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White Sox Win as Buehrle Outduels Santana (AP)
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle throws during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Friday, April 21, 2006, in Chicago. Buehrle allowed four hits over eight innings to get his third straight victory as Chicago won 7-1.  (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)AP - Jim Thome's one good swing against Minnesota ace Johan Santana was all Mark Buehrle needed. Buehrle allowed four hits over eight innings to get his third straight victory and Thome hit a two-run homer in the sixth to help the Chicago White Sox beat the Twins 7-1 on Friday night.


Soriano Hits 3 Homers to Lead Nationals (AP)
Washington Nationals celebrate Alfonso Soriano's (12) third home run of the game against Atlanta Braves in the eigth inning of the baseball game, Friday, April 21, 2006, in Washington. The Nationals won the game, 7-3. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)AP - Alfonso Soriano is starting to get a little more comfortable in the outfield. At the plate, he's as confident as he has ever been. The reluctant left fielder roughed up John Smoltz and the Atlanta Braves on Friday night, hitting three homers for the first time and matching his career high with five RBIs in the Washington Nationals' 7-3 home victory.


Maltby's 2nd Goal Lifts Red Wings in 2OT (AP)
The Detroit Red Wings celebrate their double-overtime win in front of the Edmonton Oilers bench in game 1 of their NHL quarterfinal hockey game against the Edmonton Oilers in Detroit, Friday, April 21, 2006. The Red Wings defeated the Oilers, 3-2. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)AP - In one night, Kirk Maltby scored almost half as many goals as he had during the regular season. Maltby lifted the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of their first-round series Friday with his second goal of the game 2:39 into double overtime.


Armstrong, Discovery Seek New Cycling Star (AP)
AP - When Lance Armstrong retired nine months ago, Discovery Channel team manager Johan Bruyneel said nobody could replace his superstar cyclist. Now the seven-time Tour de France winner wants to prove Bruyneel wrong.

Webb, 3 South Koreans Atop Leaderboard (AP)
Karrie Webb, of Australia, tees off on the second hole during the first round of the Florida's Natural Charity Championship golf tournament, Thursday, April 20, 2006, in Stockbridge, Ga.  Webb shot a 5-under par 67. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)AP - If anyone thought Karrie Webb's victory in the LPGA's first major of the year was just a fluke, think again. She's picking right up where she left off. Following up her win in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Webb shot a second straight 5-under-par 67 Friday and was only two strokes off the lead at Eagle's Landing Country Club south of Atlanta.


Skier Jeremy Bloom Comes Back to Football (AP)
Receiver Jeremy Bloom, of Colorado, runs the 40-yard dash during the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2006. Jeremy Bloom is a football player now. Could be a pretty good one, too. Very soon, the now-retired freestyle skier will find out exactly what the NFL thinks of him and how far his rusty, but still significant skills can take him in his other sport _ the one he loves the most.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)AP - The skis are in the closet. The book is closed on the hundreds of successes and many fewer disappointments he accumulated during all those trips down the slopes. Jeremy Bloom is a football player now. Could be a pretty good one, too.


NBA Today (AP)
AP - Washington at Cleveland (3 p.m. EDT). LeBron James makes his playoff debut after leading Cleveland to the postseason for the first time since 1998.

Baseball Today (AP)
AP - N.Y. Mets at San Diego (10:05 p.m. EDT). Pedro Martinez (3-0) leads the NL East Division-leading Mets against the Padres.

Makaay, Seedorf Not on Provisional Roster (AP)
AP - Roy Makaay and Clarence Seedorf were omitted from provisional 33-man World Cup roster announced Friday by Netherlands coach Marco van Basten.

Kariya's 4 Assists Pace Predators (AP)
An official tries to keep Nashville Predators' Brendan Witt (19) and San Jose Sharks' Ville Nieminen (15) of Finland apart during a scuffle in the second period of their first round NHL hockey playoff game in Nashville, Tenn. on Friday, April 21, 2006. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)AP - The Nashville Predators signed Paul Kariya to boost their postseason hopes. He showed them just how effective he can be when it matters most.


Chief Justice
No offensive tackle in the draft – not even D'Brickashaw Ferguson – can match the skills of Winston Justice.

Bears ink CB Manning to offer sheet (AP)
The Chicago Bears signed restricted free-agent defensive back Ricky Manning Jr. to an offer sheet Friday, with his agent saying the deal is worth up to $21 million over five years. The deal includes about $7.5 million in guaranteed money in the first year of the contract, agent Jim Ivler said. Manning spent his first three seasons with the Carolina Panthers, who eliminated the Bears from the...

Tylski, wife charged with child abuse (AP)
Former NFL offensive guard Rich Tylski and his wife were accused of hitting their adopted daughter with a belt, slamming her head on a table and other abuse that left the girl with broken bones in her hands and leg. The 35-year-old Tylski and wife Jane, 36, were free on $20,000 bond each on the child abuse and neglect charges.

