Wizards seek real homecourt advantage vs. Bulls
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Washington Wizards are hoping their fans will show up on time for the franchise's first home playoff game in six years.
The Wizards lead the Chicago Bulls 2-0 in the first-round series, with Game 3 in Washington on Friday night.
Washington ranked 18th in attendance this season, and D.C. fans are notoriously late-arrivers.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis addressed the issue on his blog Thursday, telling fans: "Don't be too cool for school and stroll in at end of first period."
Said guard Bradley Beal: "You definitely notice it. Especially when you first run onto the floor and there's nobody there."
Nady's single in 12th lifts Padres over Nats 4-3
WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Nationals outfielder Xavier Nady's tiebreaking RBI single off Craig Stammen in the top of the 12th inning, right after an error let the runner get to third base, gave the San Diego Padres a 4-3 victory over Washington on Thursday night.
Nady, who entered the game in the ninth, hit a 2-0 fastball up the middle off Stammen (0-1), who was working his third inning.
Jedd Gyorko had singled off Stammen, then stole second and got to third when catcher Jose Lobaton's throw sailed into the outfield.
Alex Torres (1-0), San Diego's sixth pitcher, got two outs in the 11th for the win, and Houston Street worked around Bryce Harper's leadoff double in the 12th for his eighth save.
Davis has 3 RBIs, Orioles beat Blue Jays 11-4
TORONTO (AP) - Chris Davis had two hits and three RBIs, Jonathan Schoop homered and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-4 on Thursday night.
Nelson Cruz had two hits and drove in two runs for the Orioles, extending his streak of games with at least one RBI to seven.
Cruz had three homers and 10 RBIs in the three game series against Toronto. He has 22 RBIs in April, a career high for the month.
Bud Norris (1-2) pitched six innings to win for the first time in three road starts this season. Norris allowed three runs and five hits, walked one and struck out four.
Zach Britton worked 1 2-3 innings and Josh Stinson got the final four outs.
Trailing 3-2, Baltimore batted around in a five-run seventh against three Blue Jays relievers.
Richmond hoping track access boosts fan experience
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - They are calling it "Track Takeover" at Richmond International Raceway, and it's an idea that track President Dennis Bickmeier hopes will not only improve the experience NASCAR fans have only hours before cars start racing on the 0.75-mile oval, but bring more of them, or bring them back.
Richmond has opened the frontstretch before, but from 2-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, fans can walk the entire track, enjoy live music, tour a NASCAR hauler and visit key spots in the track's history.
Bickmeier says the idea spawned from a survey the track did with ticker-holder who stopped coming. In their answers, he says, many indicated they wanted more to do beyond tailgating and midway spending. Ever since, he says fans and industry people alike have reacted favorably.
DENNY HAMLIN SHOWDOWN
Bowling wins Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown
SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (AP) - Matt Bowling won the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown on Thursday night at South Boston Speedway, fighting off Matt Waltz in the seventh edition of the charity race.
The event benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation and raises awareness and funding to support Cystic Fibrosis research and new therapies in the region.
Nick Smith finished third.
Hamlin was eighth, while defending Showdown champion Kyle Busch ended the night in fourth.
Matt Kenseth was fifth, and David Reagan 20th.
Truck Series driver Timothy Peters finished 27th after his night was cut short following a tangle with Jeb Burton, who finished 25th after getting into a scuffle with Blake Stallings.
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