National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

Oprah's network plans series on NFL's Michael Sam

NEW YORK (AP) The Oprah Winfrey Network says it plans to produce a documentary series following the life of Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.

The series will take an up-close look at the man recently drafted by the St. Louis Rams in a groundbreaking moment in professional sports. Cameras will follow the former University of Missouri football player as he works to earn a spot on the Rams while under a media microscope.

Sam says it would be great if his story can lead others to accept who they are and go for their dreams.

OWN did not specify a premiere date for the as-yet-untitled series or how many episodes it will be.

Sharks keep GM Wilson, coach McLellan

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) The San Jose Sharks are bringing back coach Todd McLellan and general manager Doug Wilson for another season despite another early playoff flop.

Owner Hasso Plattner said Wednesday he was accepting Wilson's recommendation to keep McLellan after the Sharks became just the fourth NHL team ever to lose a best-of-seven playoff series after winning the first three games.

"I am very disappointed in the way our team finished the 2013-14 season," Plattner said in a statement. "Gaining a 3-0 series advantage and being unable to advance is a major blow to our organization and fan base. Our teams have been consistently built to go deep into the playoffs and this goal won't change.

"Doug Wilson and I have met over the past two weeks. He has shared his support of the coaching staff, as well as his recommended changes to our team's roster, and he has my complete support moving forward."

Plattner also thanked fans for their support and said he is not satisfied with the performance the past few seasons and believes a plan is in place to improve on those results.

"I am confident that with the proposed changes, Doug and his staff will build a team we can all be proud of," Plattner said.

The Sharks have a 271-130-57 record in six seasons under McLellan, posting the second-most wins in the NHL in that span to Pittsburgh. San Jose made back-to-back conference finals under McLellan, losing in four games to Chicago in 2010 and in five games the following season to Vancouver.

The Sharks have won only one playoff series in McLellan's other four seasons, losing in the first round to Anaheim in 2009, St. Louis in 2011 and Los Angeles this season. San Jose swept Vancouver in the first round in 2013 before losing a seven-game series to the Kings.

Wilson became general manager in May 2003 and has built playoff teams every season. The Sharks have the second-most points in the regular season the past 10 seasons but are still looking for their first Stanley Cup appearance.

The Sharks have most of their key pieces under control for next season after signing captain Joe Thornton and all-time leading goal scorer Patrick Marleau to three-year extensions in January.

The most prominent unrestricted free agent is 37-year-old defenseman Dan Boyle. Forwards Bracken Kearns and Mike Brown, defenseman Scott Hannan and backup goalie Alex Stalock are the other unrestricted free agents.

The team also could use one of its two compliance buyouts to cut ties with unproductive forward Marty Havlat, who is owed $6 million next season in the final year of his contract.

Penguins face murky future after early exit

PITTSBURGH (AP) Sidney Crosby will be back. Evgeni Malkin too.

After that, what happens to the Pittsburgh Penguins over another postseason disappointment is anybody's guess.

Dan Bylsma, the winningest coach in franchise history, may be out of a job. Ray Shero, the general manager who spent the last half-decade unsuccessfully trying to replicate the success of 2009, could also be gone.

When Crosby lifted the Stanley Cup in triumph on that warm night in Detroit five years ago, it was supposed to mark the beginning of hockey's next dynasty.

That hasn't materialized. A handful of maddening springs later, it might be time to move on. Bylsma allowed as much Tuesday night after the Penguins fell to the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, a 2-1 defeat that capped a stunning collapse after Pittsburgh grabbed a commanding 3-1 series lead.

"You think about it being the last game," Bylsma said.

While the Rangers exulted at one end of the Consol Energy Center ice after advancing to hockey's final four, the Penguins solemnly lined up for a handshake after losing a Game 7 at home for the third time in five seasons.

This isn't the way it was supposed to go. Not this time. Despite losing over 500 man games to injury - easily the highest total in the NHL - Pittsburgh strolled to the Metropolitan Division title behind the steady and spectacular play of Crosby, who led the league in scoring and is a heavy favorite to win his second MVP award.

After surviving a bumpy six-game series with plucky Columbus in the opening round, the Penguins appeared in total control after a 4-2 win in Game 4 against the weary Rangers.

Then it all fell apart. A dismal 5-1 loss in Game 5 shifted momentum to the guys in the blue shirts. New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist did the rest, including 35 sublime saves in the deciding game.

Defenseman Matt Niskanen called the debacle in Game 5 a "missed opportunity," one that could lead to significant change in a dressing room that has been among the most stable in the league.

"When expectations are high and you don't win, that's normal," Crosby said. "I'm sure there will be a lot of questions."

At the moment, there don't appear to be a lot of answers.

Crosby insists he's healthy but lacked his otherworldly sharpness at times, scoring just one goal in 13 playoff games.

"It wasn't a lack of effort or competing or anything like that," he said. "I'd love to tear it up every series, but it's not always the case. It doesn't make it any easier, I'll tell you that. It's tough losing as it is but when you're unable to contribute as much as you'd like, it's even tougher."

Maybe, but it's become all too common for one of the NHL's marquee franchises. The Penguins have sold out every home game since Valentine's Day in 2007 and play a brand of entertaining hockey that is overwhelmingly successful in the regular season but doesn't always translate in the tight-checking crucible of the playoffs.

The league's top power play during the regular season went just 1 for 20 with the man advantage against New York. Unable to generate much offense from in front of the net, the Penguins spent most of the last three games unsuccessfully peppering Lundqvist from long distance.

It's a path that led only to frustration and an all-too-familiar result: the Penguins watching another team skate off the ice in celebration.

It happened in 2010, when Pittsburgh fell to Montreal at home in Game 7. It happened last spring, when the Penguins failed to lead the Boston Bruins for a single second while getting swept out of the conference finals.

