National Sports

NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. to retire at end of season

By JENNA FRYER, AP Auto Racing Writer CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. abruptly announced his retirement at the end of the season Tuesday, a decision that will cost NASCAR its most popular driver as the series scrambles to rebuild its fan base. Colorful, candid and talented, ...

No more room for error for Madrid after loss to Barcelona

By TALES AZZONI, AP Sports Writer MADRID (AP) — With its cushion at the top gone, Real Madrid needs wins. Another setback in the final rounds of the Spanish league could leave the title in the hands of Barcelona, which is carrying all the momentum after the last-minute win against Madrid at ...

LEADING OFF: Hicks a hit for Tigers, Blach set for Kershaw

By The Associated Press A look at what's happening all around the majors today: ___ HICKS STICKS John Hicks is off to an impressive start as a fill-in for injured Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Called up from Triple-A on Saturday morning, Hicks is 5 for 10 with a home run and six ...

The old guys are coming up big so far in these playoffs

By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Basketball Writer George W. Bush was early in his first term as president. Seattle was years away from losing the SuperSonics. "Arrested Development" hadn't even started airing yet. That's how long ago Utah's Joe Johnson and Houston's Nene made their NBA debuts. So-called ...

Warriors move on with a sweep of the Trail Blazers

By ANNE M. PETERSON, AP Sports Writer PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Long after the Trail Blazers had left their court, many of Golden State's players celebrated on the floor at the Moda Center to the delight of a rather large contingent of yellow-clad fans who chanted "War-ri-ors! War-ri-ors!" The ...

Dozier’s base-clearing double pushes Twins past Rangers 3-2

By Stephen Hawkins AP Sports Writer ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Brian Dozier hit a bases-clearing double and the Minnesota Twins beat Texas 3-2 on Monday night, ending the Rangers’ AL-best four-game winning streak. Dozier’s two-out double in the fifth came after Martin Perez (1-3) walked ...

Westbrook goes on rant defending Thunder teammates

By CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Thunder guard Russell Westbrook went on a rant defending his teammates after Sunday's 113-109 loss to the Houston Rockets. A recurring theme throughout the series has been Oklahoma City's tendency to lose leads when Westbrook sits in the ...

Pacquiao says Horn fight will show he’s not done yet

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Manny Pacquiao says his July 2 world title bout with Jeff Horn is his chance to tell the boxing world "I'm not done yet." The 38-year-old Pacquiao, an 11-time champion across eight weight divisions and now a member of the Philippines senate, had intended the WBO ...

Messi shows who’s in charge at ‘clasico’ against Madrid

By TALES AZZONI, AP Sports Writer MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi took off his shirt and lifted it high in front of him, boldly displaying his name and number to the stunned crowd at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. He stood there for a few seconds, staring at the fans, as if making sure they knew ...

Senators survive another OT to advance in NHL playoffs

By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer BOSTON (AP) — After five extra periods in four overtime games, the Ottawa Senators will get a chance to rest before meeting the New York Rangers in the second round of the NHL playoffs. They'll need it. The Senators eliminated Boston with a 3-2 victory in ...