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Lester makes nifty play, but loses again as Padres top Cubs
 
     CHICAGO (AP) - Cubs newcomer Jon Lester made a nifty play with his glove but lost again as the San Diego Padres beat Chicago 5-2 Sunday.
 
     Lester (0-2), who signed a $155 million, six-year contract in the offseason as a free agent, has a 6.89 ERA after three starts.
 
     Lester gave up three runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings. He alertly tossed his glove - with the ball stuck in the webbing - to first baseman Anthony Rizzo for an out after fielding Clint Barmes' comeback in the second.
 
     Will Middlebrooks and Yangervis Solarte hit two-run homers to help Andrew Cashner (1-2).
 
     Joaquin Benoit pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save. Padres closer Craig Kimbrel got the day off after pitching the previous two days.
 
     Kris Bryant, who made his major league debut on Friday, doubled and was hit by a pitch in going 1 for 3. He is 3 for 10 in three games for the Cubs.


Wainwright, Cardinals nip Reds 2-1
 
     ST. LOUIS (AP) - Adam Wainwright outpitched Mike Leake, and Kolten Wong had a tiebreaking sacrifice in the eighth inning as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 Sunday night to finish a three-game sweep.
 
     Matt Carpenter hit his fifth career leadoff homer and singled for his eighth multi-hit effort this season as the Cardinals won their fifth straight. Jordan Walden worked around a leadoff hit by Brennan Boesch in the ninth to earn his first save and end the game in 2 hours, 2 minutes.
 
     Wainwright (2-1) gave up one run and seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks, improving to 3-0 against the Reds the last two seasons.
 
     Leake (0-1) gave up both runs and four hits in eight innings for the Reds, who have totaled four runs during a four-game losing streak. Brandon Phillips had two hits and an RBI and Joey Votto singled in his first two trips.


Rain dogging race at Bristol

Rain dogging race at Bristol
 
     BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) - Pole-sitter Matt Kenseth ended a 51-race losing streak by holding off Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon to win the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kenseth led for just 47 laps yet came out on top in a race that had 21 lead changes and 11 cautions totaling 117 laps.
 
     The race went 11 laps past the scheduled 500 because of a quick rain shower, the fourth weather delay of the day. Instead of calling it, NASCAR parked the cars on pit road and quickly dried the track for a two-lap overtime sprint.
 
     The race got underway 78 minutes late due to the weather, but only 23 laps were completed before the skies opened again to cause a four-hour delay. During the brief bit of racing, Brad Keselowski spun into Penske teammate Joey Logano, heavily damaging both cars.
 
     Just 37 cars finished the race, including 13 on the lead lap in the crash-filled event.
 
     Denny Hamlin pulled out of the because of a neck strain that worsened during the second rain delay. Hamlin said he felt something strain in his neck 12 laps into the race.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Injuries forced the University of Illinois football team to rely on reserves during the team's intra-squad spring game.

Looking to build off its first bowl appearance under coach Tim Beckman, the Orange team held on to a 44-41 win in the Illini's intrasquad scrimmage. But the White team was awarded 17 points to start the game and an additional 17 points at halftime to keep the score close.

Injuries to Mike Dudek and Dre Brown figure to take a bite out of the Illini offense, although Dionte Taylor and Henry Enyenihi filled in with solid performances, respectively.

Quarterback Wes Lunt was very sharp, completing 17 of 26 points for 236 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and didn't see the field in the second half.

Big plays continued to haunt the Illini defense. The White defense allowed five plays of 30 or more yards in the first half. 


CHICAGO (AP) - Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist, and the Chicago Blackhawks used a three-goal second period to beat the Nashville Predators 4-2 on Sunday for a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Marian Hossa had two assists and Scott Darling made 35 saves to help Chicago win for the 20th time in its last 24 postseason home games. Brandon Saad, Brent Seabrook and Andrew Desjardins also scored in an impressive response by the Blackhawks after Friday night's 6-2 loss in Nashville.

Darling, a native of the Chicago suburb of Lemont, made his first postseason start after Corey Crawford was ineffective in the first two games of the series. The rookie also replaced Crawford in Game 1 and made 42 saves as the Blackhawks rallied for a 4-3 victory in double overtime.

Mike Ribeiro and Mattias Ekholm scored for Nashville, and Pekka Rinne had 26 saves.





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