Ray Shero doubled down after seeing his team silenced by the Bruins. He awarded Bylsma a two-year extension, signed Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang to long-term deals and brought back defenseman Rob Scuderi to give the blue line some heft.

Different path. Same result. Only this time there will be no doubling down. There will be only change.

"It's all tough," Malkin said. "We have great teammates here. We work hard. But 3-1 up in series and last three games we lost, it's tough. See you next season, I don't know."

Neither does anybody else.

Pistons hire Stan Van Gundy as coach, president

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) The Detroit Pistons are counting on Stan Van Gundy to bring some much-needed stability to a struggling franchise.

They're certainly giving him plenty of authority.

The Pistons officially announced Van Gundy's hiring Wednesday as their new coach and president of basketball operations. The team will introduce Van Gundy at a news conference Thursday. Detroit went 29-53 last season, missing the playoffs for a fifth straight year. That was the end of Joe Dumars' tenure as team president. Coach Maurice Cheeks was fired in February.

"Stan is a proven winner in our league," Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a statement. "He instills his teams with passion, purpose and toughness. He is a great teacher who will help our players grow and develop."

Van Gundy agreed to a $35 million, five-year contract - a commitment from the team that suggests he'll have plenty of time to turn Detroit's fortunes around. Dumars stepped down after 15 seasons in the front office, and toward the end of his tenure, the Pistons seemed increasingly adrift as they hired coach after coach with little success.

Cheeks lasted less than one year. Before him, Lawrence Frank and John Kuester were each at the helm for two seasons.

Van Gundy is 371-208 in seven-plus seasons as a coach with Miami and Orlando. He reached the NBA finals in 2009 with the Magic.

"It is an honor to be chosen to help Tom Gores build the Pistons into a team that competes for championships," Van Gundy said. "Tom's vision of building for the future, while seeking immediate improvement is a challenge that I embrace. We will work to put a team on the floor that reflects the franchise's rich tradition and embodies the toughness and work ethic of fans in the Detroit area."

The Pistons were active last offseason, signing free agent Josh Smith and trading for point guard Brandon Jennings. Amid heightened expectations, the new-look roster flopped. Cheeks was fired and replaced by interim coach John Loyer.

Van Gundy takes over now - and he'll have a chance to reshape the lineup before he has to coach it. Greg Monroe is a restricted free agent, and both Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva are unrestricted. Villanueva barely played last season, but Monroe and Stuckey were major parts of Detroit's rotation.

The Pistons have one of the game's top young big men in Andre Drummond, but they'll lose this year's first-round draft pick if it's not in the top eight - part of a previous trade with Charlotte.

Van Gundy gives the Pistons a big name - and the hope that he can produce won-loss records similar to his time in Miami and Orlando. It will be a fresh start for Van Gundy, who was fired by the Magic in 2012 after a season full of drama involving him and star center Dwight Howard.

In April of that year, Van Gundy claimed top-ranking team officials had told him that Howard had asked management to fire Van Gundy as a condition of the center signing a long-term contract. Howard denied it.

Van Gundy was fired the following month, and the Magic traded Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Before the tumultuous 2011-12 season, Orlando won at least 52 games in its first four seasons under Van Gundy.

"Stan is more than just a great coach, he's a great leader," Gores said. "What I'm most excited about is how Stan can help us shape the franchise and instill what it means to be the best. He's also a great communicator. My time with Stan has me convinced that he will bring our players, team and community to a very proud place."

Preakness field goes for a stroll at Pimlico

Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome's first visit to the track at Pimlico Tuesday morning was more about getting acclimated to the home of the Preakness than exercise.

Exercise rider Willie Delgado took the big chestnut out for a tour of the one-mile course at 6:45 a.m. (EDT), approximately 16 hours after he arrived at the Preakness Stakes Barn on a trip from Louisville, Kentucky.

"He jogged and he was great," said assistant trainer Alan Sherman, who has managed the horse since the Derby while his father, Art, has tended to the rest of his stable in Southern California. "He stood out there for a while, just looked around and took it all in. He's a really curious horse. He likes to look around a lot and check out the surroundings. He was good. He was really good."

Alan Sherman said the colt has settled in nicely in Stall 40, traditionally the Pimlico home of the Kentucky Derby winner. The next step, Sherman said, was to let the horse check out the track while he was stretching his legs and getting a feel for the surface.

"Yeah, just let him look around," Alan Sherman said. "When he gallops, I want him to be focused on what he's doing and not be looking around and stub his toe or anything."

Art Sherman, 77, was scheduled to arrive from California Tuesday afternoon and will be at Pimlico when California Chrome returns to the track at 6:45 Wednesday morning.

"He is enjoying the ride immensely, but he's not a young guy and was getting a little tired toward the end of all that. He's fresh now," Alan Sherman said.

California Chrome's emergence from promising young horse to the leader of his division with his resounding Derby victory has put the Shermans in the spotlight. Art Sherman has spent 60 years in the business as a stable hand, exercise rider, jockey and trainer. Alan Sherman works for his father and his brother, Steve, is a trainer in Northern California. The Sherman family is enjoying its ride with California Chrome.

"It's pretty awesome," Alan Sherman said. "Every year when you get the two-year-olds in you're saying, 'maybe this will be the one that will get us to the Derby,' but we've been saying that for a lot of years now and we finally made it. It's really special."

California Chrome, bred and owned by Steven Coburn and Perry Martin, brings a five-race winning streak into the Preakness, but he wasn't an overnight sensation. He won two of his first six starts, most of them races against other California-bred horses before he stepped forward.

"In the King Glorious, the last stakes at Hollywood Park, that opened my eyes up. Then he just kept getting better," Alan Sherman said. "Then he won the California Cup Derby and that was another impressive race. But the San Felipe was probably when I went, 'wow.' It was the first time against open company and he just broke two in front and won so easy that day. I was pretty excited about that one."