Mayor: no money for new Chargers stadium (AP)
Cash-strapped San Diego doesn't have the money to help the Chargers build a new stadium, Mayor Jerry Sanders said Friday, opening the door for Southern California's only NFL team to leave the city it has called home for 45 years. Sanders said he plans to ask the City Council to amend the Chargers' lease to allow the team to begin looking at sites elsewhere in San Diego County before the end of the...

NFL hires firm to help find new commish (AP)
NFL owners hired a Los Angeles-based firm to assist with the search to replace retiring commissioner Paul Tagliabue. The eight-owner committee chose Korn/Ferry International to help find a new commissioner. Tagliabue hopes to retire in July. The firm will begin the process by interviewing all 32 owners, then make regular reports, including one at the league meetings in Denver on May 23-24.

Chargers LB Steve Foley arrested (AP)
Linebacker Steve Foley of the San Diego Chargers was arrested on charges of resisting arrest on Friday after police said he scuffled with officers. Foley also was booked on charges of battery on a police officer and public drunkenness. One of three officers involved in the struggle with the 6-foot-4, 265 pound linebacker suffered minor injuries, said police spokesman Gary Hassen.

Charges dropped against Chiefs' Dalton (AP)
A misdemeanor charge of domestic battery against Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Lional Dalton was dismissed. Dalton was scheduled to go on trial Friday, but the case was dismissed because the alleged victim, Dalton's wife, Kimberly, failed to appear for the trial. It was the second time she had not shown up, said Assistant District Attorney Jacqie Spradling.

Bengals sign QB Anthony Wright (AP)
Anthony Wright officially signed a one-year deal Friday to be the Cincinnati Bengals' backup quarterback, a vital position with Carson Palmer still recovering from knee surgery. The eight-year veteran could start the season if Palmer hasn't fully recovered from reconstructive surgery. He tore ligaments and had other damage to the knee in the Bengals' first-round playoff loss to Pittsburgh.

Motown's big mo
The Pistons strut into the postseason acting like they're the team to beat. That's because they are.

Williams can be retried for manslaughter (AP)
A New Jersey appeals court ruled Friday that former NBA star Jayson Williams can be retried on a reckless manslaughter charge in the shooting death of a limousine driver at the athlete's mansion. The retired New Jersey Nets star had sought to avoid a second trial, contending it would be double jeopardy.

Heat somber as playoff opener looms (AP)
Sometime before every game, Pat Riley stands in the Miami Heat locker room and tries to say whatever he deems necessary at the time to motivate his team. He may not have to say a word on Saturday night. As if the Heat didn't have enough reasons already to be ready for the start of the Eastern Conference first-round series with the Chicago Bulls, another presented itself Friday when the team learned...

LeBron to make first playoff appearance (AP)
You're on, LeBron. Three years into his thus far impeccable pro career, Cavaliers star LeBron James will take center stage for the first time where legacies either grow or get swatted away like a weak layup. In the NBA playoffs, nothing comes easy. The fouls are a little nastier. The whistle blows a little less frequently.

Suns bemused by talk of Lakers' upset (AP)
Here they come again, those small, swift, sharpshooting Phoenix Suns, attempting to defy conventional NBA playoff wisdom, this time against a Los Angeles Lakers team that rolls into the postseason after winning 11 of 14. The Lakers' late drive on the shoulders of league scoring champion Kobe Bryant has ignited talk of a first-round upset for No.

Pistons scoring more under Saunders (AP)
Flip Saunders is the only significant difference between this season's Detroit Pistons and the team that came within a quarter of back-to-back titles last year. As a new coach with an established group, Saunders wisely chose to leave the Pistons alone on defense. But he turned an average offense into a good one with his shoot-if-you're-open scheme.

Mavericks, Grizzlies looking for firsts (AP)
Since becoming coach of the Dallas Mavericks, Avery Johnson has talked a lot about winning a championship. He wants his staff, players and even fans to always be thinking about the team's ultimate goal. The Memphis Grizzlies certainly have that at the top of their wish list, too. However, the Grizzlies need to take care of something else first -- finally winning a playoff game.

Nets C Collins to defend Pacers F O'Neal (AP)
After the final game of the regular season, Jason Collins walked out of the Continental Airlines Arena joking about his 3-point shooting. "I think I'm 3-of-10 now," the Nets power forward quipped to a buddy after launching five against the New York Knicks in the meaningless contest. Collins actually tried a dozen 3-pointers this season, but that's not important.

Bobcats win draft tiebreaker with Hawks (AP)
The Charlotte Bobcats won a tiebreaker with the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, giving them a slightly better chance of landing the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. Charlotte and Atlanta tied for the league's third-worst record at 26-56. By winning a random drawing conducted by NBA senior vice president Stu Jackson, the Bobcats have a 13.8 percent chance of winning the draft lottery.

