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Preview: Orioles at Rangers

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 10:18pm

The Texas Rangers have benefited from the big inning on two occasions and have been done in by it on another heading into Sunday's series finale against the visiting Baltimore Orioles. After erupting for a five-run sixth on Thursday, Texas bounced back from a four-homer, nine-run seventh the following night by igniting a sixth-run frame in an 8-4 victory on Saturday.Rougned Odor recorded a two-run single in Saturday's seventh inning and has collected five hits, four RBIs and three runs scored in the series for the Rangers, who have won six of their last seven meetings with the Orioles. Baltimore's Manny Machado homered in the first inning to extend his season-opening hitting streak to 11 games but has been limited to just four singles in 15 career at-bats versus Sunday starter Derek Holland. Adam Jones and Chris Davis also went deep on Saturday for the Orioles, who lead the American League with 23 homers. The Rangers, conversely, have seen a league-high 22 balls leave the park this season. TV: 3:05 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Baltimore), FSN Southwest (Texas)PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Mike Wright (1-0, 7.20) vs. Rangers LH Derek Holland (1-0, 2.31)Wright didn't exactly put his best foot forward in his first start of the season, but Baltimore's potent offense bailed him out of hot water. The 26-year-old allowed four runs and five hits in as many innings of a 9-5 victory at Boston on Tuesday for his fourth career win. Wright, who has yet to face Texas, is auditioning to remain in the rotation after Kevin Gausman (shoulder) makes his expected return to the club later this month.Holland followed a mediocre performance in his first start with a stellar one on Tuesday, scattering four hits over 6 2/3 innings en route to an 8-0 shellacking of Seattle. The 29-year-old has flustered the Orioles in his career, improving to 5-2 with a 2.94 ERA after allowing just three hits and striking out 11 in a dominating shutout last season. Davis has struggled mightily against Holland, going 1-for-11 with eight strikeouts.WALK-OFFS1. Texas CF Delino DeShields is 11-for-22 with one homer, three RBIs and six runs scored in his last five games.2. Orioles SS J.J. Hardy is riding a six-game hitting streak but is 2-for-13 lifetime versus Holland.3. Rangers RHP Yu Darvish is expected to throw his second batting practice session on Sunday as he attempts to return from Tommy John surgery.PREDICTION: Orioles 6, Rangers 5

Stars 2, Wild 1

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 10:18pm

DALLAS -- Jamie Benn scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period and goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped 25 of 26 shots for the Dallas Stars in a 2-1 win against the Minnesota Wild in Game 2 of the Western Conference first-round series on Saturday night at American Airlines Center. Benn scored his second goal of the playoffs with 9:37 remaining in regulation, beating Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk with a backhand through his five-hole on a breakaway.Benn gained possession inside the neutral zone after Cody Eakin flipped the puck off the boards from inside the Dallas zone. Benn rushed up the left side of the ice and then finished with a backhand for the eventual game-winner.Minnesota cut it to 2-1 with 7:18 remaining in regulation when Marco Scandella beat Lehtonen far post on a slap shot from the right point. Dallas leads the best-of-7 series 2-0. Game 3 is at Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota on Monday. Antoine Roussel scored his first career playoff goal off a deflection. Scandella was trying to clear the puck from behind the visiting goal, but the puck first hit the skate of Ales Hemsky and deflected a second time off Roussel's skate. The puck flipped over the top of the goal, hitting Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk in the back of his mask before crossing the line. However, play was blown dead and the initial call on the ice was no goal since Dubnyk had caused the goal to wobble on its moorings.Following a lengthy video review, the original call was overturned and Roussel was credited with the goal since the puck crossed the line and Dubnyk had only wobbled the net instead of dislodging it.Lehtonen made one of his better saves of the night 1:02 into the game when he denied a wrist shot by Nino Niederreiter with a pad save on a breakaway. Lehtonen also turned away a wrist shot by Mikael Granlund at close range with 8:36 remaining before the first intermission. The game was scoreless after one period with Dallas outshooting Minnesota 14-7. Stars center Tyler Seguin skated on both the first and fourth lines for Dallas in his first game back from an Achilles injury sustained on March 17. Seguin finished with 15:40 of ice time.Dubnyk stopped 26 of 28 shots in a losing effort before leaving the ice with 41 seconds remaining.Lehtonen denied Wild captain Mikko Koivu as he attempted to redirect a shot at close range with 27.1 seconds remaining as Minnesota had the extra attacker.Minnesota got one final power play with 4.4 seconds remaining after a crosschecking call on Patrick Eaves, but Dallas won the ensuing faceoff and was able to clear the puck as the final horn sounded. NOTES: The Wild scratched C Zac Dalpe, D Christian Folin, LW Zach Parise (upper body), C Jordan Schroeder and LW Thomas Vanek (upper body). ... The Stars scratched D Jordie Benn, C Mattias Janmark, LW Travis Moen, D Patrik Nemeth, D Jamie Oleksiak and RW Brett Ritchie (lower body). ... Wild C Erik Haula returned to the ice after missing Game 1 with an upper-body injury. ... Stars C Tyler Seguin returned the ice for the first time since March 17 against the Lightning. Seguin missed the previous 11 games with a cut Achilles that required surgery. ... Wild G Devan Dubnyk was starting his 12th career playoff game, setting a new franchise record. ... Stars G Kari Lehtonen was appearing in his 10th career postseason game. ... Wild interim coach John Torchetti said the health of Parise, who remains back in Minnesota, is a day-to-day situation.

