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Pedro Fans 12 Astros, Flirts With No-No (AP)
AP - Pedro Martinez flirted with the first no-hitter in New York Mets history, taking his bid into the seventh inning and striking out 12 Tuesday night in a 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros.

Brewers Drop Punchless Yankees 2-1 (AP)
AP - Ben Sheets won for the first time since opening day and the Milwaukee Brewers again held off Derek Jeter and the punchless Yankees, sending New York to its ninth loss in 10 games with a 2-1 win Tuesday night.

Braves Send 3-2 Message to Angels (AP)
AP - Horacio Ramirez sent a message right away, then pitched eight strong innings to lead the struggling Atlanta Braves past the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Tuesday night.

Cardinals Dispatch Red Sox 9-2 (AP)
AP - Jim Edmonds and Reggie Sanders homered off previously unbeaten Matt Clement, and Jeff Suppan worked six solid innings in the St. Louis Cardinals' 9-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.

NBA Finals Feature Two Teams for Purists (AP)
AP - The NBA Finals will be more about substance than style, more about matchups than minutiae. Neither the Detroit Pistons nor the San Antonio Spurs are all that sexy on the surface, but both are a sight to behold for basketball purists. And if one looks deep enough and factors in a few special subplots, there might just be that little extra something that draws in the masses.

Lions' Charles Rogers Cleared for Contact (AP)
AP - ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Charles Rogers has taken a step in his comeback with the Detroit Lions in minicamp sessions by shedding a red jersey that protects players from being hit.

NBA Today (AP)
AP - No games scheduled. The NBA Finals begin Thursday night with defending champion Detroit at 2003 champion San Antonio. The Pistons and Spurs split the season series 1-1.

Diamondbacks Take Upton With No. 1 Pick (AP)
AP - Justin Upton showcased his skills in front of the Arizona Diamondbacks for the last time a few days before the baseball draft — and cemented his status as the No. 1 pick.

Soccer: U.S. Confident, Cautious in Panama (AP)
AP - Just as Panama sits narrowly between the Atlantic and Pacific, the U.S. soccer team is on a dividing line — between confidence and overconfidence.

Anderson on List for Hockey Hall of Fame (AP)
AP - Glenn Anderson should be an automatic choice for the Hockey Hall of Fame, his former coach Glen Sather says.

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

Lewis' request to attend minicamp denied (AP)
Jamal Lewis' request to attend the Baltimore Ravens' minicamp next week has been denied by the Atlanta halfway house where he is spending two months after a prison term for a federal drug conviction. The rules of the star running back's stay at the halfway house say he can only leave for work in northern Georgia, which would prevent him from traveling to Maryland to attend the workouts, which...

Holmgren complains of chest discomfort (AP)
Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren missed the second day of a team minicamp Tuesday, a day after he complained of chest discomfort. Holmgren, who turns 57 next week, went to a hospital after experiencing the discomfort Monday. Tests disclosed nothing unusual, but doctors advised him to take two days off from work to rest.

Giants would discuss stadium with Jets (AP)
The New York Giants are willing to work out an agreement with the Jets to share ownership of a new $750 million stadium at the Meadowlands if the Jets' plans to build a stadium on the New York City's West Side fall apart. ``Our preference all along has been to play in a building with the Jets,'' Giants chief operating officer John K.

Skins excuse Taylor from offseason work (AP)
After months of practically begging Sean Taylor to report to work, the Washington Redskins are now telling him to stay away. Taylor's latest legal trouble, a felony charge of aggravated assault with a firearm in Miami, led the Redskins on Monday to issue a statement excusing the safety from the rest of the team's offseason meetings and practices.

Pasadena stadium site voted down (AP)
The city's bid to lure an NFL team to the Rose Bowl has ended, leaving the Los Angeles Coliseum and a parking lot in Anaheim as the lone remaining candidates interested in landing a team. The city council voted 5-1 to pursue a plan for the Rose Bowl that doesn't involve the NFL. The vote came early Tuesday after nearly seven hours of debate in front of a standing-room only crowd of about 200.

