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NL West-Leading Padres Defeat Cubs 6-2 (AP)
AP - Derrek Lee's perfect June is over, and so is the Chicago Cubs' seven-game winning streak. Lee started the month with eight straight hits, but went 0-for-5 on Friday night in Chicago's 6-2 loss at San Diego.

Surging Royals Scuttle Rangers 2-1 (AP)
AP - Whatever it is that's suddenly turned the Kansas City Royals into winners under Buddy Bell, Joe Torre and the New York Yankees would surely love a piece of it. Matt Stairs homered, Runelvys Hernandez pitched six solid innings and the lowly Royals beat visiting Texas 2-1 Friday night for their first four-game winning streak since September 2003.

Yanks Try George Steinbrenner's Patience (AP)
AP - A storm is brewing in the Bronx. Each successive loss by the New York Yankees tries owner George Steinbrenner's notoriously thin patience — and that could spell trouble for anyone in pinstripes.

U.S. Soccer Team Seeks Home-Field Advantage (AP)
AP - Landon Donovan expects a different kind of crowd for the United States' World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica — one that's pro-American. After getting booed in Birmingham and dissed in D.C. for previous qualifiers, the U.S. team badly wants a home-field advantage, and players were expecting one at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday night.

Stakes High for Detroit Pistons in Game 6 (AP)
AP - Rasheed Wallace has proclaimed himself the megaphone of the Detroit Pistons because he's willing to say what his teammates feel. Trailing 3-2 in the Eastern Conference finals, the defending champions need him to do as much playing — and producing — as talking. If he doesn't, Detroit's season might end here after Game 6 against Miami on Saturday night.

Winslow Sr. Lambastes Media Coverage of Son (AP)
AP - Injured Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. made his first public appearance since his motorcycle crash, and his father used the occasion Friday night to lambaste the media for its coverage of the accident.

NBA Today (AP)
AP - Miami at Detroit (8 p.m. EDT). The Heat look to eliminate the Pistons in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Baseball Today (AP)
AP - Los Angeles Angels at Boston (1:20 p.m. EDT). Bartolo Colon (6-3) faces Bronson Arroyo (4-2) and the Red Sox.

Japan, Iran Win World Cup Qualifiers (AP)
AP - Japan and Iran won World Cup qualifiers on Friday and are on the verge of clinching berths in next year's tournament.

Jagr Has Finger Surgery (AP)
AP - New York Rangers star Jaromir Jagr had surgery on his left pinkie, which was broken last month during the world championship in Austria.

Six Points: Imperfect storms
Ex-Hurricane stars Sean Taylor and Kellen Winslow Jr. are making waves for all the wrong reasons.

Jamal Lewis ready to rejoin Ravens (AP)
Jamal Lewis walked into the room wearing an open-collared shirt, blue jeans and gleaming white sneakers. He brought along a new appreciation for his freedom. No more wearing those drab prison duds. No more getting up at 4:30 in the morning. No more eating the same ol' thing day after day. No more feeling like someone is watching his every move.

Abnormality found in Bruce's heart test (AP)
Isaac Bruce was held out of the St. Louis Rams minicamp Friday due to an irregularity in a heart test. ``His physical showed just a slight abnormality,'' coach Mike Martz said. ``He had a little glitch.'' After watching the first of two workouts Friday, Bruce said he believed the test was a mistake. He underwent a second test later in the day, although Martz said a specialist who normally administers...

Police seek Sean Taylor for questioning (AP)
Miami-Dade County police were looking Friday for Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor, who they describe as a ``person of interest'' in an assault case. ``We need to speak to him, we don't know if he's a victim, witness or suspect,'' said police spokesman Mary Walters. The assault happened Wednesday night and shots were fired, Walters said.

McNabb predicts Owens will end holdout (AP)
Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens aren't feuding. Or so says the Eagles' quarterback McNabb said Thursday he has talked to Owens since they exchanged verbal shots earlier this offseason. He insists his relationship with the All-Pro wide receiver isn't strained. ``We talked. Things are great,'' McNabb said with a hint of sarcasm.

