Rangers open playoffs with win over Flyers

Posted April 18, 2014, at 7:05 a.m.

NEW YORK — Brad Richards scored the go-ahead power-play goal midway into the third period and set up two other tallies as New York maintained its home dominance of Philadelphia with a 4-1 victory in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

Derek Stepan scored with the man advantage while Mats Zuccarello and Carl Hagelin also tallied as the Rangers defeated the Flyers for the ninth straight time at Madison Square Garden. Martin St. Louis notched a pair of assists and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 14 saves for New York, which hosts Game 2 on Sunday afternoon.

Defenseman Andrew MacDonald scored two days after signing a six-year, $30 million contract extension as Philadelphia was limited to 15 total shots — including one in the third period. Ray Emery turned aside 32 shots for the Flyers, who haven’t won at Madison Square Garden since posting a 4-2 triumph on Feb. 20, 2011.

The Rangers made Philadelphia pay after rookie Jason Akeson was whistled for a four-minute high-sticking penalty on Hagelin at 7:35 of the third. Emery was able to deny St. Louis from in close, but Richards beat the netminder with a blast from deep in the right faceoff circle at 8:22. Stepan doubled the advantage 47 seconds later, accepting Richards’ crisp diagonal pass before wiring a sharp-angle shot into the gaping net.

Major League Baseball

Yankees sweep Cubs

At New York, Masahiro Tanaka struck out 10 in eight innings in the first game as New York defeated Chicago 3-0 in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

Carlos Beltran homered behind Tanaka (2-0), who allowed two hits and one walk. Junior Lake in the second and Anthony Rizzo in the seventh delivered bunt singles for the only hits off Tanaka.

Shawn Kelley worked around Rizzo’s two-out single in the ninth for his fourth save to send the Cubs to their third consecutive loss.

Beltran smacked a first-inning homer into the right-field seats against Jason Hammel (2-1), who allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings. The blast was the 362nd of Beltran’s career, breaking a tie with Joe DiMaggio for 78th place in baseball history.

In Game 2, Michael Pineda tossed six scoreless innings and three relievers helped finish off New York’s 2-0 shutout..

Pineda (2-1) allowed four hits and walked one while Adam Warren recorded the final three outs for his first save. Scott Sizemore had an RBI single among his two hits and Brett Gardner also knocked in a run for the Yankees.

Starlin Castro had two of the Cubs’ six hits after they were limited to three hits in the opener of the day-night doubleheader. Travis Wood (0-2) was tagged with the loss, allowing two runs on 11 hits over 5 2/3 frames.

Twins 7, Blue Jays 0

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Kyle Gibson pitched eight scoreless innings while Trevor Plouffe and Josmil Pinto each knocked in two runs Thursday afternoon as Minnesota rolled to a 7-0 victory over Toronto in the opener of a doubleheader.

Pinto’s bases-loaded double that brought home two highlighted a five-run fifth inning while Chris Colabello tallied two hits and an RBI for the Twins. Joe Mauer added two hits and scored twice while Gibson (3-0) allowed only four hits and one walk while striking out four.

Colby Rasmus and Josh Thole each collected a pair of hits for the Blue Jays, but Melky Cabrera went 0-for-4 to end his 14-game hitting streak. Toronto starter R.A. Dickey (1-3) was charged with five runs on seven hits and five walks over 4 1/3 innings while throwing 112 pitches.

Tigers 7, Indians 5

Ian Kinsler belted a three-run homer and finished with four RBIs as host Detroit overcame three errors to split a two-game series with Cleveland.

Austin Jackson drove in a pair while Miguel Cabrera scored a run and registered only his second multi-hit game of the season for the Tigers, who improved to 35-12 over their last 47 home meetings against the Indians. Justin Verlander (2-1) gave up three unearned runs and struck out seven during an inefficient 113-pitch outing in which he surrendered six hits and four walks over five innings.

Michael Brantley had two hits and drove in four to run his team-leading total to 14 RBIs while Lonnie Chisenhall singled in all four of his at-bats for his first career four-hit game. Danny Salazar (0-2), who became the first pitcher since 1900 to strike out 10 batters in an outing that lasted fewer than four frames in his last start, surrendered five runs on six hits and three walks while fanning three in 4 2/3 innings.

Rangers 8, Mariners 6

Mitch Moreland drove in three runs and scored twice as host Texas defeated Seattle for the third straight day.

J.P. Arencibia had two RBIs and Kevin Kouzmanoff doubled twice, scored twice and had one RBI for the Rangers. Shin-Soo Choo homered and Texas racked up 12 hits while winning the four-game series.

Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer — his first since joining the Mariners — and Corey Hart followed the third-inning blast with one of his own. Dustin Ackley contributed two hits, including a two-run double to cap a six-run third-inning uprising.

Phillies 1, Braves 0

A.J. Burnett tossed seven scoreless innings and Ben Revere delivered an RBI single in the eighth as host Philadelphia avoided a three-game sweep.

Burnett let up three hits — all singles — and two walks while striking out five before yielding to Antonio Bastardo (2-1), who worked around a leadoff double in the eighth. Jonathan Papelbon struck out two in a perfect ninth for his fourth save for the Phillies, who avenged a 1-0 loss the previous night.

Alex Wood (2-2) matched Burnett into the eighth before being tagged with a tough loss. The lefty scattered eight hits and struck out seven as Atlanta’s five-game winning streak came to an end.

Domonic Brown led off the eighth with a base hit and was bunted to second. After Wood struck out Jayson Nix, pinch hitter Ryan Howard drew a walk and Revere followed with a single to center that plated Brown.

 

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