt out after either 2021 or 2022. As part of the amendment, the Cardinals will defer $20 million in his 2021 salary, payable in 10 equal installments with 2% interest each July 1 from 2022-26. In addition, $6 million annually will be deferred with no interest from 2022-26, payable in 10 installments of $3 million on each July 1 from 2032-41. Arenado gets a hotel suite on road trips, as he did in the original contract. As part of the trade, the Rockies agreed to pay St. Louis $51 million of the $199 million remaining at the time, of which $30,429,500 is guaranteed and another $20,570,500 is conditioned on Arenado not opting out. Colorado pays $14,429,500 this year and $16 million in 2023. The conditional money calls for payments of $5,570,500 in 2022, and $5 million each from 2023-25. St. Louis dealt left-hander Austin Gomber and four minor leaguers to the Rockies: infielders Elehuris Montero and Mateo Gil along with right-handers Tony Locey and Jake Sommers. Arenado is batting .314 with three homers and eight RBIs through his first 12 games. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Ronald Blum, The Associated Press
DENVER — Already a triple-double threat on the floor, Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic is prepared to raise his game in yet another category — leadership. Anything to help out after losing point guard and vocal leader Jamal Murray for the season due to a torn ACL in his left knee. Jokic's first decree to his teammates: Concentrate on the task at hand. Because nothing changes, even if the odds may say so. The Nuggets’ stock as a contender in the Western Conference took a hit in the wake of Murray’s knee injury. Once +1400 favourites to win the West, the Nuggets are now +1600, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. They were a +1400 bet to capture their first NBA title, too, only to slip to +3000. Go ahead and count them out, Jokic said. They relish this sort of role. “I’ve been an underdog my whole life,” Jokic said after a 123-106 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday in their first game after Murray tore his ACL. “I’m kind of used to it. It’s a normal position for me. “We’re going to miss (Murray) as a team. He’s a big part of our team. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to quit.” This was a Nuggets squad riding high after trading for athletic forward Aaron Gordon in late March. They were clicking on all cylinders, too, rattling off eight straight wins and looking every bit like a force in the West. Then, a home loss to Boston in which they were outscored 31-8 in the fourth quarter. No big deal, the Nuggets had Murray about to return at Golden State on Monday after missing four games with a sore right knee. Late in the loss to the Warriors, Murray tried to elevate off his left leg as he drove to the basket, crumpled to the floor in pain and grabbed his knee. There went any chance of a deep playoff run, right? “Whoever says that, that’s them,” said Nuggets forward and 3-point threat Michael Porter Jr., whose team plays in Houston on Friday night. “We never pay attention to them in the first place. We pay attention to what we believe. That’s it. ... The goal is the same. I think we still have the talent to do it.” It all centres around Jokic, the do-everything 7-footer who's inserted himself in the MVP conversation by averaging 26 points, 10.9 rebounds and 8.8 assists. “He’s got to be the guy that rights the ship and puts the team on his back, because that’s what MVPs do," coach Michael Malone said. “Nikola, because he’s that great of a player and has that leadership quality within him, I expect him to understand that and start handling these situations in a manner he’s shown many times before. “It’s going to be a terrific opportunity to handle a really difficult situation — for Nikola and all of his teammates. It’s not just on him.” Malone reiterated the point over and over: point guard Monte Morris doesn’t need to turn into Murray, who averaged 21.2 points and 4.8 assists. Morris only needs to be himself. Same goes for backups Facundo Campazzo and PJ Dozier. Simply be themselves. “Don’t go out there and try to be something you’re not. Be true to yourself and just bring it every single night,” Malone said. “Play hard, compete, play with discipline, play with effort and play on both ends of the floor. If they do that, we’ll have a chance to weather the storm without Jamal.” Jokic was impressed with the way the Nuggets played in a bounce-back win over the Heat. They outrebounded the Heat by a 43-30 margin, dished out 32 assists and had six different players score 10 or more points. That's the sort of effort that may garner national attention again. Or maybe not. “No one ever gives us a chance and we’re fine with that. I think we kind of thrive in that element,” Malone said. “We’re underdogs. If they want to talk about all of the other teams, let them talk about them." ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Pat Graham, The Associated Press
José Ramírez's 2-run homer leads Tribe to 4-2 win
