Phillips' strange double lifts Reds over Mets 7-4
NEW YORK (AP) - Brandon Phillips bounced a bizarre double over first base to snap a ninth-inning tie, and the Cincinnati Reds completed a 3-game sweep of the struggling New York Mets with a 7-4 victory Wednesday.
Joey Votto homered and Zack Cozart had a career-high four hits, all off Matt Harvey, in a game that featured a little bit of everything - including a testy exchange in the dugout between Cincinnati starter Mat Latos and teammate Jay Bruce.
Still, the Reds regrouped and won for the 10th time in 12 games. They finished a 7-2 trip against the bottom three teams in the NL East, moving a season-best 11 games over .500 at 29-18.
Harvey appeared headed for his first defeat of the season before the Mets rallied in the seventh. But they fell to 2-11 in their last 13 home games.
Cabrera, Tigers down Indians 11-7 on rainy night
CLEVELAND (AP) - Justin Verlander overcame a rocky start and rain delay to get his fifth win and Miguel Cabrera hit another homer as the Detroit Tigers beat the Cleveland Indians 11-7 on Wednesday night, sweeping the 2-game series between the AL Central's top teams.
Verlander (5-4) was two outs from qualifying for a victory, when the game was stopped with the Tigers leading 9-5 in the fifth. The right-hander came back after the weather break and finished the inning to get the win, ending a run of 5 straight victories by the Indians over former Cy Young winners.
The game was delayed 62 minutes by rain in the fifth and another 48 minutes in the eighth.
Francona expecting emotional return to Boston
CLEVELAND (AP) - Indians manager Terry Francona is returning to Boston for the first time as an opposing manager and expects an emotional homecoming.
Francona won two World Series titles during eight seasons with the Red Sox, who ended an 86-year drought under his leadership in 2004. Francona is sure he will "have a lot of emotions" on Thursday when his AL Central-leading Indians open a 4-game series at Fenway Park.
Francona doesn't want to be a distraction to his team in Boston and made it clear that he's "proud to go back there as an Indian. I don't want that to ever get lost in the shuffle."
Indians pitcher Justin Masterson, who played parts of 2 seasons for Francona in Boston, hopes Red Sox fans welcome back their former manager warmly.
NBA draft order set, so who goes No. 1?
(AP) - The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the clock.
The first big NBA draft question was answered Tuesday night when the Cavaliers won the lottery for the No. 1 overall pick. But there are still plenty of questions left with a draft that many talent evaluators believe lacks the star power of previous years. And they start right at the top.
There is no consensus No. 1 selection. Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel might come the closest, but he's recovering from a torn ACL that will likely keep him out until at least December.
Kansas guard Ben McLemore, Indiana guard Victor Oladipo and Georgetown forward Otto Porter also are considered some of the top players in the draft.
Dalton already working on the long pass
CINCINNATI (AP) - Andy Dalton saw A.J. Green lined up on the outside and let it fly.
The Bengals aren't wasting time on fixing 1 of their shortcomings. They're throwing long passes during their offseason team workouts this week, trying to get the long-distance connection that was missing in their biggest games last season.
Dalton overthrew an open Green in the end zone on a long pass in the closing minutes of a 19-13 loss at Houston in the first round of the playoffs, a play that epitomized their problems. In the last five regular-season games, Green caught only two passes for more than 20 yards.
Cincinnati's passing game became overly dependent upon the underneath completions, a strategy that didn't work so well.
Miami-Ohio WR Harwell transferring to Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Wide receiver Nick Harwell is transferring to Kansas after spending three seasons at Miami of Ohio, where he set the school record with 219 yards receiving in a game as a freshman.
Kansas coach Charlie Weis announced his decision in a statement Wednesday.
Harwell missed three games last season with a knee injury but still led the Mid-American Conference with 68 catches for 870 yards and eight touchdowns. He was the nation's second-leading receiver in 2011, when he caught 97 passes for 1,426 yards and nine touchdowns.
Harwell should provide a big boost to retooled Kansas passing game. Former BYU quarterback Jake Heaps and former Oklahoma wide receiver Justin McCay will both be eligible this season after sitting out under NCAA transfer rules.
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