Sat, May 14, 2022 8:22 AM
NHL-STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS-SCHEDULE
Triple treat: Three Game 7s on tap
UNDATED (AP) — The NHL is wrapping up the first round of the playoffs with a rare treat. There will be back-to-back-to-back seventh games on Saturday that will go a long way toward shaping the conference semifinals.
The Carolina Hurricanes will host Boston in a matinee, followed by the two-time defending champion Lightning at Toronto and the Kings in Edmonton. It’s the first Game 7 tripleheader since 2014.
Carolina won the first two games before Boston leveled the series. Carolina won Game 5 to retake momentum but was unable to eliminate the Bruins on Thursday night.
The Lightning won 4-3 in overtime in Game 6 to keep their hopes of a three-peat alive, There’s another streak on the minds of the Maple Leafs as they host their winner-take-all series finale. Toronto has lost nine straight potential clinchers, including Thursday night against Tampa Bay and three in a row after taking a 3-1 series lead against Montreal last year.
Edmonton avoided elimination with a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 6. Evander Kane has seven goals in the series, including three multi-goal games. The road team has won four times in the series.
Astros aim to match team mark of 12 wins in row
UNDATED (AP) — Jose Altuve (al-TOO’-vay) and the Houston Astros try for their 12th straight win Saturday night, which would tie the team record.
Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game Friday night as the Astros won their 11th in a row, beating Washington 6-1. The Astros won the series opener in manager Dusty Baker’s first game back at Nationals Park since being fired as Washington’s skipper after the 2017 season — the year the Nats won their second straight NL East title.
Houston, which began play in 1962 as a National League expansion team called the Colt .45s, has won 12 straight three times — in 1999, 2004 and 2018.
Elsewhere in the majors Saturday:
— Prized Mariners pitching prospect George Kirby had a vocal cheering section in the Seattle stands for his impressive major league debut on Mother’s Day and figures to have another one when he faces the Mets in his second career start. Kirby grew up in Rye, New York, about 22 miles north of Citi Field. He was drafted by the Mets out of high school in the 32nd round but went to college at Elon in North Carolina and was selected by Seattle with the 20th overall pick in 2019. The 24-year-old right-hander, rated one of baseball’s best pitching newcomers, threw six shutout innings with seven strikeouts and no walks Sunday against Tampa Bay after getting called up from Double-A Arkansas.
— Royals outfielder Whit Merrifield is scheduled to play in his 500th consecutive game, extending the longest streak in the majors, when Kansas City plays at Colorado. Merrifield’s run began on June 25, 2018, and is the longest in the majors since Prince Fielder played in 547 straight from Sept. 14, 2010, to May 16, 2014. Merrifield has played six positions during the stretch: first base, second base, left field, center field, right field and DH. To break Cal Ripken Jr.’s record of 2,632 games, the 33-year-old would need to play another 13-plus seasons.
— Blue Jays left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (hee-UHN’ jihn ree-OO’), sidelined since April 16 with a forearm issue, will be activated to start at Tampa Bay. The 35-year-old allowed 11 runs over 7 1/3 innings in his first two starts before going on the injured list. After a quick visit to Triple-A Buffalo for a rehab start last Saturday, he’s set to rejoin the rotation. He’ll oppose Rays left-hander Ryan Yarbrough.
AP source: Bauer’s appeal of suspension to begin May 23
NEW YORK (AP) — Trevor Bauer’s arbitration appeal of his two-year suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy has been scheduled to start May 23, according to a person familiar with the hearing.
The appeal will be heard by a three-person panel chaired by an independent arbitrator. It will include one representative each from MLB and the players’ association.
Bauer was suspended by Commissioner Rob Manfred on April 29, a penalty that if unchanged will cost the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher just over $60 million of his $102 million, three-year contract.
Swiatek equals Serena Williams with 27-match winning streak
ROME (AP) — Not since Serena Williams seven years ago has another woman had such a hot streak. Top-ranked Iga Swiatek (EE’-gah shvee-AHN’-tehk) routed Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday to extend her winning streak to 27 matches and reach the Italian Open final.
Williams won the same number of consecutive matches over 2014 and 2015.
The hard-hitting Sabalenka took a medical timeout late in the second set and had her back treated. Swiatek will face either Ons Jabeur or Daria Kasatkina of Russia in Sunday’s final.
The men’s semifinals later featured Novak Djokovic against Casper Ruud and Alexander Zverev against Stefanos Tsitsipas (STEH’-fah-nohs TSEE’-tsee-pas).