MINNEAPOLIS — Max Kepler delivered the sigh-of-relief winner for Minnesota on the last day of a rough first homestand of the season. The Boston Red Sox relentlessly kept the Twins from being comfortable all series. Kepler's bloop RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Minnesota a 4-3 victory Thursday over Boston — stopping a five-game losing streak for the Twins and breaking a nine-game winning string for the Red Sox. “It's impossible to go out and play baseball and not feel it when it’s going really well or when it’s not going really well. It’s really how you harness that,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. Luis Arraez, ever the team sparkplug, let those emotions loose as he raced home on Kepler's hit off Adam Ottavino (1-1) and belly-flopped into home plate. “It’s a tough week, but we won the game,” said Arraez, who went 4 for 5 with a two-run single. “I think it’s a good start for us.” The Twins avoided matching their longest losing streak in three years under Baldelli, a six-game slide from July 31-Aug. 5, 2020. The Red Sox, who tied it in the eighth on Alex Verdugo's three-run double, were on their longest winning streak since a 10-game run in 2018, the season they won the World Series. “We ended up losing a game with a jam shot to centre field. That’s not bad,” said manager Alex Cora, who was ejected for arguing in the eighth. “We just beat the American League Central champions, three out of four. We’ve been playing good baseball.” Alex Colomé (1-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for the victory, despite a one-out double by Christian Arroyo. Verdugo capped a 10-pitch at-bat against Taylor Rogers with his two-out double in the eighth that made it 3-all. The Red Sox had loaded the bases against Hansel Robles. Five times during their winning streak, the Red Sox rallied from a deficit in the fifth inning or later. “It’s been fun. I told you guys earlier in the year that this is a sneaky good team,” said Garrett Richards, who stretched Boston’s streak of 10 straight games with the starting pitcher completing at least five innings. The two runs he allowed were unearned. Michael Pineda allowed only two singles over seven scoreless innings for the Twins, who had a home run by slump-ridden slugger Miguel Sanó in the sixth. Pineda's career-best winning streak remained at eight straight decisions, a 15-start stretch with a 2.70 ERA dating to July 26, 2019. The big right-hander served a 60-game suspension for taking a banned weight loss drug, bridging the last two seasons. Using his trusty slider to help tame the top-scoring team in the American League, Pineda retired 14 straight batters at one point. He walked one and struck out six, throwing 88 pitches. “That was just a fabulous outing,” Baldelli said. PLAY IT AGAIN The Twins won two challenges in the second. Christian Vázquez had a hit by pitch become a groundout in the top of the inning, when replays showed Pineda’s fastball plunked the knob of his bat. In the bottom of the frame, Sanó was initially called out on a slide into second after a fielder’s choice grounder to first, but Arroyo’s toe came off the side of the base as he leaned forward to catch the relay. Arraez gave the Twins the lead, three batters after the reversal. SERIES STUFF The last time the Twins were swept in a four-game series by the Red Sox was July 3-6, 2000, at the Metrodome. Boston swept three-game series here in 2012 and 2013 and at Fenway Park in 2005, 2008 and 2014. TRAINER'S ROOM Red Sox: DH J.D. Martinez and IF Marwin Gonzalez were out of the starting lineup to rest, four games into a 14-game, 13-day stretch. “We've just got to be careful with the workload with all those guys,” Cora said. Twins: CF Byron Buxton and 3B Josh Donaldson were on the bench as a hamstring precaution. Buxton missed the Wednesday doubleheader, too, when Donaldson returned from the injured list in the second game. ... RHP Shaun Anderson was recalled from the alternate training site in St. Paul, a fresh-arm swap for RHP Cody Stashak, then sent back after the game. UP NEXT Red Sox: Host the Chicago White Sox in a four-game series starting Friday. RHP Nick Pivetta (2-0, 3.27 ERA) will take the mound for the opener. The White Sox had yet to announce their starter. Twins: Visit the Los Angeles Angels for a three-game series beginning Friday. LHP Lewis Thorpe will come off the taxi squad to make his season debut, opposite LHP Andrew Heaney (1-1, 7.00 ERA). ___ More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Dave Campbell, The Associated Press