Preview: Rockies at Cubs

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 10:03pm

In a matchup between two of the league's highest-scoring offenses, strong starting pitching has been the key to the first two games of the Chicago Cubs' set against the visiting Colorado Rockies. If that trend holds, the Cubs hope star left-hander Jon Lester will give them the upper hand in Sunday's series finale.

Lester looks to follow the lead set by Jake Arrieta, who tossed eight scoreless innings to help the Cubs even the series with a 6-2 victory Saturday. The only bright spot for the Rockies on Saturday was a two-run homer by Carlos Gonzalez, who has nine blasts in 19 career games at Wrigley Field. The Cubs belted three home runs a day after their weakest offensive output of the season, as they managed only one run and four hits in the series opener. Chicago is trying to win its fifth straight home series against Colorado dating to 2012.

TV: 2:20 p.m. ET, ROOT (Colorado), WGN (Chicago)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rockies RH Tyler Chatwood (1-1, 4.38 ERA) vs. Cubs LH Jon Lester (1-0, 2.77)

Chatwood missed 1 1/2 years following his second Tommy John surgery but is off to a solid start in his return to the big leagues. He made a couple of costly mistakes last time out, surrendering four of his five runs on homers in a loss to San Francisco. The 26-year-old is making his first career appearance at Wrigley Field, but he defeated the Cubs with a quality start in 2013.

Lester was outstanding in winning his season debut, and though he wasn't as sharp last time out, he still managed to register a quality start. The 32-year-old gave up three runs and five hits over six innings in a no-decision against Cincinnati on Monday. Lester was dominant in one start against the Rockies last season, striking out 14 and allowing two runs and five hits over eight innings to earn the win.

WALK-OFFS

1. Gonzalez has hit safely in a career-best 21 straight games dating to last season, the fourth player in the past 50 years to end one campaign and begin the next with hitting streaks of at least 10 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

2. Cubs CF Dexter Fowler, who belted a three-run homer Saturday, has reached safely in every game this season and been on base 26 times in 47 plate appearances.

3. Chicago INF Javier Baez went 2-for-4 with a double and scored a run in his first action of the season Saturday after injuring his thumb in spring training.

PREDICTION: Cubs 5, Rockies 3

Showers and storms next week

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 9:57pm

We have a slow moving storm to our west with snow..rain and storms..it will slowly creep our way.

Early Sunday I think most of us see clouds..with rain and storms not far to our west.

By noon Monday we'll see showers and some storms moving into the Ozarks...nothing severe.

As you can see..lots of rain to our west...some places over 6".

Over the next several days areas to the west could see over 2" of rain...an inch or so around Springfield and lesser amounts to the east.

Temperatures are above normal the next several days with upper 70s by Friday.

Have a great Sunday!

28 dead in Ecuador earthquake, tsunami warning canceled

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 9:56pm

(CNN) -- At least 28 people have died in a magnitude-7.8 earthquake that was centered near the coast of Ecuador, the country's vice president, Jorge Glas, told the nation in a televised address.

Glas said a state of emergency was now in effect and added that preventative evacuations in coastal areas were underway because of possible tsunami risks.

A tsunami threat warning for many nations in the Pacific that followed the earthquake has been canceled, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in its latest statement. The forecast for some coastal areas of Ecuador still calls for the possibility of tsunami waves.

For more on the story, click here.

NHL playoff roundup: Rangers even series with 4-2 win over Penguins

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 9:48pm

PITTSBURGH -- Derick Brassard scored one goal and assisted on two others and J.T. Miller set up three goals as the New York Rangers posted a potentially pivotal 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was back in net after missing the final two periods of Pittsburgh's 5-2 win in Game 1 with an injured right eye. He made 29 saves in the kind of steady-as-you-go performance the Rangers expect from him as New York evened the series at 1-1.

Phil Kessel scored his first two playoff goals since 2013 for the Penguins. Goalie Jeff Zatkoff had 24 saves as he again filled in for injured Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion).

Chris Kreider, Keith Yandle and Mats Zuccarello scored the other New York goals.

Capitals 4, Flyers 1

TAMPA, Fla. -- Braden Holtby made 41 saves, Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists, and Washington defeated Philadelphia to take a 2-0 lead in the opening-round playoff series.

Jason Chimera scored a fluke goal from center ice and John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin scored power-play goals as Washington again dominated play on special teams. The Capitals killed off all three Philadelphia power plays and scored both times they had the man-advantage.

Jakub Voracek pulled the Flyers to within 2-1 in the second period and Steve Mason finished with 19 saves. Philadelphia is scoreless in seven power-play chances in the series.

Stars 2, Wild 1

DALLAS -- Jamie Benn scored the clinching goal midway through the third period and goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped 25 of 26 shots as Dallas edged Minnesota Wild to take a 2-0 series lead.

Benn scored his second goal of the playoffs with 9:37 remaining, beating Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk with a backhand through his five-hole on a breakaway to give the Stars a 2-0 lead.