After the San Felipe, California Chrome won the Santa Anita Derby by 5 1/4 lengths, a performance that made him the Derby favorite. His victory at Churchill Downs on May 3 made Art Sherman the oldest trainer to win the Derby and punctuated a solid career.

"My dad is so deserving of it," Alan Sherman said. "He works hard. He goes to the sales and buys horses himself and claims horses with his own money. He puts up his own money. He deserves it."

Having prevailed from the 19-horse Derby, in which several participants ran into traffic, California Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza move to the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, a slightly shorter test at 1 3/16 miles with 10 likely starters.

"You're not going to get the traffic problems, hopefully," Alan Sherman said. "You can get in traffic problems in a four-horse race, but it's not 20, by any means. And he's got enough turn of foot. All Victor has to do is squeeze on him a little bit and he can keep himself out of trouble."

When someone asked him what the worst possible scenario might be, Alan Sherman grinned and said, "Losing." Sherman understood that the question was about race dynamics and quickly said the colt's versatility would enable Espinoza to ride the race as it develops.

"If they go too slow in front, he'll take it right to them and push the horses in front of him. If they are going fast in front, he can just sit off the pace," he said. "That's the good thing about him -- that he doesn't have one style of running. He's pretty push-button. If you ask him he'll do it."

Trainer Billy Gowan took a very active role in Ride On Curlin's morning activities at Pimlico. After leading the son of Curlin out to the track for a vigorous 1 1/8-mile gallop under exercise rider Bryan Beccia, Gowan walked his Preakness hopeful in the shedrow and assisted in the bath and the grooming of the star of his four-horse stable.

"It looked like he got over it (the track) perfect to me," said Gowan, whose colt shipped into Pimlico from Kentucky Monday afternoon. "Every track he's ever been on he's gone over good. This one looks just like the rest of them, really good. I was really happy."

Ride On Curlin is scheduled to breeze "an easy half-mile" Wednesday morning.

Trainer Mike Maker was on the scene for General a Rod's first trip to the racetrack at Pimlico, supervising the colt's 1 1/2-mile gallop under exercise rider Joel Barrientos.

"He really seems to like it here," said Maker, the former D. Wayne Lukas assistant who is preparing his first Preakness runner. "He likes that big stall. He's all sprawled every time I've seen him. Last night and this morning he was in the same spot, sprawled out and relaxed."

General a Rod has impressed his trainer with his consistency through his sophomore season.

"He's been exactly the same," Maker said. "Obviously he needs to get a little better, but, knock on wood, he's had a string of great days for a long time."

Social Inclusion jogged once around the Pimlico racetrack under exercise rider Domingo Navarro the morning after turning in a sharp :47 half-mile workout in preparation for Saturday's Preakness.

"He is feeling good. He ate up everything," trainer Manny Azpurua said. "I really think he is going to run a big race."

Azpurua is greatly encouraged by the way Social Inclusion has trained over the Pimlico surface since arriving from Gulfstream Park on Thursday.

"After his work, he came back with his head up and looking around. Sometimes after a work, horses that are tired will drop their heads. He was looking around. It was like he did nothing," said the 85-year-old native of Venezuela who has been training in South Florida since 1979.

The son of Pioneerof the Nile also pleased his trainer during his trip to the track Tuesday morning.

"My main concern is if there is rain for Saturday, but I believe he'd handle it," Azpurua said. "I think the track will be nice either way. I like the racetrack here."

Assistant trainer Samantha Randazzo supervised a routine gallop for Kid Cruz in the colt's first trip over the Pimlico racing strip shortly after 6:30 a.m.

Trainer Linda Rice is scheduled to be on hand at Pimlico for Wednesday's post-position draw for the Preakness.

"He got in last night at about 8 o'clock and had a nice mile and a half gallop this morning over the track," Rice said by phone from her Belmont Park base.

Rice said she plans to gallop the colt the rest of the week and plans to school him in the paddock sometime on Thursday.

"He's stepping up in class considerably," said Rice, who is preparing to saddle her first Preakness starter. "His numbers aren't as good as most of the horses in the field, so we know he'll have to step up in this race, but we're excited to give him the chance. He deserves it."

Johnson says Clippers owner living in 'stone ages'

LOS ANGELES (AP) NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson says Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has badly outdated views about minorities and is shockingly ignorant about HIV and AIDS for such a prominent public figure.

"He's living in the stone ages," Johnson said in an interview that aired Tuesday with CNN's Anderson Cooper, a day after Sterling made his first public comments since racist recordings emerged last month and earned him a lifetime NBA ban. "You can't make those comments about African-Americans and Latinos. You just can't do it."

In Sterling's interview with Cooper, Sterling repeatedly brought up the ex-NBA star's HIV and called him an unfit role model for children.

Johnson mostly avoided lashing back at criticism from Sterling, who at one point cut off Cooper's listing of Johnson's achievements to loudly say "He's got AIDS!" Johnson, who is HIV positive but does not have AIDS, said he was surprised Sterling didn't make the distinction.

"Here's a man who you would think would be educated, and a man who is smart enough to build this type of wealth and own a team and have an incredible platform to change the world," Johnson said. "But he's doing it in a negative way."

Johnson is now a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and was once a part-owner of the Lakers after the playing career that was cut short by his contracting HIV in 1991.

"I came out like a man, I told the world," Johnson said of his famous public press conference announcing his retirement. "I didn't blame nobody else. I understood what I did was wrong. And I hope that I was able to help people."

Johnson, who said he has known Sterling since he first came to LA to play for the Lakers more than 30 years ago, said he didn't know how he got stuck in the middle of a situation that should have been a personal dispute between Sterling and V. Stiviano. Stiviano recorded Sterling making racist comments about a photo of herself and Johnson on Instagram.

