Cardinals/Reds this afternoon
UNDATED (AP) — Five day games are included in today's baseball schedule, including Cincinnati at St. Louis.
Jake Westbrook has the pitching assignment today in the rubber match of a three-game series with the Reds. His opponent, Homer Bailey, was dominant in his season debut Friday. The right-hander gave up two hits over six innings and struck out six in a 15-0 rout of Washington.
— In Detroit, the Toronto Blue Jays will try to improve on what has been the team's worst start in nine years. Mark Buehrle (BUHR'-lee) takes the mound in game two of the series against Rick Porcello. Detroit won Tuesday, 7-3.
— Tampa Bay's Matt Moore will try to avoid a three-game sweep today on the mound against the Rangers in Arlington. Moore allowed two hits and struck out eight over six innings in a 4-0 victory Friday over Cleveland. Lefty Derek Holland pitches for the Rangers, who haven't swept the Rays since 2009.
— The San Francisco Giants go for the sweep today at home against the Colorado Rockies. Colorado has lost eight in a row at AT&T Park. Barry Zito has the pitching assignment for the Giants and he hasn't lost in his last 11 starts against the Rockies. Lefty Jeff Francis pitches for Colorado.
— In Boston, the Baltimore Orioles come into tonight's game at Fenway Park with a three-game losing streak. The Red Sox have won two in a row. The Sox beat the Orioles 3-1 in their home opener. Ryan Dempster pitches for Boston, Jake Arrieta for Baltimore.
— The New York Yankees have been dominant in the first two games of their series against the Indians in Cleveland, winning 11-6 and 14-1. Ivan Nova goes for the sweep tonight. Eleven of New York's 18 hits last night went for extra bases.
— The Philadelphia Phillies are hoping a strong pitching performance last night from Cliff Lee can give a boost to a struggling pitching staff. The Phillies send Kyle Kendrick to the mound in the rubber game of their home series against the New York Mets. Jeremy Hefner pitches for New York. He was solid in his season debut in Friday's 7-5 loss to Miami.
— The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are hoping to bounce back after losing their home opener yesterday against Oakland. Joe Blanton hopes he pitches better than in his first start of the season, a loss to Cincinnati. The victory last night was the A's sixth in a row overall and eighth in the last 10 games in Anaheim. Tommy Milone pitches for Oakland.
— The Washington Nationals look for win number two tonight in their interleague series ith the Chicago White Sox. Jordan Zimmerman pitches for Washington. In 11 career interleague starts, he has a 1.99 ERA — the fourth-lowest among qualifying pitchers since 2009. Former National Adam Dunn is expected to be back in the Chicago lineup tonight at first base. Gavin Floyd pitches for Chicago.
Also today: Pittsburgh at Arizona, Atlanta at Miami, Minnesota at Kansas City, Milwaukee at the Chicago Cubs, Houston at Seattle and the Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego.
Heat look for home court advantage
UNDATED (AP) — If the Miami Heat win tonight and the San Antonio Spurs lose, the Heat would have home court advantage throughout the playoffs. Miami travels to Washington, but for a fifth straight game, Dwyane Wade is expected to be out of the lineup. Chris Bosh is expected to be out too. The Wizards have won nine in a row at home and two in a row at home against the Heat.
In other games:
— The Denver Nuggets go for a franchise-record 21st straight home victory in their quest for home-court advantage versus San Antonio, which is in a tight battle for the Western Conference's top seed. San Antonio holds a slim lead on Oklahoma City, though it had dropped three of four prior to Saturday's win over Atlanta.
— The Los Angeles Lakers now control their own playoff destiny. They are in Portland tonight to play the Trail Blazers. With a win last night, combined with a Utah loss, the Lakers moved into the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. The Lakers have lost three in a row at Portland's Rose Garden.
— The Brooklyn Nets have a lot on the line in their game tonight in Boston. They are close to getting home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Also, a victory tonight would give the Nets the season series against the Celtics for the first time since 2005-2006. Boston is trying to get the seventh seed in the East.
Also tonight, Atlanta at Philadelphia, Detroit at Cleveland, Milwaukee at Orlando, Phoenix at Dallas, New Orleans at Sacramento and Minnesota at the LA Clippers.
Leaf/Rangers at the Garden
UNDATED (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs try to strengthen their spot in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference tonight when they complete a home-and-home set with the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Leafs won 4-3 Monday. The Rangers are fighting to make the playoffs for the third straight year. They had a four-game point streak snapped.
The goal-starved New Jersey Devils look to avoid going winless in eight consecutive games for the first time in 21 years tonight when they host the Boston Bruins. That run of futility has dropped New Jersey into 10th in the East, two points behind the eighth-place tie between the New York Rangers and Winnipeg. The Bruins have won four of out five games.
Also tonight, Phoenix at Edmonton, Vancouver at Calgary and Colorado at Anaheim.
UConn win, the day after
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With his eighth national championship in hand, Geno Auriemma (aw-ree-EH'-muh) is savoring the moment -- not talking about a dynasty. After tying Pat Summitt for the most titles in in NCAA history, the coach isn't ready to discuss a repeat. Yet it's hard to not see the Huskies winning more titles with freshman Breanna Stewart and sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis leading the way.
Mosqueda-Lewis, who scored 18 points, says "We feel like all we can go is up from here."
Stewart scored 18 of her 23 points in a dazzling first half and Connecticut (35-4) rolled to a 93-60 rout of Louisville on Tuesday night, the most lopsided victory in a title game. It put the Huskies back atop college basketball after missing the championship game the past two years.
Auriemma has never lost the game in eight appearances.
Phil ready for tomorrow
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — One of the last golfers you'd expect to feel anxious heading into the Masters tomorrow is three-time champion Phil Mickelson.
Yet, the creature of habit is slightly out of sorts after a change to his usual routine at the year's first major. He says he's nervous because he hasn't been in competition since the Sunday of the Houston Open.
Mickelson's pre-game prep for the Masters has been rock-solid in recent years: Play in Houston and leave in a good, competitive frame of mind going into Augusta National. In this year's PGA Tour schedule, though, the last Masters tune-up came in San Antonio at the Valero Texas Open on a layout Mickelson said was too narrow and too windy to help him at wide-open Augusta National. So he arrived in Augusta this past weekend to finish off his prep work.
He found time to squeeze in a round with one of Augusta National's newest members, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore became the club's first two female members.
New coach at Hofstra
UNDATED (AP) — Joe Mihalich (MEH'-ah-lihk) is leaving behind 15 successful seasons at Niagara to take over Hofstra's troubled men's basketball program.
The 56-year-old is scheduled to be introduced at a news conference today, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. Mihalich reached an agreement with Hofstra on Tuesday and traveled to Hempstead late Tuesday night, according to the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because neither school has announced the move.
Several media outlets, including Newsday and The Buffalo News, reported Mihalich's hiring last night.
Mihalich replaces Mo Cassara, who was fired March 22 following a 7-25 season. Four Pride players were arrested in November on burglary charges stemming from dormitory room break-ins.
Racist related sanctions against soccer team
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has ordered Dynamo Kiev to play a European club competition game next season in an empty stadium because of "racist conduct by supporters."
Ukrainian fans were allegedly racist during home games against Paris Saint-German in the Champions League on Nov. 21 and Bordeaux in the Europa League on Feb. 14.
UEFA says a second stadium closure will be imposed if there is a repeat incident during a three-year probationary period.
UEFA says the Ukrainian club has appealed the sanction. No date has been set for an appeal hearing.