Minnesota cut it to 2-1 with 7:18 remaining in regulation when Marco Scandella beat Lehtonen far post on a slap shot from the right point.

Antoine Roussel scored his first career playoff goal off a deflection to give Dallas the early lead.

Colorado artist makes 'new' soup prints to replace stolen ones at Springfield Art Museum

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 9:10pm

It has been more than a week since seven Andy Worhol prints were stolen from Springfield Art Museum. Now, a young artist from Colorado is stepping up and trying to help fill these blank walls with her own collection which she first created in 2007. She is tentatively calling the combination of her work and Andy Worhol's "fill in the blanks". Lindsey Wohlman said her prints show Campbell soup outside of the cans. She first reached out to the museum earlier this week and is thrilled to announce they accepted her offer.

"I’m actually in production right now. I have my print proofs hanging out with me," said artist Lindsey Wohlman. "It's nice to do something positive when you see so much negativity in the news… just giving back is good karma and fun." Wohlman said she hopes to send these prints by soon so the museum will have them by the end of the week. She said Andy Worhol is a huge inspiration and she could not be more honored the Springfield Art Museum decided to include her in their gallery. We will continue to follow this story as it progresses. Wohlman did say the museum may be organizing a canned food drive as she says they plan to turn this into a positive

Preview: Mets at Indians

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 9:03pm

Mike Napoli could prove to be a smart free-agent signing for the Cleveland Indians if the first few weeks of the season are any indication. Napoli has knocked in six runs overall - three the last two days -- and can extend his hitting streak to nine games when the Indians host the New York Mets on Sunday in the rubber match of the three-game series.The 34-year-old slugger was let go by Boston last season and finished the campaign with Texas before agreeing to a one-year, $7 million deal with Cleveland in January. Napoli is 4-for-9 in the series and had two RBI singles in the Indians' 7-5 victory Saturday against Matt Harvey and the Mets, who have dropped five of seven. The good news for New York is its offense is beginning to perk up with 11 runs and seven homers the last two games after coming to Cleveland ranked last in the majors in batting average and 29th in scoring. Yoenis Cespedes is 4-for-9 with a pair of blasts and five RBIs while Neil Walker has gone deep twice in the series for the Mets.TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, SNY (New York), SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland)PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets LH Steven Matz (0-1, 37.80 ERA) vs. Indians RH Corey Kluber (0-2, 4.85)Matz tries to rebound from a rough season debut when he surrendered seven runs on six hits and a pair of walks while getting just five outs against Miami last Monday. The 24-year-old gave up all of the runs in the second inning, including a two-run blast by Giancarlo Stanton. Matz won his lone interleague start of his young career last season against the New York Yankees, permitting one run over six frames.Kluber pitched six shutout innings last time out before coughing up a 1-0 lead at Tampa Bay and looks to find the form which led to a 2.83 ERA at home a year ago. The 2014 American League Cy Young winner gave up three runs and four hits over 7 2/3 innings last Tuesday and is 9-18 in the last two years combined. Cespedes is 4-for-12 with a homer versus Kluber, who beat the Mets in their only meeting in 2013.WALK-OFFS1. New York C Travis d'Arnaud suffered a bruised left elbow after being hit by a pitch Saturday, but X-rays came back negative. 2. Cleveland 2B Jason Kipnis has recorded multiple hits in four of his last six games to raise his average to .333.3. Mets 3B David Wright has reached base in all nine games he has played this season, but is expected to get the day off Sunday.PREDICTION: Indians 5, Mets 2

Preview: White Sox at Rays

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 9:03pm

The Tampa Bay Rays look to build off their best offensive performance of the season when they host the Chicago White Sox on Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game set. The Rays posted a season high in runs in Saturday's 7-2 victory after managing just one in the previous three contests and shortstop Brad Miller enjoyed his best day with his new team, recording a homer and three RBIs."It's been pretty quiet in the dugout," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash told reporters. "You can credit the pitchers that we've been facing but, at the same time, we've got to figure out away to beat good pitchers. It was nice to see the guys break out a little bit." The Rays could also get Kevin Kiermaier (head contusion) and Logan Forsythe (hip, leg) back in the lineup against the White Sox, who saw their five-game win streak come to an end Saturday. Brett Lawrie homered Saturday and is 9-for-24 while Melky Cabrera is 11-for-25 during six-game hitting streaks for Chicago. Meanwhile, White Sox slugger Jose Abreu is due after going 0-for-7 in the series.TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, CSN (Chicago), FSN Sun (Tampa Bay)PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox LH Jose Quintana (1-0, 2.31 ERA) vs. Rays LH Matt Moore (0-0, 3.00)Quintana has put together two solid outings to start this season, including a six-inning, one-run performance last time out to beat the Minnesota Twins. The 27-year-old Colombian was 7-5 with a 3.16 ERA on the road last season and is 1-0 in his first two away from home in 2016. Forsythe is 4-for-5 and Logan Morrison is 4-for-9 versus Quintana, who is 1-1 with a 3.43 ERA in four career starts against the Rays.Tampa Bay has won four games this season - two when Moore has started - but the 26-year-old has yet to post a victory. The Florida native gave up one run and five hits over seven innings last time out against Cleveland and boasts 11 strikeouts in 12 frames overall. Cabrera is 5-for-10 and Austin Jackson has homered against Moore, who is 3-1 with a 1.09 ERA in four games versus the White Sox.WALK-OFFS1. Tampa Bay's pitching staff leads the majors in strikeout/walk ratio (4.39) with 101 whiffs and just 23 walks.2. Chicago OF Adam Eaton notched his sixth multi-hit game of the season Saturday after going 2-for-4.3. The Rays are the only team in the majors without a save in 2016 after Seattle and Cincinnati each recorded one on Saturday.PREDICTION: Rays 4, White Sox 2

Safe and Sound Saturday

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 9:03pm

The 4th annual Safe and Sound Saturday at the Ozarks Empire Fairgrounds is expected to be the best one yet.