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks say some players need more time to recover from a COVID-19 outbreak that has swept through the team. General manager Jim Benning said in a statement Thursday that certain players have cleared the medical evaluations that they need to pass before returning to the ice, but "many" others have not been cleared and need more time to recover. "Our medical staff are confident the recovery process for those players will be aided by an additional couple of days," Benning said. "Above all else the health and safety of players, staff and families remains the priority." The NHL has postponed Friday night's game between the Canucks and visiting Edmonton Oilers. "The decision to extend the period prior to the team’s resumption of play was made to provide club staff and players with additional time for recovery and preparation following its recent COVID outbreak," the league said in a statement. "The NHL made the decision with input from the league’s, (the NHL Players' Association's) and club’s medical groups." The NHL said it expects to release a revised schedule on Friday. Friday's tilt with the Oilers was set to be the Canucks' first since March 24. Vancouver has now had nine games postponed due to the outbreak. The Canucks were scheduled Thursday to have their first full practice since late last month. At least 21 players and four members of Vancouver's coaching staff have tested positive for the virus since March 30. Three Canucks remained on the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list Thursday, including forwards Nils Hoglander and Jake Virtanen, and defenceman Nate Schmidt. At the height of the outbreak, 19 Canucks were included on the list. A player on the protocol list has not necessarily tested positive. Players who are in self-isolation after travelling or who've been in close contact with someone who tested positive, for example, are also on the list. The list does not include team staff or players not on the active roster, including those on the taxi squad. Canucks forward J.T. Miller expressed concern about the team's quick return to the ice Wednesday, saying it would be "very challenging and not very safe" to play as scheduled on Friday because they had not had enough time to recover and get back in shape. Miller did not test positive for COVID-19 during the outbreak but said he still isn't in game shape and can't imagine what it would be like for his teammates who were sick to try to get back to a high level of play so quickly. "It's kind of frustrating if I'm being 100 per cent honest with you,'' Miller said. "We try to talk about the No. 1 priority is the players' health and the families' safety, and it's almost impossible to achieve that with what they've asked us to do here on our return." Medical experts are still learning about the long-term impacts of the virus, especially when it comes to high-performance athletes, said Dr. Andrew Morris, an infectious disease expert at the University of Toronto. “It is a lung disease and we know that one of the more common things that people experience, apart from just general fatigue is people do have — for several months, perhaps longer, it varies — ongoing respiratory complaints like shortness of breath as well as just exercise intolerance," he said. Other athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19 have talked about how difficult it was to get back into top shape, including Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors. The guard said he suffered from a sore back, sore eyes, body aches and a headache after contracting the virus earlier this year. It's not surprising that athletes would have a hard time coming back from COVID-19, Morris said. "Many people, many patients, regardless of whether they’re professional athletes or not, will do totally fine. The majority of people do totally fine," he said. "But there are people who win lotteries. And if you win the lottery and you’re unlucky enough to be hit hard by it, you could have lingering effects that last for months, for sure.” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said it'll be difficult for the Canucks to come back whether they get one practice in before playing or three. It's important to make sure the players' health and safety is looked after, he said. "Obviously a very dangerous situation and we're hopeful that they can come out of it and everyone can be healthy and fit to play at some point. Whether that's (Friday), that's out of our control," McDavid said. Edmonton's schedule has been revamped multiple times in recent months as the Canucks and Montreal Canadiens dealt with COVID-19 outbreaks. McDavid said he and his teammates are trying to be flexible and take care of each other during the unprecedented season. “It’s tough to really feel bad for ourselves," he said. "There’s people who aren’t even allowed to go into work and aren’t allowed to go into school and do all the things they would normally do. We’re obviously fortunate to be able to come into work and to get to live a fairly normal life. So I think it would be hard for us to sit here and complain about some scheduling issues." Whether the Canucks will host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday remains unclear. "I have confidence that between the Canucks, the players' association and the NHL (that) they'll communicate and make the appropriate decisions," Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said Thursday. "In terms of us, we feel for those guys and what they've been going through. Obviously not an easy situation. What happens from here is very much out of our control." --- With files from Joshua Clipperton in Toronto. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2021. Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press
The Cubs catcher may have said too much in a postgame interview.