Browns willing to deal Verba, ink Spears (AP)
With disgruntled starter Ross Verba seeking a trade, the Cleveland Browns added another left tackle on Tuesday, signing 11-year veteran Marcus Spears to a one-year contract. Verba demanded a new contract last week, prompting the Browns to give him permission to talk with any team willing to trade for him.

Sneak preview
Game 1 of the NBA Finals will give us a glimpse of just how intense the series will be.

Spurs-Pistons: A matchup for the purists (AP)
Your old high school basketball coach was right all along. Shooting, slamming and scoring are fine, but this game is about fundamentals and defense -- even in the NBA. Few teams in the last two decades have been more fundamentally sound or defensively superb than the San Antonio Spurs and the Detroit Pistons, who have won the league's last two titles between them.

About face: Bulls gives Skiles extension (AP)
On a day when he appeared headed out of town, Scott Skiles reversed course and decided to stick around as the Chicago Bulls' coach for four more seasons. It was a quick turnaround. And it came on a day when newspapers reported contract negotiations between Skiles and the Bulls had broken down. ``I'm relieved, happy it's over,'' Skiles said Tuesday after the agreement was announced.

Pistons beat obstacles to defend title (AP)
The Detroit Pistons had to get past more than just the Miami Heat to have a chance to defend their title in the NBA Finals. They had to respond to reports and rumors about coach Larry Brown's next move; deal with his two health-related absences; experience one of the worst brawls in U.S. sports history and the fallout from it; and rise above a tendency to be complacent.

Pistons head back to NBA Finals (AP)
Additional intrigue is hardly necessary for a Game 7. Yet Monday night's Detroit-Miami showdown for the Eastern Conference title has a ridiculous number of subplots: Dwyane Wade's health. Larry Brown's future. The Pistons' legacy. The Heat's evolution. That reward for the winners will be a trip to San Antonio, where the Western Conference champion Spurs will host Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday...

Wade scores 20 despite injured rib (AP)
Dwyane Wade's pain wasn't limited to his strained right rib muscle. Wade grimaced throughout Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night, occasionally clutching his right side, and clearly wasn't his usual self. Regardless, he managed to get 20 points and four assists. And it was all in vain, not enough to propel the Miami Heat into the NBA Finals for the first time.

Pacers hire Person as assistant coach (AP)
Chuck Person is moving from the Indiana Pacers' front office to the bench as an assistant to coach Rick Carlisle. Person, the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1987 with the Pacers, has been a special assistant with the team the past three years. He will fill the spot that opened when Mike Brown was hired last week as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Sore ankles and all, Duncan hits stride (AP)
Tim Duncan seems to be peaking at the right time. The San Antonio Spurs' star forward posted his lowest numbers as a pro this year, and then missed a dozen late-season games with a sprained ankle. But Duncan's production has steadily increased in each of the three playoff rounds as his health has improved.

Randolph leaning toward return to Duke (AP)
Shavlik Randolph expects to return to Duke for his senior season. ``My intentions are to come back to Duke because I think we'll have a chance to do something special next year,'' Randolph said Monday. ``I don't want to rule out any options, but that's been my intention all along. ``When I am not working out, I am back in Raleigh and back in Durham and still in communication with all the coaches and...

Man charged in bomb threat at Palace (AP)
A 41-year-old man was charged Sunday with calling in a fake bomb threat at The Palace two hours before Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. David Mathew-Anthony Demeres was charged with two felonies -- making a false report of terrorism and making a false report of a bomb threat, police said. He was arraigned Sunday and released on $15,000 cash bond.

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

Anderson a top candidate for Hockey Hall of Fame (AP)
Glenn Anderson should be an automatic choice for the Hockey Hall of Fame, his former coach Glen Sather says. ``I don't even think there should be a debate about him,'' Sather said. Anderson left the NHL in 1996 after scoring 498 regular-season goals and 93 playoff goals and earning six Stanley Cup rings, including five when Sather ran the Edmonton Oilers.

