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Scoreboard Roundup - 4/24/14


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: New York Mets 4 (12-10) - St. Louis Cardinals 1 (12-11) 

Cleveland Indians 5 (11-11) - Kansas City Royals 1 (10-11) 

Detroit Tigers 7 (11-8) - Chicago White Sox 4 (11-12)

Cincinnati Reds 2 (11-11) - Pittsburgh Pirates 1 (9-14)

Minnesota Twins 9 (11-10) - Tampa Bay Rays 7 (10-12)

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MLB Suspends Yankees Pitcher Michael Pineda


Jared Wickerham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The MLB suspended New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda on Thursday "for possessing a foreign substance on his person" during Wednesday night's game against the Red Sox.

Pineda was ejected in the second inning when umpires and Red Sox manager John Farrell saw pine tar on the right side of his neck.

"I know I make a mistake tonight, and I feel so sad,'' Pineda said after the game. "I learn from this mistake and I don't do it again.''

In his first start against Boston on April 10 at Yankee Stadium, Pineda was accused of having a foreign substance on his wrist. Pineda said after it was a combination of dirt and sweat he used to get a better grip of the ball. Following his ejection on Wednesday night, the 25-year old admitted to his mistake and apologized for his actions.

"I don't think he's trying to do anything to cheat, I think he's trying to go out there and compete," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "He used bad judgment tonight. He'll admit to that."

The suspension should cost Pineda two starts and will hurt a Yankees pitching staff that is already missing Ivan Nova, who suffered an injury last week.

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Mike McCarthy Looking Forward to Seahawks


Tom Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NFL released the 2014 schedule for all 32 teams on Wednesday.  The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks will host the Green Bay Packers in the season opener on Sept. 4.

The last time the two teams played at CenturyLink Field was in Week 3 of the 2012 season that ended in a last second hail mary that was ruled a touchdown by the then replacement officials that gave the Seahawks a 14-12 win. Replays later showed that it was not a completion.

"This game won't be about the past," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said of the rematch. "It will be about the 2014 Green Bay Packers."

The Packers have played the defending Super Bowl champions in three straight seasons.

"It's a tremendous opportunity for our football team," McCarthy said. "We have experience playing in the kickoff opener three years ago, and we will draw on that. Obviously, being the visiting team this time presents new challenges. It will help sharpen our focus even more during training camp and the preseason."

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Richmond International Raceway Preview


Justin Edmonds/NASCAR via Getty Image(NEW YORK) -- The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be racing under the lights at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night.

Prior to the start of the race, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will drive the pace car.

Jeff Gordon comes in after last weekend off as the points leader and has two career wins at Richmond with 16 top five finishes.

Clint Bowyer sits 78 points behind Gordon and would like to get a win under his belt this season.

"Richmond is one of the coolest racetracks in the circuit," said Bowyer, who owns two wins at the track. "I think it's a perfect blend of speed and also short-track racing at its best."

Kevin Harvick has two wins this season and won last year at the track.

Jeff Burton has struggled this season and sits 270 points behind, but always enjoys coming back to Richmond.

"I think Richmond is the best laid out racetrack of anywhere we go," Burton said of the track. "It's the right size; it's the right making, that's the model of what any racetrack should be."

Kevin Harvick has two wins this season and won last year at the track.

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Richard Sherman on New Contract: It's 'All About Respect'


Steve Dykes/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Seattle Seahawks have shutdown cornerback Richard Sherman, who is entering the final year of his contract this season. The team and Sherman are in ongoing discussions, but the two sides are far apart, reports ESPN NFL insider Ed Werder.

Sherman is due $1.4 million this season and had 18 pass deflections to go along with eight interceptions, including his biggest in the NFC Championship game against the 49ers to clinch their Super Bowl berth.

"Whatever they feel I am due. I will take it as respect," Sherman told NFL Network on Wednesday. "It's all about respect in this game and the only way people show respect is the dollars. We'll see what happens."

The New England Patriots signed cornerback Darrelle Revis during the offseason to a one-year deal for $12 million and Sherman could command even more than that.

Seattle will open up the season on Sept. 4 at home against the Green Bay Packers.

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Kane Helps Blackhawks Even Series with St. Louis


Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images (CHICAGO, Ill.) -- Patrick Kane scored a little more than halfway through the first overtime session to give Chicago a 4-3 win over St. Louis in Game 4 of their Western Conference playoffs matchup. The Blackhawks dropped the first two games of the series but have rallied to win each of the last two.

"Every game feels like I've gotten a little bit better," said Kane who missed the last 12 games of the regular season with a leg injury. "Whether it's timing or getting used to playing in the playoffs again, whatever it may be, just try to keep getting better and better and use these games to my advantage."

After a scoreless first period, Kane helped Chicago take what looked to be a commanding lead in the second. Andrew Shaw opened the scoring on a power play goal before Kane made it 2-0 a few minutes later. The Blues would rally tough: Vladimir Tarasenko and Maxim Lapierre reeled off consecutive goals in the final 1:09 of the frame to knot things up.

Tarasenko added a second goal in the third to give St. Louis the lead. Less than for minutes later, Bryan Bickell scored his first goal of the postseason to tie the game at 3-3 and eventually send the game into overtime.

Last year's Conn Smythe Trophy winner ripped a shot off the crossbar before eventually scoring the game winner with a wrister that beat Ryan Miller.

The series now shifts back to St. Louis for Game 5 on Friday night.

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NFL Releases 2014 Schedule


Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Seattle Seahawks will begin their title defense on Sept. 4 against the Green Bay Packers in the season opener for the NFL. A rematch of the infamous "Fail Mary" game in 2012 starts the 2014 season for the defending Super Bowl champions while Green Bay opens their third straight season against the world champs.