"He's trying to find something to grab on to help him save his team," Johnson said, "and it's not going to happen."

Sterling's comments won him a quick and stinging rebuke from NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who said owners were working quickly to force Sterling out of the league.

On Tuesday his fellow owners in the league's advisory/finance committee met via conference call, discussed the CNN interview and reviewed the status of the charge for termination of the Clippers' ownership.

Silver or an owner has to formally charge Sterling in writing with violating Article 13 of the NBA's constitution. A hearing would then be held and require a three-fourths vote of the board of governors to force Sterling to sell the team he has owned since 1981.

Clippers coaches and players, in Oklahoma City on Tuesday for their playoff series against the Thunder, were asked about Sterling's latest comments, and most said they were doing their best to ignore them.

"I wasn't looking for him to say anything, to be honest," coach Doc Rivers said. "I was focused on our guys, and being above all that. He's going to keep doing what he does, and we have to keep doing our jobs."

Center Ryan Hollins said the team's playoff success amid the constant controversy is "a tribute to Doc and the character of our guys."

"I think we've always just had the mind-set of basketball first," Hollins said.

Price, Rays win 2-1, thanks to Rodney's blown save

SEATTLE (AP) David Price gave up one run in his second complete game this season, and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied in the ninth inning against Seattle closer Fernando Rodney to beat the Mariners 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma shut out the Rays for eight innings, allowing four hits, before giving way to Rodney. David DeJesus led off the ninth with a home run to tie the game, and Rodney (1-2) gave up a go-ahead RBI single to Matt Joyce five batters later.

Price (4-3) retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to complete the victory for the Rays. He kept the Mariners off balance most of the night, allowing one run and six hits. Eight of his 12 strikeouts came on called third strikes.

Thunder rally in final minute to stun Clippers

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Russell Westbrook scored 38 points and made three free throws with 6.4 seconds remaining, and the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame a seven-point deficit in the final 50 seconds to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-104 on Tuesday night to go up 3-2 in the Western Conference semifinals.

Westbrook was fouled by Chris Paul while shooting a 3-pointer with the Thunder trailing by two. After his free throws, Paul drove to the hoop, but Reggie Jackson stole the ball from him, and time expired.

Kevin Durant scored 10 of his 27 points in the final 3:23 for the Thunder.

Blake Griffin had 24 points and 17 rebounds, Jamal Crawford scored 19 points and Paul had 17 points and 14 assists for the Clippers.

The Thunder can clinch the series Thursday in Los Angeles.

The Clippers took a 101-88 lead in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Crawford before Durant finally got involved. He hit a 3-pointer with 3:23 remaining on his first shot of the quarter, then drained two free throws to cut the Clippers' lead to 101-95.

A layup by Jackson cut Los Angeles' lead to four.

Griffin made the first of two free throws, and Glen Davis grabbed the rebound of the second. Paul's mid-range jumper on the extra possession gave the Clippers a 104-97 edge with 49 seconds to play.

Durant made a 3-pointer, then Crawford missed in close before Durant made a layup with 17 seconds left. Westbrook stole the ball, and in a scramble, the Thunder got possession with 11.3 seconds to play, setting up Westbrook's play.

The Thunder fell behind by 15 points in the first quarter but rallied in the second as foul trouble set in for the Clippers. Oklahoma City took a 39-38 lead on a dunk by Steven Adams, but the Clippers regained control.

Paul made a 3-pointer to give the Thunder a 55-45 lead with just over two minutes left in the second quarter. The Thunder cut their deficit to three before J.J. Redick drained a 3-pointer as time expired in the first half.

The Clippers committed 18 fouls in the first half. Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Davis, the team's primary inside players, all had three fouls at the break.

The Thunder started the second half by taking mostly jumpers, but eventually, they started driving and the fouls again started piling up for the Clippers. Jordan committed his fifth with 4:56 left in the third quarter and Davis committed his fifth with 1:22 left in the period.

The Clippers held Durant to 3-for-17 shooting in the first three quarters and took an 86-80 lead into the fourth.

Notes: Thunder F Serge Ibaka played after the league reviewed his punch to Griffin's groin in Game 4. . ... Westbrook was called for a Flagrant 1 foul in the first quarter after trying to stop Griffin on a breakaway drive to the hoop. ... The Clippers were called for a clear path foul when Darren Collison barreled into Jackson, who was passing to a wide-open Westbrook with 2.3 seconds left in the first quarter.

Kane, Blackhawks top Wild 2-1 in OT to advance

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Patrick Kane scored on a backhand at 9:40 of overtime to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild in Game 6 to clinch their second-round Western Conference series on Tuesday night.

Kris Versteeg scored at 1:58 of the first and Corey Crawford came up with tough save after tough save among his 34 stops for the Blackhawks, who advanced to the Western Conference finals to meet either Anaheim or Los Angeles. Anaheim leads that series 3-2 and Game 6 is Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

Erik Haula scored and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 25 shots for the Wild, who pushed a frenetic pace for much of the night but missed prime chances to score.

They paid for it in the extra period, when a simple dump-in by Brent Seabrook took an unusual bounce back toward the slot. The puck slid past Peter Regin but not Kane, who deked once and flipped it into the net.

Marlins' Fernandez has elbow tear, surgery looms

LOS ANGELES (AP) Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez has a significant tear in his right elbow and the team doctor has recommended season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Team president Michael Hill made the announcement in the Dodger Stadium press box during Tuesday night's game against Los Angeles.

"Pitching's a precious commodity and we've always tried to be very careful with it. So you try to err on the side of caution," Hill said. "We've done everything we've thought was the right thing, as to how we've handled him. It's just one of those things that happened."

The 21-year-old Fernandez is 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in eight starts. Last season's NL Rookie of the Year was examined Tuesday by Marlins team physician Lee Kaplan in Florida.