This year's Safe and Sound Saturday is April 16.  It runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Come visit KSPR news and weather personalities, receive a free helmet from Aaron Sachs and Associates, test your shooting aim at the Bass Pro section, or visit several businesses that focus on keeping your family safe.  

Don't forget to visit one of the stage presentations too:

9:30 a.m.: KSPR Weather Jeopardy10:00 a.m.: Defensive Solutions - Bass Pro Shops10:30 a.m.: Avoiding Scams - Springfield Police11:00 a.m.: Self-Protection - USA Martial Arts11:30 a.m.: Never Shake a Baby - Cox HealthNoon: Keeping Water Safe - City Utilities12:30 p.m.: KSPR Weather Jeopardy1:00 p.m.: Defensive Solutions - Bass Pro Shops1:30 p.m.: Cyberbullying - Moses Consulting2:00 p.m.: Is your home poison safe?2:30 p.m.: Helmet Safety - CoxHealth3:00 p.m.: Weather Jeopardy

SAFE & SOUND VENDORS 2016 

CENTER HALL 

C1-5 Missing & Exploited Children C6 Mercy – ETC C7 Connect Hearing C8 Mo. Division of Fire Safety C9 Ozark Quilt Guild C10 VFW Post 3404 C11-12 Bikers Against Child Abuse C13 Titanic Museum C14 Coast Guard C15 AAA Insurance C16-20 Logan Rogersville Fire Department C21 Liberty Mutual C22 Sight & Sound Theatre POD C1 Dark Time Survival POD C2 Springfield Fire Dept. LOBBY East Aaron Sachs & Associates LOBBY West Bass Pro Shops 

EAST HALL 

E1 Damsel in Defense E2 Ozark Fence E3 Little Sunshine Playhouse E4 Rehabilitation Service for the Blind E5 Family Back & Neck Care Center E7 Lend Nation E8 Seal Smart E9-10 Xtreme Krav Maga E11 C.U. Community Credit Union E12 American National Insurance E13-16 Family Safe Storm Shelters E17 CVS Minute Clinic E18 Brinton Security E19 Springfield-Greene County Health E20 Oxford Healthcare E21 DiVentures E24 Community Partnership Realtor Safety E25 Marcus Troup Insurance E26 News-Leader E27 U.S. Legal Shield E28 Federal Protection E22-23, 34-35 Mercy Injury Prevention Center E29-30 Meek Chiropractic E31 OTC Fire Services E32 Burns Fire Safety E33 Safe ID Trust E36 Phelps Center for Students  E38-40 Reliable Storm Shelters E41-42 Mo. Highway Patrol E43 Midland Radio E44 Elite Detection E45 Sunrise Communications E48-49 Dunham Martial Arts E50 Parents as Teachers E51 Pure Wireless / U.S. Cellular CORNER E1 Aaron Sachs & Associates POD E1 Safe Kids Springfield COVE E1 Reliable Chevrolet 

WEST HALL 

W1-2 Mister Electric W3 Scentsy W4 Dept. of Environmental Services W5-6-7 F5 Storm Shelters W8 Integrity Home Health W9 Mosquito Joe W10 Haven Healthcare W11-12 Corps of Engineers – Stockton Lake W13 Bug Zero W-14-17 Springfield-Greene County Parks W18-27 EmergencMe W19 Sound Advice Hearing W20 Waddell & Reed W21 Mo. Geological Survey W22 Legal Shield W23 Martial Arts USA W24 Ozark Storm Shelters W25 AARP W26 Soroptimist International W28-31/46-49 AllState Insurance W33 B & G Window & Screen W34-35 Enbridge W36-37 Christian’s Armor Storm Shelters W38-39 Sam’s Club W40-41 Greene County Sheriff’s Department W42 SW Missouri Amateur Radio Club W43 Gateway/Cricket Wireless W44 Castle Defense 360 Security W50-51 Tiedemann Bank Equipment W52-55 American Red Cross W56-60 U.S. Army Fire Service W62-69 Cox Health Emergency Management W70 Springfield Police Dept. 

