Lowe, Price go for 7
UNDATED (AP) — Derek Lowe tries to join the ranks of seven-game winners when he takes the mound for Cleveland this afternoon in the continuation of their series with AL Central rival Chicago. The veteran pitcher is coming off his first shutout in nearly seven years when he blanked Minnesota to improve to 6-1.
It looks like Lowe is going to have to be at his best, because the White Sox are going with Jake Peavy (PEE'-vee), who's off to a 5-1 start this season.
David Price will also be looking for his seventh win when he takes the mound for Tampa Bay against Boston at Fenway Park tonight. Price is coming off a rare loss that dropped him to 6-3 this season. He allowed just two runs on six hits over seven innings but was outpitched by Atlanta's Tim Hudson who blanked the Rays. Price has won five of his last seven starts. Josh Beckett goes for the Red Sox. He upped his record to 4-4 with a strong outing against Philadelphia in his last start.
These teams might be on their best behavior after a bench-clearing scuffle last night in the ninth inning of the Rays' 7-4 win. It started when Tampa Bay's Luke Scott was hit by a pitch. There was lots of jawing back and forth but no punches.
Those games are part of a seven-game American League schedule that takes place today and tonight.
In the National League, no one is pitching better in May than Houston's Bud Norris. The 27-year-old is back at it when Houston takes on the Dodgers tonight. Norris has won each of his last four starts to improve to 5-1 and during that stretch has posted a major-league best ERA among starters of 0.35.
The Dodgers Chad Billingsley is headed in the other direction. He's 0-3 over his last seven starts with a 5.20 ERA. He gets the start for Los Angeles.
It'll be a battle of 5-1 starters when Milwaukee visits Arizona tonight. The Diamondbacks look to rookie sensation Wade Miley who boasts a 2.14 ERA heading into the start. The Brewers have Zach Greinke (GREHN'-kee) scheduled to start.
Game 7 showdown
BOSTON (AP) — It will be a very simple scenario for the 76ers and Celtics when they take the court tonight in Boston. Winner goes on, loser goes home.
Game 7 of their showdown has a place in the Eastern Conference final for the winning team, and an off-season of what-if's for the losing team.
So far, the series has been a string of alternating wins with Philadelphia getting the last one at home Wednesday night to force the decisive game.
The Miami Heat await the winner in the conference title round.
GOLF-CROWNE PLAZA INVITATIONAL
Dufner the one to catch
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) —The hottest golfer on the planet is Jason Dufner, who's aiming for his third PGA Tour triumph in the last five weeks. Dufner fired a 6-under 64 yesterday and will take a two-shot lead over Zach Johnson into today's third round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Bo Van Pelt and Tommy Gainey are four back of the leader.
GOLF-SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
Cook and Chapman on top
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Roger Chapman and John Cook start the day tied for the top spot at the 73rd Senior PGA Championship at 7 under par. Hale Irwin, a four-time major champion, roared into contention yesterday as the 66-year-old shot his age to climb within two shots of the co-leaders.
Webber to start from the lead
MONACO (AP) — Former world champion Michael Schumacher posted the fastest time in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix today, but his previous grid penalty means Mark Webber's Red Bull will start Sunday's race at the pole. Webber beat Nico Rosberg's time on his final lap, only for the 43-year-old Schumacher to surpass Webber's effort just moments later.
But the grid penalty Schumacher got at the Spanish Grand Prix means he starts from sixth on the grid tomorrow.