Fernandez would be the latest star pitcher in the majors to have Tommy John surgery this year. The recovery time for the elbow ligament transplant procedure can be 12 to 18 months.

The Marlins put their Cuban ace on the 15-day disabled list Monday.

"I think like any 21-year-old kid who hasn't had an injury or been hurt, it's tough," manager Mike Redmond said.

"I'm sure he feels like he's letting his teammates down because he got hurt, and all the things that come with the type of competitor he is. But all we really want is for him to be OK and getting himself healthy and getting back to the ballclub. That's the important thing," he said.

Fernandez is visiting with his family to talk about his options with surgery looming.

"He didn't really give us an idea of when," Hill said. "Obviously, a lot has gone on the past few days, so for him it's a lot to take in and a lot to absorb. So he's just taking the time to digest all the information he's been given from both doctors."

"From what the doctors saw, they did not want to go the rehab route. They felt like surgery was the best option, and that was the recommendation. Hopefully, we can make that call and get things set up and get it taken care of so we can get him on the road to rehab," he said.

Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani will be promoted from the minors and start Wednesday night in his major league debut.

"He's a guy that's done well in the minor leagues and we felt like he was probably the most ready to make the start," Redmond said.

"If we didn't have to use (Kevin) Slowey and (Brad) Hand so much on this road trip, maybe one of those guys would have gotten the start. But we've had to use them a lot, so we really needed a fresh arm. So that definitely played into it."

The 24-year-old former University of Florida star was 3-4 with a 4.19 ERA in eight starts at Double-A Jacksonville.

"Out of all of our younger guys, he's probably a little more polished because he's a college guy and he's got a few more innings under his belt, as far as experience," Redmond said. "There's no doubt that losing Jose is a big blow, but it's also an opportunity for guys to step up and show what they can do."

Thousands turn out for Trout's winning homecoming

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Mike Trout got a rousing ovation from some of the same fans he cheers with on football Sundays.

More than 4,000 fans from Trout's hometown came out to see the two-time All-Star center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels play his first game in Philadelphia. Trout went 1 for 5 on Tuesday night in a 4-3 win over Cliff Lee and the Phillies.

"I got to see a lot of familiar faces, a lot of friends," Trout said. "It was a good feeling."

Trout grew up in small Millville, New Jersey, about 45 minutes south of Philadelphia. He used to root for the Phillies and celebrated their 2008 World Series victory on Broad Street. Trout remains a devoted Eagles fan and he watched their playoff loss to New Orleans on a frigid night at Lincoln Financial Field in January.

"Sitting in that crowd, if you had a Saints jersey on, you got booed," Trout said. "So it's a good feeling getting cheers. I got chills."

Fans wearing red No. 27 Angels jerseys filled the stands. Many carried signs welcoming home Trout. They gave him a standing ovation when he came to the plate in the first inning.

"It was an unbelievable feeling to get an ovation like that from fans wearing Angels jerseys and Phillies jerseys," Trout said. "That was pretty cool and it means a lot to me and my family."

The Millville High School baseball team was among those in the crowd. Trout made sure those players got to watch batting practice on the field.

"I would've loved that, watching major league BP, when I was there a few years ago," he said.

Trout grounded out to shortstop in the first before lining a single to center in the fourth off Lee. He clapped his hands after rounding first and fans cheered loudly.

"I felt good at the plate, but I missed some pitches," he said.

Trout struck out swinging in the sixth, reached on third baseman Cody Asche's fielding error in the seventh and flied out to right in the ninth.

The Phillies dubbed it "Millville Night" at Citizens Bank Park. A video tribute to the town was shown before the game. Millville Mayor Michael Santiago threw out the first pitch.

Trout still lives with his parents in Millville during the offseason. He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2012 and finished runner-up to Miguel Cabrera for AL MVP in 2012 and 2013.

"He plays that style of baseball that they will appreciate here," said Angels outfielder Raul Ibanez, a key member on the Phillies' NL pennant club in 2009.

When the Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 to win the World Series in 2008, the 17-year-old Trout watched the game from the parking lot with friends because he didn't have tickets.

"Life's definitely changed a lot," he said.

Trout's arrival helped the Phillies draw their second-largest crowd of the season, with 41,959 on hand.

The Phillies took a 2-0 lead into the sixth before the Angels scored four unearned runs. Luis Jimenez had a tiebreaking, two-run double and then made a diving grab to turn an unassisted double play in the bottom half.

"That was big, the hit and the great play," Trout said.

Matt Shoemaker allowed two runs and three hits in five innings to earn his first career win. Shoemaker made his second career start and first this season. The righty was called up to replace Hector Santiago, who was sent to the bullpen after going 0-6 with a 5.19 ERA in seven starts.

But this was Trout's night.

"To think a couple years ago that I would be playing here, not watching, but actually playing, is a special feeling," Trout said.

NOTES: The Angels optioned RHP Cory Rasmus to Triple-A Salt Lake. ... Trout was 3 for 19 before his single off Lee in the third. ... Shoemaker sacrificed in his first plate appearance since high school. He never batted in college or in the minors. ... The Angels played their first game in Philadelphia since sweeping a three-game series in 2008. ... RHP A.J. Burnett (2-2, 2.90) goes for the Phillies against RHP Garrett Richards (3-0, 2.80) on Wednesday.

Report: Pistons tab Stan Van Gundy as coach/president

DETROIT (AP) Stan Van Gundy has agreed to a $35-million, five-year contract to be the Detroit Pistons' coach and president of basketball operations, a person with knowledge of the details said.

Detroit gave Van Gundy the powerful combination of jobs on Tuesday, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

The deal was first reported by ESPN.com.

The Pistons announced in April that they were not renewing Joe Dumars' contract, ending his 14-year run as president of basketball operations.

