Auburn takes series opener against Wildcats 13-6
Auburn scored in all but two innings in a series-opening 13-6 victory against the Kentucky Wildcats at Auburn, Ala.
Kentucky (22-16, 5-11 Southeastern Conference) was led offensively by junior Lance Ray, who had three doubles in his four at-bats. Over his last three games — all starts — Ray has reached base safely in 11 of 13 plate appearances. Braden Kapteyn hit his fifth home run of the year, going 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Never miss a local story.
UK starter Logan Darnell (3-3) allowed a career-high nine runs in 61⁄3 innings of work, walking two and striking out seven. Darnell was relieved by freshman Walter Wijas, who in his first seven pitches of the game, allowed two home runs and a double.
Because of the threat of inclement weather, Saturday's was moved to noon at Plainsman Park. Sunday's game is still scheduled for 2 p.m.
■ Sophomore right-hander Derek Self, a Caverna graduate, pitched 31⁄3 innings of scoreless relief to earn his sixth win of the season and Louisville scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat visiting Seton Hall 4-2. With their seventh straight win, the Cardinals improved to 31-6 overall and 10-3 in the Big East. Self came on in relief of Thomas Royse (Paul Dunbar), who left the game because of a blister on his foot. Neil Holland (Owensboro Catholic) pitched the ninth inning for his ninth save of the season.
Sabres, Canadiens win to stay alive
Adam Mair, Jason Pominville, and Mike Grier scored in the first 30 minutes for the Buffalo Sabres, who rebounded from a devastating loss and beat the visiting Boston Bruins 4-1 on Friday night to force a sixth game in the Eastern Conference first-round series. Boston goalie Tuukka Rask had outplayed Buffalo's Ryan Miller, but only barely, as the Bruins had won three straight tight games. The Sabres broke through early in this one, with Mair scoring on Buffalo's first shot. The Bruins didn't recover.
■ Thanks to terrific goaltending by Jaroslav Halak and a pair of early goals, the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens ensured Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals still have work to do in the first round of the playoffs. Halak made 37 saves, Michael Cammalleri and Travis Moen scored on two of Montreal's first five shots, and the visiting Canadiens beat the top-seeded Capitals 2-1 Friday night in Game 5 to extend their Eastern Conference first-round series. The Capitals will take a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 at Montreal on Monday.
■ Sidney Crosby is on such a hot streak, he's picking up points even on days the Pittsburgh Penguins don't play. Crosby was retroactively awarded an assist Friday by the NHL on Kris Letang's goal during the first period of Pittsburgh's 4-3, three-overtime playoff loss to Ottawa on Thursday night. Bill Guerin lost the assist that was awarded to Crosby. The scoring change gives Crosby 14 points in five playoff games.
NCAA adds two games to bowl schedule
The NCAA has approved 35 bowl games for the next four years, including two new ones: the Dallas Football Classic and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in New York.
The first Pinstripe Bowl will be played at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on Dec. 30. It will include the No. 3 team in the Big East and the No. 6 school in the Big 12, excluding Bowl Championship Series participants. The first Dallas Football Classic at the Cotton Bowl is planned for New Year's Day 2011, involving the seventh-ranked team from the Big 12 against the sixth-ranked team from the Big Ten. Future games will include Conference USA.
Bowl applications were denied for the Cure Bowl in Orlando, Fla., and the Christmas Bowl in Los Angeles.
Track and field
Bolt not ready to take on 400 — yet
Usain Bolt will stay away from the 400 meters unless he needs to prove himself at that distance "to become a legend in sports." The 100 and 200 Olympic and world champion from Jamaica said Friday that he was avoiding the 400 because of the hard work needed to be the best at that distance.
"I don't want to do 400 meters," said Bolt, who plans to run the 300 next month in the Czech Republic. "I guess I will have to do it really if it takes that for me to become a legend in sports. Otherwise, I wouldn't want to do it."
Instead, Bolt's main goal will be defending his Olympic titles at the 2012 London Games. In Beijing, Bolt set a record in both the 100 and 200, and helped the Jamaican 4x100 relay team to another. He also won the 100 and 200 in world-record time at last year's world championships in Berlin.
"If I can dominate for five to six years over the 100 meters, I can make myself a legend in the sport by doing that," Bolt said.
■ Kentucky's 4x100-meter relay squad qualified for Saturday's Championship of America finals at the Penn Relays at Philadelphia. Alex Williams, Kwasi Obeng, Rondel Sorrillo and Sean Lange posted a time of 40.39 in the qualifying round to finish sixth out of 87 teams.
Roddick withdraws from Rome Masters
Seventh-ranked Andy Roddick withdrew from the Rome Masters, citing personal reasons. The American recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of his marriage to model Brooklyn Decker, who was on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue in February. Roddick also skipped Rome last year when he took a break after the wedding, meaning he doesn't have any ranking points to defend in the clay-court tournament, which begins Sunday.
■ Melanie Oudin will lead off for the U.S. in its Fed Cup semifinals against Russia. The Americans' No. 1 player faces Russia's No. 2, Alla Kudryavtseva, in the first match of the best-of-five tie on Saturday at Birmingham, Ala. Bethanie Mattek-Sands will play doubles and singles and opens against Elena Dementieva, ranked No. 6 in the world. Mattek-Sands also is slated to team with Liezel Huber, the world's No. 1 doubles player, on Sunday. Both teams are without some of their respective countries' top players. U.S. stars Serena and Venus Williams bowed out with leg injuries.
2-time champ Lavrova dies in car wreck
Moscow police said two-time Olympic rhythmic gymnastics champion Natalia Lavrova was killed in a car accident. Traffic police spokesman Vitaly Ivanov said in a televised statement that a car driven by Lavrova's sister collided Friday with another vehicle near Penza, about 330 miles southeast of Moscow. He said Lavrova and her sister died instantly. The 25-year-old Lavrova is Russia's only rhythmic gymnast to win two Olympic gold medals — in team competitions at the Sydney and Athens Olympics in 2000 and 2004.
UCLA ends its NCAA title drought
Top-seeded UCLA won its sixth title at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championship on Friday at Gainesville, Fla. With five-time defending champ Georgia not in the competition, UCLA returned to where it had been before the Gym Dogs put a stranglehold on the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships. Georgia failed to qualify out of the regional stage. Oklahoma finished second, followed by Alabama, Stanford, Florida and Utah.
The last word
Trainer Todd Pletcher has five probable starters and possibly a record-setting sixth for this year's Kentucky Derby. And of them, his biggest star, is also the likely favorite, Eskendereya. Pletcher pronounces it Es-ken-der-AE-ah, but even he admits:
"I'm not 100 percent sure what the right way is."