BALTIMORE — Mitch Haniger became the first Seattle player to homer out of the leadoff spot in both ends of a doubleheader, hitting a tiebreaking drive in the second game that led the Mariners over the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 Thursday for a sweep. Haniger’s fifth-inning homer to left-centre off Bruce Zimmermann (1-1) broke a 1-all tie and gave him four home runs this season. J.P. Crawford hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the sixth inning that lifted Seattle to a 4-2 win in the opener — a fitting score for Jackie Robinson Day. Seattle won three of four from Baltimore and has won five of its last six. The Orioles, who managed just seven hits in the two games, have lost eight of 10 following an opening three-game sweep at Boston. Baltimore was 1-6 during its homestand against the Red Sox and Mariners. Justin Dunn (1-0) allowed two hits in the second game, including Freddy Galvis’ homer. He struck out six and walked two in five innings, a huge improvement from his first start, when he walked eight against the Chicago White Sox on April 7. Keynan Middleton pitched the seventh for his second save in as many attempts, finishing a three-hitter in a game shortened by pandemic rules. Dylan Moore’s solo shot in the third and Haniger’s homer accounted for all of Seattle’s offence against Zimmermann, who yielded six hits and struck out two in five innings. The teams played their second doubleheader in three days to make up of Wednesday’s rainout, which followed a split Tuesday that made up Monday’s postponement. All players wore No. 42 in the first game on Jackie Robinson Day, the 74th anniversary of Robinson breaking the major league colour barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. In the first game, Crawford stayed back on a slider and hooked the ball down the right-field line for a go-ahead two-run double off Tanner Scott (0-2). Marco Gonzales (1-1) yielded Trey Mancini’s two-run homer in the first, but settled down to retire 13 of his last 14 batters. He gave up two runs and three hits in five innings while striking out five. Kendall Graveman pitched a perfect seventh for his second save to cap a four-hitter. Baltimore starter Matt Harvey surrendered Haniger’s two-run homer in the fifth and three hits overall in 4 2/3 innings. 27th MEN Baltimore added RHP Cole Sulser as its 27th man for the doubleheader. Sulser pitched a scoreless inning in the second game. Seattle added RHP Robert Dugger as its 27th man and also added him to its 40-man roster. The Mariners selected Duggar’s contract from their alternate training site. BIG NUMBER With his flyout in the first inning of the opener, Seattle’s Kyle Seager became the fourth player in franchise history with 5,000 at-bats, joining Ichiro Suzuki (7,907), Edgar Martinez (7,213) and Ken Griffey Jr. (6,317). TRAINER’S ROOM Orioles: Manager Brandon Hyde said the test results on RHP Mac Sceroler (shoulder tendinitis) were encouraging. Sceroler was placed on the IL Wednesday. “We’re hoping it’s not going to be too long,” Hyde said. UP NEXT Mariners: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) has 16 strikeouts in 12 innings for Seattle, which returns home to begin a three-game series against Houston on Friday. Orioles: RHP Jorge Lopez (0-2, 11.42) draws the start Friday as Baltimore begins a three-game series at Texas. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sportshanig Patrick Stevens, The Associated Press
Condensed game: Manny Machado homered early and drove in three runs, while the bullpen tossed four scoreless in an 8-3 win over the Pirates