POD W1 Southwest Sales POD W2 Fed Ex Freight POD w3 Office of Emergency Management CORNER w1 Bass Pro Shops JUMBO w1 City Utilities COVE W1 Cox Health Better Business Bureau Village B1 LifeMark Bath & Home B2 St. Clair of the Ozarks B3 Top Tier Kitchens & Bath B4 My Movers Moving & Storage B6 Midwest Hearing Aid Service B7 Alternative Energy Construction B8 Consumer Credit Counseling B9 Mitchell Chiropractic B10 ACIS Computers B11 Smithco Mechanical B12 Premier Home Health Care B13 Foundation Recovery Systems B14 The Cabinet Refinishing Center B15 F & S Master Air B16 Staffing Plus B17 Water Tech of the Ozarks B18-19 Liberty Home Solutions B20-21 Midwest Storm Shelters B22 Computer Recycling Center B23 Alandsons Supply Company B24 Eagle Eye Business Solutions B25 Southern Missouri Judicial Services B26-27 Atlas Security B28-29 BBB B30 Making Memories B31 Air Services/All Service B32 Ryan Lawn & Tree B34-35 Denray Machine Inc.

Reddick, Vogt power the Athletics past the Royals, 5-3

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 9:01pm

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Josh Reddick and Stephen Vogt homered to back Sonny Gray's solid effort, and the Oakland Athletics ended a four-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.

Gray (2-1) pitched through trouble, lasting six innings to earn his first victory against the Royals in four starts, leaving the Boston Red Sox as the only AL team he has not yet beaten.

Gray gave up two runs and seven hits, walking one and striking out six. He stranded six runners, four in scoring position.

Reddick, who hit the ball hard in every at bat, erased the Royals' early lead with a three-run shot in the bottom of the first off Chris Young (0-3), who failed to get through five innings for the second straight start.

7.8 earthquake hits coastal region of Ecuador

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 8:58pm

A 7.8 earthquake hit the coast of Ecuador, leaving at least 28 killed.

No charges in killing of Maryland firefighter

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 8:55pm

A man who shot two Maryland firefighters -- one of them fatally -- was released from custody without being charged with a crime, police said Saturday.

"Yes, he was released from custody and as far as why charges have not been filed, call the state's attorney office," Prince George's County Police spokesman Tyler Hunter told CNN.

Efforts to reach the state's attorney Saturday night for comment were not successful.

The shooting happened Friday night at the man's residence in Temple Hills, in the Washington, D.C., suburbs after his brother called "expressing concern," the police department said in a statement. Specifics on the call were unclear, but authorities said it was medically related.

"They knocked on the door and received no answer so they began to force entry so they could render care," Benjamin Barksdale, assistant fire chief for Prince George's County Fire Department, said at a press briefing. "As they were forcing entry, several shots were fired from the house through the door, striking two fire department personnel."

Killed was firefighter John Ulmschneider, 39, authorities said.

Kevin Swain, a 19-year-old volunteer firefighter, was shot four times and was in serious condition, police said. He is expected to survive.

The brother who called 911 was standing outside the house and also was shot, but his injuries are not life-threatening, authorities said.

Prince George's County police officers rushed to the scene and arrested the suspect, who has cooperated with police, authorities said.

The police department did not provide the man's name. The Washington Post reported that he was 61 and that his brother feared the man had suffered a blackout or seizure.

Ulmschneider was a paramedic and 13-year veteran of the county's emergency medical services. He was married and had a 2-year-old daughter, fire department spokesman Mark Brady said.

"This is a day that we have all dreaded in our minds," the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics Association said on its Facebook page.

"We are keenly aware of the dangers of our profession but we have hoped that God would continue to watch over and protect our members. Now that tragedy has stricken us, we must stand strong and band together to support (Ulmschneider's) family and those who are closest to him."

Ted Cruz sweeps Wyoming Republican Convention

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 8:51pm

It's a Ted Cruz sweep in Wyoming.

Cruz won 14 of 14 Republican National Convention delegates up for grabs at the Wyoming state convention here Saturday.

The crowd here was clearly in Cruz's corner, as the Texas senator was the only candidate to make the trip to Casper -- ahead of a major snowstorm -- and Sarah Palin, scheduled to speak for Trump, previously canceled.

"If you don't want to see Donald Trump as the nominee, if you don't want to hand the general (election) to Hillary Clinton, which is what a Trump nomination does, then I ask you to please support the men and women on this slate," Cruz said, holding up a piece of paper of 14 recommended delegates.

Twelve members of that slate won. They are bound to the senator on the first ballot and have also made a non-binding pledge to stick with him as long as things go in Cleveland.

For Cruz, Saturday is another victory that demonstrates how his campaign has organized party insiders and activists to make it difficult for Trump to capture the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination.

Trump spent the day in New York, and twice Saturday -- before the vote -- decried the convention process used here and last week in Colorado as being unfair. "The system is rigged," Trump said at a rally in Syracuse.

Wyoming's delegate process favors the organized. Twelve delegates were already awarded at county meetings last month -- and nine of them are to Cruz backers, with one for Trump, one for Marco Rubio (who told CNN she would vote for Cruz on a second ballot) and one uncommitted. An additional three delegates are party officials, and one, RNC Committeewoman Marti Halverson, told CNN she will back Cruz.

With Saturday's sweep, Cruz can count on at least 24 of the 29 delegates from the state.

Cruz's top opponent in Wyoming may not have been Trump at all, but a group of Republicans seeking to send a slate of unpledged delegates to Cleveland. Their hope is to earn the state more influence on the national stage as the three remaining presidential candidates scramble for delegates. Many of those won election as alternates to Ohio.