Van Gundy is taking over a team that has Andre Drummond, one NBA's top young centers, and money to reshape its roster this summer.

Van Gundy has a 371-208 career record with the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat. He was fired in 2012 following his fifth season with the Orlando. He stunned the Heat in December 2005 by resigning for family reasons after two-plus seasons.

The Golden State Warriors might have wanted Van Gundy, who went to high school in nearby Martinez, California, to be their new coach.

While the Warriors' roster seems more attractive, Van Gundy is getting a rare chance to be the coach and decision-maker for an NBA franchise. Doc Rivers does both jobs for the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Pistons are desperate to be regarded as relevant in the Motor City - where they've become an afterthought - and hiring Van Gundy seems to be a splashy move they needed to make.

Ultimately, though, Van Gundy will have to win more than he loses in Detroit, as he has in each of his eight seasons.

Van Gundy has won 59 games three times, once in Miami and twice with the Magic. He has helped his teams advance in five out of seven postseasons, leading Orlando to the 2009 NBA Finals. Miami lost to the Pistons in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Detroit's season has not lasted longer than the regular season in five years, its longest playoff drought since 1978-83. The Pistons won their third NBA title in 2004, early in a six-year run of reaching at least the conference finals.

The Pistons signed Josh Smith, traded for Brandon Jennings and hired Maurice Cheeks last offseason and were expected to at least contend for a postseason spot.

Instead, the new players didn't blend with returning players such as Drummond and Greg Monroe well enough to push the Pistons into the playoffs and coach Maurice Cheeks lost his job 50 games into the regular season. Detroit finished the season with a 29-53 record and with John Loyer as coach.

The franchise is hoping it has a lottery pick next month. The Pistons will have to give their first-round pick to the Charlotte Bobcats if the selection is No. 9 or later as part a salary cap-saving trade Dumars made to get Ben Gordon off the payroll two years ago.

Michael Sam ready to get back to football

ST. LOUIS (AP) The overflow crowd at Rams Park did not intimidate Michael Sam.

He seemed almost eager for the attention and scrutiny.

The first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team was confident and engaged Tuesday as he was formally introduced by the St. Louis Rams, handling questions and scrutiny with aplomb well beyond that of a typical seventh-round pick.

"I'm determined to be great," Sam said. "I understand that right now you guys want to make a big deal of it."

Sam put his arm around coach Jeff Fisher after sharing the podium with other late-round picks.

He joked that he'd never before heard the term "tweener" and even rose in his chair in mock intimidation of fellow Missouri draftee E.J. Gaines, a sixth-rounder who'd been asked what the SEC co-defensive player of the year was like as a teammate.

Sam, who came out to teammates and coaches before his senior season at Missouri, disagreed that his sexuality had been a secret.

"Apparently, everybody else makes a big deal out of it," Sam said. "But my teammates and my school didn't."

"It's OK to be who you are," he added. "Whether you're gay, straight, black or white, it's OK to be comfortable in your own skin."

After getting the go-ahead from owner Stan Kroenke and making the pick Saturday, Fisher called it a "second historic moment" for a franchise that signed running back Kenny Washington in 1946 as the NFL's first black player in the modern era.

Just as in his post-draft teleconference with St. Louis media that was sprinkled with salty language, Sam was feisty.

He's had a few months to get accustomed to the role of trailblazer instead of a silent star.

Sure, he's a role model. Right now he'd much rather be the Rams' description of "designated pass rusher."

"I will always support equality, period," Sam said. "But my job is to focus on football and help this team win a championship."

The appearance of perhaps the most famous seventh-round pick in NFL history attracted a massive amount of people.

A half-dozen TV trucks lined a crammed parking lot at Rams Park, an hour before the team's two first-round picks were due at the podium.

About 80 media members attended the news conferences.

Three days earlier when the Rams chose Sam with the No. 249 overall pick, the media contingent was in single digits.

"There's some energy here," general manager Les Snead said with a smile between rounds of interviews. "But I don't think this is a circus. This deserves attention, but we'll get it over and we'll get to work."

Sam shared the dais with five other players taken in the sixth and seventh rounds Saturday as the draft came to a close.

Snead joked that Tennessee State center Demetrius Rhaney, taken one pick after Sam at 250th overall, should get the first question after it got lost in the hubbub Saturday.

"I'm not sure anybody knows we drafted Demetrius," Snead said, adding that he hoped someday that pick 249 will someday be a footnote in sports history, and not such a big deal.

For Sam's subsequent solo session with reporters, he was flanked by Fisher and Snead, with Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff joining the group.

Everyone seemed eager to embrace Sam.

Second-round pick Lamarcus Joyner, a cornerback from Florida State, has never had an openly gay teammate. He applauded Sam's decision.

"He's a courageous young man," Joyner said. "He's a brave young man that we need in this organization."

The team's two first-round picks were first to the podium. Offensive tackle Greg Robinson, chosen second overall, sported a bow tie.

Both got their due. Both welcomed Sam to the family.

Robinson and Sam did a TV commercial together for a credit card company. Aaron Donald met Sam at ceremonies for the Lombardi and Nagurski awards.

"He's a cool guy," Donald said. "He's a football player, he works his butt off and that's what you want. You want playmakers around you and he's a playmaker.

Third-round pick Tre Mason, a running back from Auburn, said Sam was a "man of his own and he's entitled to do that."

"We're a team and he's also a family member to me now."

Sam will put on the pads later in the week when the team holds a three-day rookie orientation, much, if not all of it, closed to the media.

The Rams drafted Sam even though they didn't need help at defensive end, where they have a pair of first-round picks as starters.

Robert Quinn was second in the NFL with 19 sacks last season and Chris Long has been a standout since getting chosen second overall in 2008. But the Rams were well-stocked with picks, finishing with 11 selections, putting them in unique position to make history.