Minor league player pleads guilty in stick-swinging assault (AP)
A minor league hockey player pleaded guilty Tuesday to assault causing bodily harm for swinging his stick at an opponent who was left bleeding and convulsing on the ice. Hamilton Bulldogs forward Alexander Perezhogin agreed to the plea bargain, which was being reviewed by a judge and called for a conditional discharge with one year's probation.

Shootouts, smaller goalie equipment coming to NHL whenever it restarts (AP)
When the NHL finally returns to the ice, the tie game will probably be a thing of the past. ``If they don't have a shootout, I'll be shocked,'' New York Islanders general manager Mike Milbury said Tuesday. ``That's an easy one. ``The fans want it, and it's the least we can do after spitting at them for the last 12 months.'' Fans in the AHL and other minor leagues have grown to enjoy shootouts.

Oilers ask permission to suspend operations of AHL team for one year (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers have asked the American Hockey League for permission to suspend operations of their top minor league team for one year. Club officials said Monday the Edmonton Road Runners, who also play in Rexall Place, could affect the Oilers' ticket sales next season if the NHL resumes play this fall.

NHL and players' association return to bargaining table Tuesday (AP)
The NHL and the players' union will hold three more days of talks, beginning Tuesday in yet another small-group setting. The sides will be getting together in New York, marking the sixth straight week they will hold negotiations. Both the league and the players' association are committed to keeping that kind of schedule until a new collective bargaining agreement is worked out.

NHL general managers watch scrimmages played under new rules (AP)
NHL general managers and coaches saw the changing face of hockey firsthand. An entire three-period scrimmage was played with only a handful of stoppages for offsides, as potential new rules were tested out Monday -- the first of three days of experiments. ``Could you imagine Wayne (Gretzky) and Mario (Lemieux) playing that kind of game?'' New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather said.

Phantoms 2, Wolves 1, 2OT (AP)
Patrick Sharp and the Philadelphia Phantoms looked a lot like their parent club on Saturday night. The Broad Street Bullies would have been proud. Sharp scored 3:50 into the second overtime to give the Phantoms a 2-1 win over the Chicago Wolves in Game 2 of the AHL Calder Cup Finals. Philadelphia -- the Flyers' top farm team -- leads the best-of-seven series 2-0.

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

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.

Getting dirty
Tony Stewart and many of his Nextel Cup friends will mix it up at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday.

Co-founder of Bristol Motor Speedway dies (AP)
Larry Carrier, who helped start the race track now known as Bristol Motor Speedway, died Tuesday after a long illness. He was 82. A developer, Carrier worked with Carl Moore and R.G. Pope in building the half-mile oval track, which opened in 1961. Carrier bought the track out of bankruptcy in 1985, gave ESPN exclusive rights to broadcast Bristol's night race for years, and built the seating capacity...

Crew chief Ford to work with Leffler (AP)
Joe Gibbs Racing has hired crew chief Mike Ford to oversee the No. 11 NASCAR Nextel Cup Chevrolet driven by Jason Leffler.

Mike Ford takes over as Jason Leffler's crew chief (SportsTicker)
HUNTERSVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) - Less than a month after being bounced as Dale Jarrett's crew chief, Mike Ford has found work with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Biffle dominates to win NASCAR MNBA RacePoints 400 (SportsTicker)

Roush expected big year from his drivers (AP)
Jack Roush figured his drivers would have an outstanding season. Greg Biffle has been fishtailing around everyone's expectations.

Stewart calls Gordon a whiner after bump in Dover (AP)
Tony Stewart says he's tired of Jeff Gordon's ``whining,'' and isn't worried about retaliation for the spinout Sunday that dropped the four-time champion from the top 10 in the NASCAR Nextel Cup standings.

Kyle Busch wins second straight NCTS event (SportsTicker)

Truex Jr. wins Busch Series MBNA RacePoints 200 at Dover (SportsTicker)

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