Wyoming is as red a state as they come, so the convention was a chance for state Republicans to put their stamp on the race, something not lost on attendees here. The national media present even received an appreciative ovation at the beginning of the day from delegates.

The Cruz campaign's grassroots organization was front and center here, with printed slates of the 14 recommended Cruz delegates on each table, a hospitality room, a table full of literature staffed by local volunteers and yellow "TED CRUZ Cruzin Cowboys" balloons placed around the convention room. Attendees here said the campaign has been in touch with them early and often via phone, and they have noticed a big social media push.

By comparison, the Trump campaign distributed a printed slate with six recommended delegates. The Trump campaign had a table with some snacks and literature, staffed by two out-of-town Trump volunteers.

"You come in a week before the convention and it won't be as effective," said Tim Stubson, one of several congressional candidates walking the halls at the Parkway Plaza Hotel and Convention Centre.

When Trump surrogate Clara Powers, speaking instead of Palin, started a poem: "Who do we want? Cruz or Trump?" several people shouted out "Cruz!"

Dick Shanor, 61, of Laramie County, is a national delegate already pledged to Cruz. He said he received one call from the Trump campaign, describing it "more as a question about process" than anything else.

Shanor, whose son, Dickie, was on Cruz's official slate here in Casper and elected to the national delegation, said the goal of backers here is "to give Ted Cruz the least amount of problems he's got."

Some John Kasich staffers were in the conference center, but there were zero national delegate contenders pledged to the Ohio governor on the ballot.

Fair or unfair?

Trump started calling foul well before votes were cast, saying on "Fox and Friends" Saturday morning that states like Wyoming and Colorado show the system isn't fair.

"I don't want to waste millions of dollars going out to Wyoming many months before to wine and dine and to essentially pay off all these people because a lot of it's a pay-off," Trump said. "You understand that, they treat 'em, they take 'em to dinner, they get 'em hotels. I mean the whole thing's a big pay-off, has nothing to do with democracy."

Alan Cobb, senior adviser to Trump's campaign, was more diplomatic, saying the state simply doesn't fit well into the overall strategy because of the emphasis on GOP regulars."

"We know how to read. We read the rules. The rules don't favor us," Cobb said Friday, later adding, "the Allies didn't invade every Japanese island. We skipped some to get to the prize."

Matt Micheli, the state GOP chairman, rejected Trump's accusations.

"Absolutely untrue, absolutely not," Micheli told CNN. "This is a process that we've done for 40 years. This is a process that people here are being elected by their peers."

Stubson, the congressional candidate, agreed. "I don't think there are any fundamental issues with the way it's been done," he said.

The previously selected Trump delegate, Dr. Jon Baker, said he believes that overall, the setup has hurt the national front-runner.

"The whole process of the precincts and county conventions is still somewhat confusing to me, Baker said. "I some sense it works against Trump because he has not been involved."

But Baker, a dermatologist who got involved in the GOP here because of Trump, said his campaign also has not actively courted him or talked about what might happen beyond the first ballot. "As far as today, they haven't brought up strategy at all."

'Wyoming First' slate

Coming into the convention, state Sen. Ogden Driskill developed a plan: send a group from Wyoming to Cleveland who are unbound and therefore can get an audience from and influence with potential presidential nominees.

"If you declare for a candidate, which I did for Romney last time around, you're entitled to spend your money and fly to Florida and raise your hand and he never talks to you, his people never talk to you," Driskill said in an interview.

Driskill's "Wyoming First" slate includes such party regulars as Rep. Cynthia Lummis, who is not running for re-election, and former statehouse Speaker Colin Simpson.

"We intend to leverage it to put Wyoming issues in front of all three candidates," Driskill said, citing issues such Environmental Protection Agency regulations on mining and water and the Endangered Species Act.

Rout in Georgia

In Georgia, Cruz supporters managed to rout Trump in several congressional district conventions. Georgia's third district selected a slate of national delegates openly in opposition to the billionaire's candidacy after a somewhat contentious show of support for Trump.

Many Trump supporters cried foul at the process, agreeing with their preferred candidate that the system was "rigged." Pam Ausman, a Trump supporter from the district, said, "Why are we voting if they don't listen to us?"

Brant Frost, a prominent Republican and Cruz supporter from the district, vehemently denied such charges, saying, "These are the moms and dads of heartland America, playing by the rules."

Elsewhere, anger at the process was somewhat muted. Brandon Phillips, Trump's campaign director in Georgia, said he was content with the results of his home district's convention, which chose him as one of its three delegates.

Trump performed strongly in Georgia's primary on Super Tuesday, coming in first place ahead of Rubio and Cruz.