Seubert practices, first time since 2003 (AP)
In some ways, New York Giants guard Rich Seubert felt like a rookie attending his first NFL minicamp. There was a sense of excitement, uncertainty and even giddiness being on the field with the guys for the first time. This was not the first time for the 26-year-old guard, however. It was just his first practice since breaking his right leg in three spots in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles on...

Spielman leaves post at Dolphins' GM (AP)
Rick Spielman has left the Dolphins after five seasons helping oversee their personnel moves, as he became increasingly irrelevant with new coach Nick Saban having complete control over the roster. Spielman was promoted to general manager before last season, his fifth helping guide the team's personnel decisions.

Redskins released KR Chad Morton (AP)
Kick returner Chad Morton was released by the Washington Redskins on Friday in a move that will save $540,000 in salary-cap space. Morton, who injured his right knee last season, could be the first of several post-June 1 cuts as the Redskins try to clear room under the salary cap to sign their draft picks.

Caught off guard
MIAMI – Guards hoisted too many shots for the Pistons to win Game 5.

Heat bracing for possibility of no Wade (AP)
Dwyane Wade accompanied the Miami Heat to Detroit on Friday. Whether he'll join them on the basketball court Saturday night remains unknown. Wade's strained right rib muscle remained painful and tender on Friday, so much so that he wasn't able to participate in his team's light on-court workout. His status won't be determined until Saturday, but teammates are preparing themselves for the prospect of...

George Mikan dead at 80 (AP)
Ray Meyer had just been hired as head basketball coach at DePaul 63 years ago when he was introduced to a 6-foot-10 student with thick glasses who had never played the game. ``I saw George Mikan,'' the 91-year-old Meyer recalled, ``and I saw my future.'' Mikan was the future of basketball during the next decade, too.

Pistons need Rasheed Wallace to produce (AP)
Rasheed Wallace has proclaimed himself the megaphone of the Detroit Pistons because he's willing to say what his teammates feel. Trailing 3-2 in the Eastern Conference finals, the defending champions need him to do as much playing -- and producing -- as talking. If he doesn't, Detroit's season might end here after Game 6 against Miami on Saturday night.

Shaq: Arrangements set for Mikan funeral (AP)
The family of George Mikan accepted Shaquille O'Neal's offer to pay for the late center's funeral expenses. O'Neal said arrangements were finalized Friday. ``Everything's going to be handled,'' O'Neal said. Mikan, the NBA's first dominant big man, died Wednesday night at a rehabilitation center in Scottsdale, Ariz., following a long fight with diabetes and kidney ailments.

Rasheed fined for criticizing officials (AP)
Detroit forward Rasheed Wallace was fined $20,000 by the NBA on Friday for his public criticism of the officiating in the Pistons' loss in Miami on Thursday night in the Eastern Conference finals. The league said Wallace also used ``inappropriate language'' to the media. ``Had to put up with extra help they had out there,'' Wallace said after the Heat's 88-76 victory.

Nuggets coach Karl suspended, team fined (AP)
Denver Nuggets coach George Karl was suspended for the first three regular-season games of the 2005-2006 season and the team was fined $200,000 by the NBA on Friday for violating rules prohibiting contact with players not yet eligible for the draft. The league said the violation occurred from May 16-18, when Karl attended workouts at Marquette University involving a player who is not eligible for...

Duncan, Spurs earn time off before Final (AP)
Gregg Popovich knows Tim Duncan as well as anyone. So when the perennial All-Star sulked after a poor performance in a playoff game, the San Antonio Spurs coach knew exactly how to pull him out of it. He left him alone. Working out the kinks by himself, Duncan went back to being the fundamentally sound force who has led the Spurs to two of the last six NBA titles -- and ensured they'll be playing...

Cavaliers hire Mike Brown as coach (AP)
The Cavaliers finally hired one coach named Brown, but it's still unclear if they'll bring in another. Selected for his integrity, character and love of defense, Mike Brown, an NBA assistant for 13 years, was introduced Thursday as Cleveland's 17th coach and the Cavs' sixth in the past six seasons. Owner Dan Gilbert insisted that although bigger names -- Phil Jackson and Flip Saunders -- were out...