"Shortly before we got to our pick, Michael's value as a football player was off the charts," Fisher said. "He has an opportunity now to come in and compete to try to make our team."

Sam realizes it's up to him to make the most of this chance, and he bristles at the naysayers who contend he's in the NFL only because he came out.

"Will I make the cut?" he said, repeating a question. "You want to find out in a couple months, huh?"

Rangers cap comeback, top Penguins 2-1 in Game 7

PITTSBURGH (AP) Henrik Lundqvist set an NHL record with his fifth straight Game 7 victory, making 35 saves to lift the New York Rangers to a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night and earn a spot in the Eastern Conference finals.

Brian Boyle and Brad Richards scored for New York, who rallied from a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in the franchise's 88-year history.

The Rangers did it behind Lundqvist, who stopped 102 of the final 105 shots he faced over the final three games as New York advanced to the conference finals for the second time in three years.

The Rangers will play the winner of the Bruins-Canadiens series in the conference finals. That series is tied 3-3 and Game 7 is Wednesday night in Boston.

Jussi Jokinen scored his team-high seventh goal of the postseason for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury made 18 saves for the Penguins, who were outscored 10-3 over the final three games.

Wizards stay alive with 102-79 blowout at Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Marcin Gortat had 31 points and 16 rebounds, John Wall scored 27 points and the Washington Wizards rode a 39-rebound advantage to a 102-79 rout of Indiana on Tuesday night, cutting the Pacers' lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals to 3-2.

Washington can even the series at home on Thursday in Game 6.

It was a stunning turnaround for a team that had lost the last three. But with Gortat matching a career high in points and posting a playoff career high in rebounds, Washington held a 62-23 rebounding edge.

David West scored 17 points for Indiana.

Washington used a 15-6 run to take a 45-38 halftime lead, extended the margin to 24 after three and to as much as 30 in the fourth.

Washington denied the top-seeded Pacers a spot in the conference finals and improved to 4-2 on the road in this year's playoffs. They are just 1-3 at home.

Indiana's couldn't get enough stops because of its rebounding problems, and it didn't take long to see it play out.

Gortat and Wall combined for eight of the Wizards' first 10 points, and they were strong enough inside to fend off a brief Indiana scoring flurry to make it 25-19 after one.

Indiana charged back early in the second. Luis Scola scored the first five points, topping Indiana's entire bench total from Game 4, and took a 27-25 lead when Paul George knocked down a 3-pointer with 9:49 to go.

It was all Wizards after that.

Things got even worse for the Pacers in the third when they were outrebounded 18-4, and the Wizards made them pay for it. Washington's 6-0 run extended the lead to 11, a 9-2 spurt pushed the margin to 60-45, and when the Wizards closed the third on a 10-3 charge, it was 76-52.

After blowing a 19-point, second-half lead in Game 4, Washington didn't dare slow down. The Wizards took a 30-point lead early in the fourth and Indiana couldn't even make a serious run to cut into the deficit until coach Frank Vogel pulled his starters midway through the fourth.

Notes: Wall's 27 points were his most in the playoffs. ... Washington's 63 rebounds were a season high. ... Indiana, which came into the series with 12 straight home wins over Washington, has now lost two of its last three to the Wizards at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. ... George had 15 points and one rebound Tuesday after playing 46 minutes Sunday.

NBA owners meet again to discuss Sterling removal

NEW YORK (AP) NBA owners discussed Donald Sterling's CNN interview and the plans to terminate his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday in the third meeting of the advisory/finance committee.

A day after Commissioner Adam Silver repeated his desire to force Sterling to sell quickly, the committee met via conference call. League spokesman Mike Bass said owners reviewed the status of the charge for termination of the Clippers' ownership.

Silver or an owner has to formally charge Sterling in writing with violating Article 13 of the NBA's constitution. A hearing would then be held and require a three-fourths vote of the board of governors to force Sterling to sell the team he has owned since 1981.

Sterling criticized Magic Johnson in the interview that aired Monday, his first public comments since Silver banned him for life and fined him $2.5 million for making racist comments. Silver apologized to Johnson in a statement, adding that owners were working "as expeditiously as possible" on the process for removal.

Bass said the committee also discussed the media appearance of Shelly Sterling, who said she wants to keep her share of the franchise even if her estranged husband is forced to give up his. The NBA has said that wouldn't be possible.

The 10-member committee was also briefed on the hiring of Dick Parsons as the Clippers' interim CEO, and his meeting with team employees Monday.

Minnesota owner Glen Taylor chairs the committee that includes Miami's Micky Arison, the Lakers' Jeanie Buss, Oklahoma City's Clay Bennett, New York's James Dolan, Boston's Wyc Grousbeck, San Antonio's Peter Holt, Phoenix's Robert Sarver, Indiana's Herb Simon and Toronto's Larry Tanenbaum.

The committee plans to reconvene next week.

Bettman visits Seattle regarding arena status

SEATTLE (AP) NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made a visit to Seattle to meet with local elected leaders to get an update on the status of a possible new arena.

NHL spokesman Frank Brown confirmed Bettman's meeting on Tuesday after it was first reported by KING-TV. Brown said Bettman was on the West Coast for NHL playoff games and met with Seattle mayor Ed Murray.

Brown said the meeting was solely to get an update on the status of a new arena being proposed by investor Chris Hansen. Legislation approved by city and county officials call for an NBA team to be placed in Seattle first before an NHL team unless the memorandum of understanding on the project is rewritten.

In an interview last month, Hansen said his group does not have interest in being majority owners of an NHL team.

Seattle has been a rumored landing spot for an NHL expansion franchise after the near move of the Phoenix Coyotes last summer. Bettman said earlier in the NHL playoffs that Seattle needs to get its arena situation settled before the league will consider a franchise there.