Clips set for first playoffs since 1997 (AP)
Elton Brand has often spent time in Cabo San Lucas at this time of year rather than watch the NBA playoffs. And the Los Angeles Clippers are usually preparing for the lottery about now. That's not the case this year. Brand won't have to watch television to see what the postseason is all about, and the Clippers can forget about the lottery for the time being.

The thrill is back
Hockey fans rejoice. The best part of the NHL season is finally here – the playoffs.

Maltby lifts Wings past Oilers in 2OT (AP)
The Detroit Red Wings survived a scare because Kirk Maltby has been listening to his coaches. Maltby scored his second goal of the night 2:39 into double overtime to lift Detroit to a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of their first-round series Friday. He ended the 3 1/2 -hour game with a long shot from outside the right circle that was deflected past goaltender Dwayne Roloson by the...

Playoff vet McCarty sparks Flames in OT (AP)
Darren McCarty showed the poise of a player with 151 NHL playoff games on his resume. McCarty scored 9:45 into overtime to give the Calgary Flames a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Friday night in the opening game of their Western Conference playoff series. He skated freely into the Ducks zone and one-timed a pass from Kristian Huselius past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, a surprise starter...

Kariya, Predators shut down Sharks (AP)
The Nashville Predators signed Paul Kariya to boost their postseason hopes. He showed them just how effective he can be when it matters most. Adam Hall scored the go-ahead goal at 12:06 of the third period by redirecting a shot by Kariya, who assisted on all four of Nashville's power-play goals. That carried the Predators to a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Friday in the opener of the...

Special teams play carries Sens by Tampa (AP)
The Senators got pumped up for a comeback with a good dressing room pep talk and dominant special-teams play. Martin Havlat and Jason Spezza scored power-play goals 1:07 apart early in the third period and Mike Fisher added a short-handed goal as Ottawa rallied to a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opener of the Eastern Conference playoff series Friday night.

Ducks G Giguere misses playoff opener (AP)
Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere was scratched from the Mighty Ducks' playoff opener against the Calgary Flames on Friday night because of an undisclosed injury that occurred earlier in the week. Giguere, the 2003 playoff MVP when the Ducks made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup finals, practiced earlier Friday but didn't take part in the pregame warmup and wasn't in the lineup.

Lombardi named Kings president and GM (AP)
Dean Lombardi considers himself a team constructor. He plans more of a remodeling job in Los Angeles as the new president and general manager of the Kings. Lombardi, introduced at a news conference on Friday, said he doesn't intend to dismantle the Kings. His goal is to improve what is already there and add more talent.

Rangers RW Jagr to be shadowed by Devils (AP)
There is no secret to the New Jersey Devils' plans to stop Jaromir Jagr in the first round of the playoffs against the New York Rangers. While Devils coach Lou Lamoriello refuses to discuss it, Jay Pandolfo and his gang of four -- center John Madden, right wing Grant Marshall and defensemen Paul Martin and Colin White -- will attempt to get on the ice when Jagr plays Saturday in Game 1 of the...

No-name Sabres ready for Flyers (AP)
Daniel Briere recalls how critics discounted the Buffalo Sabres before the start of the season as an inexperienced team that had not made the playoffs since 2001. "Everybody was thinking we were just a team that, if we were lucky, we were going to be battling for a playoff spot," the Sabres co-captain said.

'Canes try to continue dominating Habs (AP)
Four games, all victories, with a combined margin of 25-9. For the Carolina Hurricanes, their season series with Montreal couldn't have gone much better. Trying to carry that momentum over the playoffs is the difficult part. "It doesn't mean a thing," Carolina defenseman Bret Hedican said Friday. "We've got to bring our best game to win in the playoffs, no matter who we play." Certainly, there is...

Fast track
AVONDALE, Ariz. – Brent Sherman perhaps could have used more seasoning, but a Cup ride was too much to pass up.

NASCAR Nextel Notebook for Friday, April 21 (SportsTicker)
AVONDALE, Arizona (Ticker) - Kevin Harvick is in a position to cash in.

Passing tough at unconventional Phoenix International Raceway (SportsTicker)

Harvick wins NASCAR Busch Bashas' Supermarkets 200 (SportsTicker)

Harvick makes it two straight in Busch Series with PIR victory (AP)
Kevin Harvick won his second consecutive Busch Series race Friday night, holding on through several late cautions and an overtime finish at Phoenix International Raceway.

Harvick wants to stay at Childress (AP)
Kevin Harvick's view from inside the top 10 in the points is pretty nice -- so good that he's certain he wants to extend his contract at Richard Childress Racing.

Kyle Busch wins Phoenix pole (AP)
Kyle Busch picked up where he left off at Phoenix International Raceway, winning the pole Thursday to put himself in prime position to win a second straight race in the desert.

FanView, new Sprint Nextel device, takes fans deeper into the action (AP)
CHARLOTTE – From his seat high in the grandstands, Lance Ramsey could see every bit of action on the race...

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