New deals in works for Johnson, Amare (AP)
Shaking off their disappointment, the Phoenix Suns already were looking to their bright future a day after their elimination from the Western Conference finals. ``You've got to take your lumps somewhere along the line to be a champion,'' Steve Nash said, ``and hopefully this is one of those building blocks to be something better.'' The Suns held a team meeting on Thursday, then players met...

Stumped by the suits
We should be watching playoff hockey. Instead we're left with "Stump The Schwab."

NHL, Players Association conclude lengthy labor meeting (SportsTicker)
TORONTO (Ticker) - The NHL and the Players Association outdid themselves this time.

NHL, players' association 'making progress' in talks (AP)
The NHL and players' association made some progress in nearly 34 hours of negotiations over three days and will continue to talk, league vice president Bill Daly said Friday. The sides met for almost 14 hours on Friday after 10-hour sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, trying to work out a new collective bargaining agreement.

Phantoms 1, Wolves 0 (AP)
Two goalies who should play in the NHL next season -- if the NHL has a next season -- showed why they belong there in Game 1 of the AHL's Calder Cup Finals on Thursday night. Antero Niittymaki blocked 27 shots for this third playoff shutout to lead the Philadelphia Phantoms, a Flyers farm team, to a 1-0 win over the Chicago Wolves, the Atlanta Thrashers' AHL affiliate.

NHL, union to meet for third straight day (AP)
The NHL and players' association will meet for a third straight day of negotiations on Friday following two days of small-group talks that focused on revenue calculation and financial reporting. Each side declined to comment about the details of the 10-hour meeting Thursday, which followed Wednesday's 10-hour session.

Jagr has finger surgery (AP)
New York Rangers star Jaromir Jagr had surgery on his left pinkie, which was broken last month during the world championship in Austria. He underwent a 45-minute operation Wednesday in a Prague hospital, Marian Jelinek, Jagr's personal coach, said Thursday. The 33-year-old forward was expected to leave the hospital Thursday or Friday, Jelinek added.

Trenton wins Kelly Cup in six games (AP)
The Trenton Titans won the ECHL championship Wednesday night, beating Florida 4-1 as Leon Hayward scored a goal and added two assists. Trenton won the first two games of the series, then Florida took the next two before Trenton won Game 5. In the sixth game, Hayward's power-play goal in the first period put the Titans on top.

Report: Giuliani may help to form new hockey league (SportsTicker)
TORONTO (Ticker) - It appears "America's Mayor" wants to help hockey.

Swedish NHL players banned from national team for one year (AP)
Three Swedish NHL players accused of rape will miss the 2006 Olympics after the country's hockey federation extended their suspensions from the national team to one year Wednesday. Kristian Huselius of the Florida Panthers, Andreas Lilja of the Nashville Predators and Henrik Tallinder of the Buffalo Sabres are banned until after the games in Turin, Italy, Swedish Ice Hockey Association head...

Reports: ESPN ends negotiations with NHL (AP)
ESPN officially ended negotiations with the NHL for broadcasting rights next season, according to media reports Wednesday. ESPN announced Saturday it would not pick up a $60-million option under the previous contract, but tried to retain the rights for less money in talks with the league and commissioner Gary Bettman.

Seeing clearly
The solution to Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s problems is simple: he needs glasses.

Martin wasn't worried about slump (AP)
Mark Martin saw Kasey Kahne slide up into the wall and knew a lucky break finally came his way.

Rain gives Johnson pole at Dover (AP)
Even rain couldn't slow the momentum of Nextel Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson, who was awarded the pole when qualifying was rained out Friday at Dover International Speedway.

NASCAR won't tolerate impaired drivers (AP)
NASCAR will not have impaired drivers racing around the track.

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series MBNA RacePoints 200 postponed (SportsTicker)


Rain prevents Dover qualifying (AP)
Rain prevented qualifying for the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch series cars Friday at Dover International Speedway, meaning the grid for this weekend's races was determined by car-owner points.

Rain cancels qualifying for Busch Series MBNA RacePoints 200 (SportsTicker)


Rain cancels qualifying for NASCAR MNBA RacePoints 400 (SportsTicker)


Starr takes Dover pole (AP)
David Starr took the pole position for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' MBNA RacePoints 200 on Thursday, turning a fast lap of 157.577 mph in his Chevrolet on Dover International Speedway's high-banked mile oval.

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