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Thursday’s Sports Minute

Thursday’s Sports Minute

ASTROS: Houston Astros' Lance McCullers (43) receives congratulations from catcher Jason Castro (15) after the final out of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Wednesday, June 3, in Houston. The Astros won 3-1. Photo: Associated Press/Bob Levey

Here’s a look at some of the big sports stories making headlines today, Thursday, June 4.

NHL: PENGUINS COULD BE FOR SALE

Pittsburgh Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle have hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to explore their options.

The owners say they are in the middle of a feeling out process that could include anything from an outright sale to selling a share of the team or standing pat.

FIRST PLACE ASTROS BEAT ORIOLES

In a game that featured only a combined eight hits, the Houston Astros made the most of their four in beating the Baltimore Orioles 4-1. Chris Carter provided the offense with a pair of homers. Rookie Lance McCullers allowed one run in going the distance in his fourth career start.

That’s the fifth straight loss for the Orioles, who fell into last place in the AL East.

In other major league play:

  • Cody Asche scored from second base on a fielding error by pitcher Ryan Mattheus in the 11th inning to give the Philadelphia Phillies a 5-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Maikel Franco hit a tying, three-run homer off Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. Cincinnati starter Mike Leake took a no-hitter into the seventh before Franco lined a single up the middle with two outs.

  • Jordy Mercer broke a fifth-inning tie when he homered for the second day in a row, Francisco Liriano struck out six to win his second straight decision and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2 to complete a three-game sweep. Liriano outpitched Tim Hudson to improve to 3-4.

  • A.J. Pollock homered for the second consecutive game, and the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied from a 6-0 deficit in a wild 9-8 win over the Atlanta Braves.

  • Masahiro Tanaka gave up one run over seven innings in his return from the disabled list to lead the Yankees to a 3-1 win over Seattle. That completed a three-game sweep for New York. Tanaka improved to 3-1 in his first start in over a month. Garrett Jones and Mark Teixeira homered for New York.

  • Jason Vargas tossed six sharp innings, the Kansas City offense finally woke up against AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and the Royals beat the Cleveland Indians 4-2. Kluber fell to 3-6.

  • Chris Sale struck out a season-high 13 in seven shutout innings and the Chicago White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 9-2. Jose Abreu homered in a six-run second after missing three games with an injured finger.

  • Eduardo Rodriguez allowed one run and two hits in seven innings to lead Boston to a 6-3 win over Minnesota in the opener of a day-night doubleheader. Rodriguez improved to 2-0 seven days after a 5-1 win at Texas. The Twins won the nightcap, 2-0. Trevor May and two relievers combined on a two-hitter.

  • John Lackey has adapted to Busch Stadium very well. The Cardinals starter improved to 7-1 in 12 starts there in a 7-4 win over Milwaukee. Lackey gave up three runs and 10 hits in seven innings to up his record to 4-3. The Cardinals provided the 36-year old with plenty of early support, scoring five times in the first against Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson.

  • Sonny Gray pitched eight shutout innings and Billy Burns hit a bases-loaded triple as the Oakland Athletics handed the Detroit Tigers their sixth straight loss, 6-1. Gray improved to 7-2.

  • Giancarlo Stanton and Jeff Baker hit back-to-back homers for the second time in five days and the Miami Marlins beat the Chicago Cubs 7-3.

  • Tampa Bay edged the L.A. Angels 6-5 in 10 innings. Kevin Kiermaier led off the 10th inning with a home run. Rays rookies Joey Butler and Steven Souza Jr. went deep

  • In a game delayed two hours by rain at Coors Field, the Colorado Rockies rallied with three in the bottom of the ninth to edge the L.A. Dodgers 7-6. Nolan Arenado drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly. Joc Pederson homered in his fifth straight game for the Dodgers.

    MLB APOLOGIZES TO ROYALS

    Major League Baseball is apologizing to the Kansas City Royals for a breakdown in its replay process during a crucial moment in a 2-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

    The issue occurred in the eighth inning of a tied game Tuesday night when first base umpire Bob Davidson ruled the Indians’ Jose Ramirez beat out a relay throw to prevent a double play. The replays appeared to show Ramirez was out, but the call stood after a nearly 3-minute review.

    Cleveland wound up scoring the go-ahead run later in the inning.

    In a statement, MLB said the super slow motion replay was delayed, and the replay official made the call without looking at that replay.

    PENALTY REDUCED FOR CASTRONEVES

    IndyCar has reduced a penalty levied against Helio Castroneves for triggering an accident on the first lap of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis last month. Castroneves was initially penalized 8 points. After a review by IndyCar last weekend, the series reduced the penalty to 3 points. Castroneves’ penalty had been for avoidable contact, and IndyCar president of competition Derrick Walker said the reduction was to put it in line with previous penalties.

    DJOKOVIC DUMPS NADAL

    Novak Djokovic moved into the French Open semifinals with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 rout of nine-time champ Rafael Nadal.

    The top-seeded Djokovic had lost all six previous matches he’d played against Nadal in Paris, including the 2012 and 2014 finals. The loss put an end to Nadal’s 39-match French Open winning streak. It’s only the second defeat for Nadal in 72 career matches in the French Open.

    Djokovic will next face Andy Murray, who beat No. 7 seed David Ferrer 7-6, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1. Murray has extended his clay court winning streak to 15 matches.

    In women’s play, top-seed Serena Williams has reached the semifinals with a straight 6-1, 6-2 win over 17th-seed Sara Errani.

    Williams will face Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland in the semifinals.

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