Andre Johnson frustrated with Texans

HOUSTON (AP) Texans receiver Andre Johnson has always said he wanted to spend his entire career in Houston.

On Tuesday, the star questioned whether that was still the case. Speaking to reporters at a charity event, Johnson said: "I just kind of wonder sometimes: `Is this still the place for me?"'

Johnson's comments came after he was asked why he recently skipped a voluntary minicamp. He says that he has not asked for a trade, but also plans to skip upcoming organized team activities as well as Houston's mandatory minicamp.

The 32-year-old is Houston's longest-tenured player after joining the franchise in its second season. He talked about playing on just three winning teams in his 11-year career and says: "I think over time it can become very frustrating."

Browns sign cornerback Joe Haden to 5-year deal

CLEVELAND (AP) The Browns aren't letting lockdown cornerback Joe Haden get away.

Haden signed a five-year, $68 million extension with Cleveland on Monday, the total value of the contract surpassing cornerback Richard Sherman's four-year, $57 million agreement last week with the Seattle Seahawks.

Haden's contract runs through the 2019 season and includes $45 million guaranteed, agent Drew Rosenhaus told The Associated Press. The package also contains a $14 million signing bonus.

One of the AFC's top defensive backs and one of Cleveland's most popular athletes, Haden made his first Pro Bowl last season, his fourth with the team. The Browns selected him with the No. 7 overall pick in 2010.

"Joe's a good, young player who's made a commitment to our organization, and he's somebody with whom we want to move forward in order to advance our football team," general manager Ray Farmer said in a statement. "He's a great person. He's the right guy to both build with and build around as we attempt to become an elite football team.

"When we talk about identifying talent, building through the draft, developing solid players and retaining them, Joe Haden's at the top of the list."

Haden posted a photo on Twitter of him signing his new contract.

Signing Haden to a long-term deal was a priority for Cleveland this offseason. During the draft, the team selected Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert early in the first round to play opposite Haden.

Last season, Haden had four interceptions, recorded 60 tackles and was credited with 21 passes defensed. He had his first career multiple-interception game and scored his first touchdown, returning an interception 29 yards at Cincinnati on Nov. 17.

According to STATS, Haden's 21 passes defensed in 2013 tied for third in the NFL and his 67 since joining the Browns four years ago are second in the league during that span. Haden averages 1.19 passes defensed per game, the second-highest average among players with 50-plus PBUs since at least 1994.

For the most part, Haden has been an exemplary player and citizen since joining the Browns. His only major misstep was the four-game suspension he received in 2012 for violating the league's substance abuse policy after he tested positive for the stimulant Adderall.

First-year Browns coach Mike Pettine is thrilled to have Haden for several years.

"It's important for us to extend our core players and continue to grow with guys that represent everything we want this team to be: tough, hard-working and passionate," Pettine said. "Joe obviously loves his teammates, and he loves this city. I know he wants to keep growing and improving as a player. That's what we need, and that's what we want."

With Haden's contract situation resolved, the Browns are expected to focus on getting Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron signed to a long-term deal. Cameron had a breakout season in 2013, making 80 catches for 917 yards and seven TDs.

Cameron is in the final season of his contract and has reportedly turned down two offers from the Browns.

At Cleveland's recent voluntary minicamp, Cameron said he's blocking out any discussion about negotiations to improve.

"I've got a lot of stuff to work on," he said. "I'm not anywhere near where I can be. I still have a lot to prove to myself, and I'm willing to work."

Lillard scores 25 and Blazers beat Spurs 103-92

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Damian Lillard scored 25 points and the Portland Trail Blazers staved off elimination in the Western Conference semifinals with a 103-92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.

Nicolas Batum had 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists to cut San Antonio's advantage in the series to 3-1.

Portland held Tony Parker to 14 points after he had scored 29 points or more in three of his last four playoff games. Coach Gregg Popovich sat Parker and Tim Duncan after Portland built a 20-point lead in the final quarter.

The Spurs are looking to head to the conference finals for the third straight season.

Game 5 is Wednesday night in San Antonio.

No team has ever lost a seven-game NBA playoff series after going up 3-0.

The Blazers were the last team to take a series to seven games after dropping the first three. Portland rebounded in the first round against Dallas in 2003 but ultimately lost the first-round series' deciding game.

The Blazers had been hurt by the loss of backup point guard Mo Williams to a groin injury for the past two games. Williams had provided both energy and points off the bench all season in relief of Damian Lillard.

Portland got just six points off the bench in Game 3, but Will Barton provided a spark with 17 points on Monday night.

Coach Terry Stotts promised that the Blazers would play with pride in Game 4 and they did from the start.

Lillard's pull up jumper gave Portland a 14-8 lead. He extended it to 20-14 with a layup. But the Spurs answered with a 9-2 run and took a 24-23 lead on Patty Mills' 3-pointer.

Portland, which had only led twice in the previous three games, quickly reclaimed the lead and held on until Tiago Splitter tied it at 46 with a free throw. The Blazers had a 50-48 lead at the half.

Lillard opened the second half with a 3-pointer. Batum hit a 3 and added a free throw to push the lead to 69-61.

Batum added another 3 before Thomas Robinson's dunk and Lillard's 3 made it 77-63 to cap a 12-2 Portland run.

Lillard's layup put Portland ahead 90-72 in the fourth quarter. He added another to make it 94-74.

Parker scored 29 points in San Antonio's 118-103 Game 3 victory on Saturday night. The Spurs had routed the Blazers 116-92 in the series opener after their grueling seven-game series against the Mavericks, then built a 20-point lead and won Game 2, 114-97.

Notes: Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll watched the game sitting next to Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder who owns both the Super Bowl-winning Seahawks and the Blazers. ... It was Batum's first double-double in the playoffs

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