Friday, March 27
FRIDAY, MARCH 27
L.A. Clippers at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Philadelphia at Clearwater, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Staal's goal, 2 assists lift Hurricanes over Penguins, 5-2
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Eric Staal had a goal and two assists and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Thursday night.
Ryan Murphy, Jay McClement, Alexander Semin and Andrej Nestrasil scored for Carolina, which had been 0-3-3 in its last six home games since a 7-4 win over Edmonton on March 8. Brad Malone had a pair of assists as Carolina won for the first time in its last five home games against the Penguins.
Brandon Sutter and Ian Cole scored for the Penguins, who had won the previous four season series with Carolina before the teams won two games apiece this time.
Carolina goalie Cam Ward, playing for the first time in five games after missing some with illness, had 27 saves. Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury made 23.
Hamels 5 scoreless innings as Phils lose to Blue Jays 4-1
DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Cole Hamels allowed two hits in five scoreless innings during the Philadelphia Phillies' 4-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.
A focus of trade speculation, Hamels didn't allow a hit until Kevin Pillar reached on an infield single leading off the fifth. Hamels picked off Pillar, Dalton Pompey tripled to left-center field and Hamels struck out Jose Reyes.
Hamels, a four-time All-Star, struck out four and walked three.
Steve Tolleson hit a grand slam off Ken Giles in the eighth.
Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez gave up one run, two hits and one walk in 5 1-3 innings.
Edwin Encarnacion returned to Toronto's lineup at designated hitter after missing 16 games with back inflammation. He walked twice and reached on a fielder's choice.
Reds get Dan Johnson from Astros, send Lohman to Phillies
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — The Reds acquired first baseman Dan Johnson from the Astros on Thursday for a player to be named or cash, one of two trades involving minor leaguers. They also sent infielder Devin Lohman to the Phillies for a player to be named or cash.
Johnson played in 15 games for the Blue Jays last season, batting .211 with a homer and seven RBIs. He left as a free agent after the season and signed with Houston in December. He'll report to the Reds' minor league camp.
The 35-year-old infielder also has played for Oakland, Tampa Bay, the White Sox and Baltimore. Johnson's big moment came on the final day of the 2011 regular season, when he hit a home run for the Rays with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Yankees, tying a game Tampa Bay eventually won to earn a wild-card playoff spot.
Lohman batted .245 with five homers and 29 RBIs in 108 games at Double-A Pensacola last season.
Johnson has 3 hits to help Braves beat Pirates 7-5
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Josh Harrison led off the game with a home run that ended Wandy Rodriguez's scoreless streak at 12 innings, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 Thursday.
Chris Johnson had three hits, including a two-run homer that capped a five-run first inning against Vance Worley, a drive just fair down the left-field line.
After the Pirates tied the score, Jonny Gomes hit a go-ahead home run in the ninth against Clayton Richard and Jesus Flores had a run-scoring infield single.
Rodriguez allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings. Worley retired 13 in a row after Johnson's homer and wound up giving up seven hits in six innings
Walker doubled and scored on Andrew McCutchen's single in the third inning, then homered in the fifth. Francisco Cervelli hit an RBI double.
Steelers re-sign WR Heyward-Bey to 1-year deal
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have re-signed free agent wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey to a one-year contract.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The 28-year-old Heyward-Bey served primarily on special teams for the Steelers in 2014 after coming over from Indianapolis. Heyward-Bey caught three passes for 33 yards last season, including a 17-yard third-down conversion against Houston on Oct. 20 that helped the Steelers pick up valuable field position in a win that helped propel Pittsburgh to an AFC North title.
Heyward-Bey, a 2009 first-round draft pick by Oakland, has 172 career receptions for 2,413 yards and 12 touchdowns.
STILL HEINZ FIELD
Steelers stadium keeps Heinz Field name despite Kraft merger
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers' football stadium will keep the name Heinz Field despite the company's planned merger with Kraft Foods Group.
Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co. says if the merger announced Wednesday is approved, the new company will be Kraft Heinz Co.
But Heinz senior vice president Michael Mullen confirms that the stadium will remain named Heinz Field.
The Heinz Co. signed a $57 million, 20-year naming rights deal when the stadium opened in 2001. That means the stadium will keep the name for at least six more years.
NCAA-NC STATE-OBAMA PROFANITY
NC State's Barber says all is OK with Obama after profanity
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — N.C. State's Cat Barber says things are square again with President Barack Obama.
Last Saturday night, Barber was caught by TV cameras saying "What ... (is) wrong with Barack Obama" to his teammates in the locker room after North Carolina State upset top-seeded Villanova to reach the Sweet 16.
Obama had picked Villanova to reach the NCAA Tournament final. But the Wolfpack busted the president's bracket with the 71-68 win.
Barber said Thursday that he was excited. He says it wasn't personal, and the president responded back that he understood the comment was made in the heat of the moment.
Barber says it's all good now.
Obama correctly guessed that Villanova and N.C. State would each win its first tournament game. He picked Kentucky to win it all.
Former NFL great Bednarik remembered at viewing in hometown
BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) — Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik is being remembered as a major figure in the history of the NFL and one of the Philadelphia Eagles' greatest players.
The Easton Express-Times reports that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie was among the mourners at a public viewing Thursday for Bednarik in Bethlehem.
Lurie described Bednarik as someone who exhibited toughness, love of the game, pride and humility. He says the Eagles are working on plans to honor him next season.
Bednarik was known as "Concrete Charlie." The star linebacker and center played for the Eagles from 1949 to 1962.
He helped the Eagles win the 1960 NFL championship, tackling Green Bay's Jim Taylor on the final play to seal the victory.
The Bethlehem native died Saturday at an assisted living facility at the age of 89.