Tigers 5, Astros 3

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 8:48pm

HOUSTON - Nick Castellanos and Jarrod Saltalamacchia recorded multi-hit games and combined for a decisive sixth-inning rally in the Detroit Tigers' 5-3 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.Castellanos finished 3-for-5 while Saltalamacchia went 2-for-5 to back right-hander Justin Verlander (1-1), who survived a rocky start to work six quality innings and outlast Astros right-hander Collin McHugh (1-2).Verlander allowed three of his seven hits in the first inning and all three of his runs, capping his outing with eight strikeouts and two walks. The Astros (4-8) stranded four baserunners against Verlander, who induced an inning-ending double play to complete his evening.The Tigers (7-3) added an insurance run off right-hander Josh Fields in the ninth inning, providing closer Francisco Rodriguez a bit more wiggle room to earn his third save. Victor Martinez doubled to straightaway center field to plate Miguel Cabrera, who stroked a leadoff single.Justin Wilson and Mark Lowe worked scoreless innings in advance of Rodriguez, who recorded his 389th save, one behind Dennis Eckersley for sixth all-time. The rubber match of the three-game series is Sunday.After failing to convert their early traffic on Friday night against Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey, the Astros were quick to capitalize when Verlander wobbled early, cashing in on three hard-hit balls in their first at-bat.Springer followed a Jose Altuve single with a two-run home run off the left-field foul pole, taking advantage of a distracted Verlander, who appeared very concerned with the prospect of Altuve swiping second.Verlander appeared to rebound with a pair of strikeouts, but his 0-1 pitch to Tyler White yielded another homer, this one a solo shot with two outs that bumped the Houston lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the first.What saved Verlander was his success against left-handed hitters. Colby Rasmus, Preston Tucker, Luis Valbuena and Jason Castro finished 1-for-10 against Verlander, with Valbuena and Castro striking out with a runner in scoring position in the fourth inning and Rasmus swinging through strike three with Springer on first to close the fifth inning.McHugh, meanwhile, was undone by Castellanos and Saltalamacchia, who combined to hit 5-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs off him.Saltalamacchia homered off the right-field foul pole in the sixth inning, following a leadoff double from Castellanos and giving Detroit a 4-3 lead. One batter later McHugh was gone, leaving with seven strikeouts and no walks but 10 hits allowed and one out into the sixth inning.NOTES: The Tigers had their streak of scoring at least four runs in every game snapped on Friday night. Their eight-game streak was tied for the longest to start a season since 1913 with the 2004 Detroit squad. ... Astros RHP Lance McCullers could resume baseball activities on Sunday or Monday after having his scheduled start for Double-A Corpus Christi skipped. McCullers, placed on the 15-day disabled list on March 25 (right shoulder soreness), is battling recovery issues between rehab appearances. ... Tigers LHP Blaine Hardy took a significant step forward in his injury rehab on Friday night by working consecutive games. After pitching a scoreless inning with Triple-A Toledo on Thursday, Hardy recorded two outs for the Mud Hens Friday night, with a walk and a strikeout. Hardy has been on the 15-day disabled list since March 25 with a left shoulder impingement.

Nationals 8, Phillies 1

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 8:48pm

PHILADELPHIA -- Bryce Harper said after Friday's game that he was having a lot of fun. The Washington outfielder has certainly been making Philadelphia a fun place to play for the Nationals.The Nationals trounced the Phillies 8-1 on Saturday and Harper was a big reason.After driving in a run in the first inning with a sacrifice fly, Harper clubbed a two-run homer -- his second home run in as many nights -- off Phillies starter Aaron Nola in the top of the fifth inning, extending Washington's lead to 7-0.Harper went 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs, extending his dominance at Citizens Bank Park to 12 hits in his last 20 at-bats in five games in Philadelphia, with at least two hits and a home run in each.A seven-run lead was lenty for Washington starter Max Scherzer. The hard-throwing right-hander tossed seven innings of five-hit ball, striking out seven to go with one walk.Scherzer helped his own cause in the fourth inning. The Phillies elected to intentionally walk Danny Espinosa with two outs to get to Scherzer after a Wilson Ramos double stopped a streak of 10 straight Nationals retired by Nola. The move proved fatal. Scherzer clubbed a two-run double to the wall in right field to put Washington up 5-0.The Nationals got to Nola early and chased him after five innings. He allowed seven earned runs and seven hits in five innings while striking out six.Washington (9-1) extended its best start to a season in franchise history.Catcher Cameron Rupp got the Phillies on the board with one out in the bottom of the fifth, taking Scherzer deep to left field to make it 7-1. Scherzer had retired the previous 12 Phillies in order before Rupp registered the Phillies' second hit of the game.For the second straight night, the Nationals jumped all over Phillies starting pitching in the first inning.Nola issued a leadoff walk to Michael Taylor that was followed by an Anthony Rendon single to left field, moving Taylor to third. Harper drove Taylor in with a sacrifice fly.A single by Ryan Zimmerman drove in Rendon before a Daniel Murphy triple had the Nationals -- who led 5-0 after the first inning Friday -- ahead 3-0 before the Phillies came to the plate.With Scherzer, one of the league's best pitchers, on the mound, the Nationals were well on their way to their seventh straight win.NOTES: Phillies 1B/OF Darin Ruf (left shoulder) made his first start since April 6. Ruf was expected to platoon this season at first base with Ryan Howard but was slotted into left field as the Phillies search for more offense from their corner outfield positions. ... The 8-1 record the Nationals reached with a win Friday night at Citizens Bank Park marked the best start in franchise history, going back to the days of the Montreal Expos. ... The Nationals went with the same lineup on Saturday that pounded the Phillies 9-1 on Friday night. ... Phillies OF Odubel Herrera entered play Friday leading the league with 237 pitches seen through 11 games. His 5.27 pitches per plate appearance also led all hitters. ... The series closes Sunday with Gio Gonzalez taking the mound for the Nationals against Charlie Morton.

