Carlos Rodon appears OK after taking line drive off forehead

Carlos Rodon appears OK after taking line drive off forehead

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Chicago White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon was removed from a minor league rehab start Thursday after being hit in the forehead by a line drive.

Rodon was pitching for Triple-A Charlotte as he works back from offseason shoulder surgery. He fell to the ground, but bounced up quickly after being struck by D’Arby Myers’ comebacker in the third inning.

Rodon removed his hat and checked his forehead for blood – he didn’t appear to be bleeding – as a team trainer ran to the mound. He seemed to want to remain in the game, but was led off by the trainer.

The 25-year-old Rondon struck out six in 2 2/3 scoreless innings. It was his second minor league rehab outing and first at Triple-A.

Third baseman Jake Elmore made an impressive over-the-shoulder catch on the play after the ball deflected off Rodon’s head and behind third base.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Eric Gordon leads Rockets over Warriors, 98-94, to take lead

Eric Gordon leads Rockets over Warriors, 98-94, to take lead

HOUSTON — Chris Paul’s grit and veteran leadership have pushed the Golden State Warriors to the brink of elimination.

Now the Houston Rockets must wait to see if his injured leg is strong enough to help them take one last step to the NBA Finals.

Eric Gordon came off the bench to score 24 points and his steal on Golden State’s last possession secured a 98-94 victory Thursday night that gave the Rockets a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals. But the victory came with a cost, as Paul had to leave the game in the final minute with a right hamstring injury that could keep him out of Game 6.

“His spirits aren’t great,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He wanted to be out there, and for sure he’s worried … we’ll see tomorrow how it goes.”

Paul was receiving treatment after the game and did not speak to reporters.

The Rockets head to Oakland for Game 6 on Saturday night a win away from knocking off the defending champions and advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 1994-95.

Kevin Durant scored 29 points for the Warriors, who lost in Game 5 of a playoff series for just the second time since 2015. Just like Cleveland in the East, a run of three straight trips to the championship round is on the verge of ending.

“We haven’t been in this position before … so it’s a chapter we need to figure out and finish the story,” Stephen Curry said.

The Rockets won a second straight defensive struggle between the two potent offenses, leaving the Warriors a loss from missing the NBA Finals for the first time since 2014.

Draymond Green made a 3-pointer with just over minute left to get Golden State within one. Harden, who was 0 for 11 on 3s, missed his last one with less than 30 seconds left, giving the Warriors the ball back.

Curry missed a floater and Trevor Ariza grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 10 seconds left. But he made just one of two free throws to give the Warriors another chance.

But Gordon came up with his steal when Green lost control in the lane and added two free throws with 2.4 seconds left to put it away.

Eric Gordon came off the bench to score 24 points and his steal on Golden State's last possession secured a 98-94 victory.

Eric Gordon came off the bench to score 24 points and his steal on Golden State’s last possession secured a 98-94 victory.

(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Green was asked what was supposed to happen on the play.

“We was supposed to score,” he said. “I lost the ball … not much more to it than that.”

Harden scoffed at a reporter who questioned him about his struggles from long range in the last two games, where he’s gone a combined 3 for 22.

“Who cares,” he said. “I’m just missing shots, but we’re winning.”

Klay Thompson shook off a knee injury that had his status for this game in question to score 23 points and Curry added 22. A bruised left knee kept Andre Iguodala out for the second straight game, and Kevon Looney started in his place.

After losing Game 1 of the series, the Rockets made the best of home-court advantage this time, thrilling a sellout crowd that included Justin Timberlake, Houston Texans star J.J. Watt and rapper Travis Scott.

It’s Houston’s second straight win in the series after snapping Golden State’s NBA playoff-record, 16-game home winning streak with a 95-92 victory on Tuesday night.

Golden State led by one to start the fourth before Paul got going, scoring seven points to power a 10-5 run that gave the Rockets an 81-77 lead with about 9 1/2 minutes left.

Thompson made a 3-pointer after that and then officials reviewed Paul’s first basket of the quarter and ruled he got it off after the shot clock expired, leaving the Warriors ahead 80-79.

The Rockets were clinging to a one-point lead with about seven minutes left when Durant fouled Gordon on a 3-point attempt, losing one of his shoes in the process. Gordon made all three free throws to start a 7-2 spurt that extended the lead to 88-82 midway through the quarter.

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Nimmo reaches 5 times, Matz sharp as Mets beat Brewers 5-0

Nimmo reaches 5 times, Matz sharp as Mets beat Brewers 5-0

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Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Zach Davies is taken out of the game during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Thursday, May 24, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brandon Nimmo reached base five times, Steven Matz pitched six solid innings and the New York Mets beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-0 on Thursday night.

Nimmo raised his on-base percentage to .450, best in the majors among players with at least 100 plate appearances, with a career-high four hits and a walk. He had a triple and two doubles, and Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores each added two RBIs.

Matz (2-3) matched his longest outing of the season in the opener of a four-game series. Both of his victories this season have come against the NL Central-leading Brewers.

The Mets got on the board first in the third when Nimmo tripled off starter Zach Davies (2-4) and scored on Flores’ sacrifice fly.

New York extended the lead to 3-0 in the fifth on Cabrera’s two-run double, which chased Davies, who was returning from a monthlong stint on the disabled list due to right rotator cuff inflammation. The Mets added another run in the inning on Flores’ run-scoring single off reliever Dan Jennings.

Davies gave up four runs and six hits in four innings. He struck out two and walked two in the shortest outing of his seven starts this season.

Devin Mesoraco drove in a run with a double in the seventh off Jorge Lopez to extend the margin to 5-0.

Matz gave up four hits while striking out two batters and walking two. He threw 94 pitches, one off his season high.