The NFL's opening weekend is highlighted by a Sunday night matchup of Peyton Manning and his old team as the Denver Broncos host Indianapolis on Sept. 7 before a Monday night doubleheader. The New York Giants will kick things off at Detroit before the Arizona Cardinals host San Diego.

Other noteable games see an expansion of the league's trips across the pond with three games being played in London. The Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders will battle one another on Sept. 28 before the Lions and Atlanta visit England on Oct. 26 in a 9:30 a.m. start. Dallas and Jacksonville will also play in London on Nov. 9, finishing the trio of trans-Atlantic contests.

As always, the Cowboys will host a Thanksgiving Day affair when they take on Philadelphia at home as part of another NFL tripleheader. Chicago will visit the Lions in another traditional matchup before San Francisco and Seattle play a primetime game.

Bye weeks in the NFL will begin in Week 4 and last until Week 12 while the regular season comes to a close on Dec. 28 with a full slate of divisional matchups.

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Aldridge Torches Rockets, Portland Takes 2-0 Series Lead


Scott Halleran/Getty Images (HOUSTON, Texas) -- For the second time is as many games, LaMarcus Aldridge set it off. The Portland power forward scored 43 points on Wednesday for the second straight game, leading the Trail Blazers to a 112-105 win over Houston a 2-0 series lead.

A native of Dallas, Aldridge has scored 89 points through the first two games of the series, including a franchise record 46 in Portland's overtime win over the Rockets in Game 1. His back-to-back 40-plus scoring nights puts him on the same list as Michael Jordan and Tracy McGrady as the only players to score 40 or more points on the road in Games 1 and 2 of a playoff series.

"What can they do to stop him? He was great once again," said teammate Damian Lillard who added 18 points in the win. "When a lot of guys couldn't get going and couldn't get shots, he carried us."

The Trail Blazers now return home winning two games on the road to open a playoff series for the first time since the 1977 Western Conference Finals. Portland had a six point lead heading into the fourth quarter and was able to hold off a late rally by the Rockets to clinch the victory.

Dwight Howard led Houston with 32 points and 14 rebounds, connecting on his first six shots of the game. James Harden struggled, however, going just 6-of-19 from the floor. Game 3 is set for Friday night in Portland.

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Pineda Ejected for Using Pine Tar


Jared Wickerham/Getty Images (BOSTON, Mass.) -- New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected in the second inning of his start against Boston on Wednesday night after being found with pine tar on his neck. The Red Sox would go on to win the game, 5-1 at Fenway Park.

The righty had trouble controlling his pitches in the first inning and when he returned for the second, was seen with a noticeable smear on his neck that was not previously there. Red Sox manager John Farrell then asked homeplate umpire Gerry Davis to inspect the pitcher and after finding the foreign substance, Davis ejected Pineda.

"I fully respect that on a cold night, you're trying to get a grip," said Farrell. "But when it's that obvious, something has to be said."

In his first start against Boston on April 10 at Yankee Stadium, Pineda was accused of having a foreign substance on his wrist. Pineda said after it was a combination of dirt and sweat he used to get a better grip of the ball. Following his ejection on Wednesday night, the 25-year old admitted to his mistake and apologized for his actions.

"I don't think he's trying to do anything to cheat, I think he's trying to go out there and compete," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "He used bad judgment tonight. He'll admit to that."

While there is no mandatory suspension for pitchers using a foreign substance, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Joel Peralta was forced to sit out eight games in 2012 for a similar incident. Major League Baseball has yet announce a decision, but both Girardi and Yankees GM Brian Cashman expect a suspension is coming.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 4/23/14


Getty Images/Hemera (NEW YORK) -- NBA Playoffs – First Round: Miami Heat 101 – Charlotte Bobcats 97 (Heat lead series, 2-0)

Dallas Mavericks 113 – San Antonio Spurs 92 (Series tied at 1-1)

Portland Trail Blazers 112 - Houston Rockets 105 (Trail Blazers lead series, 2-0)

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs – First Round: Columbus Blue Jackets 4 – Pittsburgh Penguins 3 OT (Series tied at 2-2)

Dallas Stars 4 – Anaheim Ducks 2 (Series tied at 2-2)

Chicago Blackhawks 4 - St. Louis Blues 3 OT (Series tied at 2-2)

MLB: Texas Rangers 3 (14-8) – Oakland Athletics 0 (13-8)

Atlanta Braves 3 (14-7) – Miami Marlins 1 (10-12)

Seattle Mariners 5 (8-13) – Houston Astros 3 (7-15)

Arizona Diamondbacks 7 (6-18) – Chicago Cubs 5 (7-13)

Cleveland Indians 5 (10-11) – Kansas City Royals 3 (10-10)

San Francisco Giants 12 (12-10) – Colorado Rockies 10 (12-11) 11 Innings

Baltimore Orioles 10 (10-10) – Toronto Blue Jays 8 (11-10)

Cincinnati Reds 5 (10-11) – Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (9-13)

Chicago White Sox 6 (11-11) – Detroit Tigers 4 (10-8)

New York Mets 3 (11-10) – St. Louis Cardinals 2 (12-10)

Boston Red Sox 5 (10-12) – New York Yankees 1 (12-9)

Milwaukee Brewers 5 (16-6) – San Diego Padres 2 (10-12)

Washington Nationals 5 (12-10) – Los Angeles Angels 4 (10-11)

Minnesota Twins 6 (10-10) - Tampa Bay Rays 4 (10-11) 12 Innings

Los Angeles Dodgers 5 (13-9) - Philadelphia Phillies 2 (10-11)

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