One death reported in 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Ecuador

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 8:41pm

(CNN) -- Ecuadorian emergency personnel have recovered one body from the site of a bridge collapse in Guayaquil following a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake, a police officer told reporters with Ecuadorian TV stations. Rescue efforts are continuing at the site.

For more on the story, click here.

Ted Cruz sweeps Wyoming delegates

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 8:35pm

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz swept the Wyoming delegates at the GOP convention, taking 14 delegates.

NBA roundup: Pacers upend Raptors in opener

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 8:33pm

TORONTO -- Paul George scored 33 points and the Indiana Pacers defeated the Toronto Raptors 100-90 on Saturday to take the opening game of their first-round NBA playoff series.

Monta Ellis scored 15 points for the Pacers. Myles Turner and George Hill added 10 each for Indiana.

Cory Joseph scored 18 points off the bench, DeMar DeRozan added 14 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 19 rebounds for Toronto.

Warriors 104, Rockets 78

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Golden State built a big lead and overcame an injury to Stephen Curry to thump Houston in the opener of the Western Conference first-round series.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven between the defending NBA champions and the eighth seed in the West is Monday night in Oakland.

Curry, the league's leading scorer, had 24 points, including 16 in the first quarter, before twisting his right ankle in the second quarter of the Warriors' 40th win in 42 home dates this season. He went to the locker room before halftime and returned to play the first 2:47 of the third quarter before coach Steve Kerr called a timeout and took his star out of the game. By that point, Golden State had built a 65-39 lead.

Draymond Green had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors, who beat the Rockets for the 13th time in their last 14 meetings. Klay Thompson added 16 points and backup Marreese Speights had 12 for the Warriors, who set an NBA record with 73 regular-season wins to secure top seeding in the Western playoffs.

James Harden, who missed 12 of his 19 shots from the floor, led Houston with 17 points. Center Dwight Howard totaled 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Hawks 102, Celtics 101

ATLANTA -- Atlanta was melting down, its 19-point lead over Boston long gone. Al Horford wasn't going down like that, though. He scored 24 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and made multiple hustle plays down the stretch, allowing the Hawks to escape in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference playoff series.

After the Celtics trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart sparked a second-half rally. It was the second straight improbable comeback for the Celtics, who stormed back from 26 down in a win over the Miami Heat in the final game of the regular season.

Isaiah Thomas scored 19 points and Bradley had 18 points before suffering a lower leg injury midway through the fourth quarter. He had to be helped off the floor and taken back to the locker room. Bradley did not return.

Braves 6, Marlins 4

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 8:33pm

MIAMI -- Nick Markakis drove in three runs to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 6-4 win over the Miami Marlins on Saturday night at Marlins Park.Markakis, who went 3-for-5, is hitting .341. His RBI double in the fourth keyed Atlanta's tie-breaking three-run rally. Eight of Markakis' past 12 hits have been doubles.The Braves (2-9) won their second straight game. Miami (3-6) is 0-4 at home this season.Bud Norris (1-2) earned the win despite allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings. Jason Grilli pitched a scoreless ninth, picking up his first save of the season. Grilli struck out Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton with two runners on to end the game. Stanton struck out four times in the game, going 1-for-5.Tom Koehler (0-2) took the loss, allowing nine hits, two walks and six runs in 3 2/3 innings. Miami's starting pitchers have yet to win a game this season.Atlanta opened the scoring in the second inning. With two outs, Koehler failed to get the opposing pitcher, walking Norris after an eight-pitch battle. That loaded the bases and set the stage for Markakis, who dumped a soft, two-run, opposite-field single to shallow left.Miami took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the second. Martin Prado doubled and scored on Justin Bour's single. Adeiny Hechavarria followed with a two-run homer.It was Hechavarria's 12th career homer and his first since Aug. 2, 2015.Atlanta tied the score 3-3 in the third, again with a soft two-out hit. This time, it was Kelly Johnson's bloop double to center that scored Adonis Garcia.The Braves knocked Koehler out of the game in the fourth, taking a 6-3 lead. Atlanta got RBI doubles by Markakis and Freddie Freeman, sandwiching a run-scoring single by Gordon Beckham.Miami closed its deficit to 6-4 with a sixth-inning solo homer by Bour.NOTES: Marlins LHP Mike Dunn (left forearm inflammation) felt discomfort during a bullpen session and his return has been pushed back indefinitely. ... Marlins LHP Justin Nicolino is off to a 2-0 start with a 2.25 ERA at Triple-A New Orleans. He's a candidate to join Miami's rotation should the big-league club need an extra starter. ... Atlanta, which has dipped from 96 wins to 79 to 67 in the past couple of years, is counting on young prospects to provide a bright future. The best of those is SS Dansby Swanson, 22, who is hitting .333 in nine games at High-A this season. ... Braves RHP Jhoulys Chacin, who starts against Miami on Sunday, is the first pitcher since 1988 to go at least six innings and strike out six or more batters in 69 or fewer pitches, accomplishing that feat in his previous start, against the Washington Nationals.