Mets’ relievers Paul Sewald and Jacob Rhame combined for three scoreless innings to complete the shutout.

The Brewers were held without a hit from the fifth inning until Hernan Perez led off the ninth with a single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: OF Juan Lagares had surgery Wednesday in Manhattan to repair a complete tear of the left big toe plantar plate. … C Kevin Plawecki (broken left hand) and RHP Hansel Robles (sprained right knee) continued rehab assignments at Triple-A Las Vegas.

Brewers: Ryan Braun was re-instated from the disabled list and started in left field. He had a single in four at-bats. … 3B Travis Shaw got the night off. Hernan Perez started in his place.

UP NEXT

Mets: Noah Syndergaard (4-1, 2.91 ERA) is 2-0 with a 0.49 ERA in three career starts versus the Brewers. He struck out eight consecutive Milwaukee batters in an April 15 start.

Brewers: Junior Guerra (3-3, 2.98) is 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA in two career starts against the Mets.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Duffy stymies Rangers as Royals win their third straight 8-2

Duffy stymies Rangers as Royals win their third straight 8-2

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Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Tim Hill (54) delivers to a Texas Rangers batter during the eighth inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 24, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Danny Duffy took a shutout into the eighth inning, Salvador Perez drove in four runs and the Kansas City Royals beat the Texas Rangers 8-2 on Thursday night for their season-best third straight victory.

Duffy (2-6) allowed a run and four hits, struck out five and walked two in 7 2/3 innings in his longest outing of the season. The veteran left-hander entered the game with a 6.88 ERA this season and had allowed at least five earned runs in five of his previous 10 starts.

After Delino DeShields led off Texas’ first inning with a single to right field, Duffy didn’t allow another hit until Shin-Soo Choo singled in the seventh. Rougned Odor broke up the shutout bid with a two-out single in the eighth, ending Duffy’s night.

Both of Perez’s two-run singles came with two outs, in the fifth and seventh innings.

Rangers right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx (0-1) gave up six runs, four earned, on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. He made his season debut for Texas after his contract was purchased from Triple-A Round Rock earlier in the day.

Ramon Torres had two hits and three runs in his first appearance of the season. He was a late lineup replacement for Eric Gordon, who had a sore hip and a stiff neck.

The Royals scored two unearned runs in the second inning after having no one on with two outs. Torres, who was recalled from Triple-A Omaha last Saturday, followed Ryan Goins‘ single to center that rolled past DeShields’ glove. Goins and Torres both scored on the three-base error.

Bibens-Dirkx filled the rotation spot left vacant when left-hander Matt Moore went on the 10-day disabled list Saturday with a sore right knee.

SHORT HOPS

Perez threw out DeShields at second base in the first inning after Duffy’s pitch bounced in the dirt and off batter Choo’s face to Perez. … To make room for Bibens-Dirkx on Texas’ 40-man roster, left-hander Brandon Mann was optioned to Round Rock. Mann appeared in three games, making his major league debut on May 13, after pitching 15 years in the minors and Japan.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: Gordon was injured making a diving catch during Wednesday’s win at St. Louis.

UP NEXT

Royals LHP Eric Skoglund (1-4) has lost three straight. He allowed six earned runs in five innings Sunday in the New York Yankees’ 10-1 win.

Rangers LHP Mike Minor (3-3), who spent last season as a Royals reliever, has also lost three straight. He gave up 14 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings in the three games.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Piscotty, A's tag Hernandez early, beat Mariners 4-3

Piscotty, A's tag Hernandez early, beat Mariners 4-3

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Oakland Athletics second baseman Jed Lowrie, right, completes a double play over Seattle Mariners’ Andrew Romine (7) after a ground ball from David Freitas during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 24, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Piscotty and the Athletics tagged Felix Hernandez early, and Oakland ended the Seattle Mariners‘ five-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory Thursday.

Oakland helped itself by turning a team record-tying five groundball double plays, and stopped a five-game home skid.

The A’s scored four times in the first inning, two on Piscotty’s double off Hernandez (5-4). Hernandez settled down and retired 16 of the last 17 batters he faced in going six innings.

Yusmeiro Petit (2-1) pitched three scoreless innings in relief. He was among five A’s pitchers manager Bob Melvin used after saying it would be a bullpen day with rookie reliever Josh Lucas making a spot start.

Lucas lasted just two innings in his first career start, allowing two runs on three hits and three walks and throwing 52 pitches. The Mariners loaded the bases with no outs in the first, but managed just one run as Nelson Cruz grounded into a double play and Kyle Seager struck out.

Seager hit an RBI double off Blake Treinen in the eighth. Treinen got Daniel Vogelbach to fly out to end the inning with runners at second and third, and worked the ninth for his 11th save.

Jed Lowrie hit a sacrifice fly in the first, Piscotty doubled and Dustin Fowler had an RBI single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: OF Mitch Haniger, who sat out Wednesday’s game after being hit by a pitch on his right forearm the previous day, was back in the lineup.

Athletics: LHP Ryan Buchter (strained left shoulder) threw on flat ground from 75 feet on Thursday without discomfort. Melvin said the team doesn’t have a timetable for when he’ll throw off a mound, the next step in his recovery. . RHP Liam Hendriks (strained right groin) left for Arizona on Thursday to pitch in extended spring training games, Melvin said. . RHP Paul Blackburn (strained right forearm) is headed to Arizona, too, and could soon start a rehab assignment.

UP NEXT

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (3-1, 3.30 ERA) will pitch in Friday’s series opener against Minnesota. Paxton is 2-1 with a 2.91 in three career starts against the Twins.

Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (5-4, 2.71) will pitch Friday’s series opener against Arizona. Manaea has never faced Arizona but is 2-4 with a 3.63 ERA in eight career interleague starts.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball