Detroit swept Baltimore with a 7-5 win on Wednesday.  The Tigers built a 6-0 lead through 5 innings, but Justin Verlander was tagged for 5 runs in the bottom of the 5th, which included a three run homer by Nelson Cruz.   Verlander pitched 6 innings to raise his record to 5-2.  The bullpen of Alburquerque, Krol,  Chamberlain and Nathan held the Birds scoreless..   Nathan gets his 10th save. The Tigers got a big insurance run in the 6th from Rajai Davis on a solo homer. With the win, the Tigers are 24-12, with the best record in baseball. Detroit has an off day today and head to Boston for a weekend series.   Max Scherzer goes for his sixth win.  Broadcast time is 6:45pm on WBCK-FM.


Photo by Greg Fiume, Getty Images

Pistons Hire New Coach

Stan Van Gundy is the new head coach and president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons.  He was named to those positions yesterday and will be formally introduced at a press conference today. The 54-year-old Van Gundy is 371-and-208 as a head coach, guiding the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009. The Pistons did not retain interim coach John Loyer, who replaced Maurice Cheeks in mid season, and longtime team president Joe Dumars recently stepped down.   The Pistons’ Greg Monroe is a restricted free agent, and there’s speculation that the team may not resign him, because he might not fit into the new Coach’s game plan.

NHL Playoffs

The Montreal Canadiens scored a goal in every period to down the Bruins 3-1 in Boston and advance to the Eastern Conference Final.  The Canadiens won the best-of-seven series 4-3. Montreal will play the New York Rangers starting on Saturday.  The Kings held on for a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks in Los Angeles. The series is knotted at 3-3 with Game Seven on Friday.  The winner will play the Blackhawks.

World Hockey

The US plays Latvia later this morning, with a 2-1 record after losing to Russia.  They’re in a 3-way tie for second in Group B.

Griffins Down Two Games to None

The Grand Rapids Griffins beat the Texas Stars 3-2 last night in Grand Rapids to tie the series at 2.   Petr Mrazek, who made 33 saves for the Griffins.  Game 5 is tomorrow in Grand Rapids.

NBA Playoffs

The Heat sent the Brooklyn Nets home in the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 96-94 home win. Miami awaits the winner of the Pacers and Wizards series, with Indiana trying to close it out in Game Six tonight in DC.  San Antonio won its series with the Blazers in five games with a 104-82 win.  The Clippers try to avoid being eliminated by Oklahoma City in Game Six from the STAPLES Center tonight.

KCC Baseball

The KCC Bruins baseball mercied GRCC, 17-3, in Wednesday’s Regional game. Bruins’ pitcher Ben Spieldenner allowed three runs on three hits and a wild pitch in the first inning, but settled down and the hitters took it from there. Rain washed out most of Wednesday’s games, so KCC’s second-round contest has been pushed back to 8 p.m.  The Bruins will take on the winner of today’s scheduled game at noon between Vincennes University and Muskegon CC.

Boys Golf

The Division 2 second-ranked Marshall boys’ golf team ended Lakeview’s nine-year run atop the SMAC East Division on Wednesday. The Redhawks held off the host Spartans by two strokes during the final SMAC East Jamboree of the season at Cedar Creek to win the division title.  Marshall’s Aaron McCoy and Lakeview’s Matt Alderink were co-medalists, with 37s.  The match was also the final SMAC East Jamboree with the current makeup of schools, as Harper Creek, Coldwater and Marshall are leaving to help form the Interstate Eight Conference.

Payne had Mono

Michigan State center Adreian Payne is recovering from mononucleosis. He tells ESPN that he played with undiagnosed mono starting in January and didn't find out about it until just last month while preparing for the NBA Draft.  Payne says he was tired all the time and short of breath.

Amateur Baseball Leagues are forming…

Stan Musial adult-league teams and Connie Mack 18-under teams have until Friday to register with the Battle Creek Parks and Recreation Department.  The Musial season will kick of its 79th year of existence on June 2 and will run until the end of July.

Lions to Start Mini-Camp

The Detroit Lions are gearing up for the start of rookie minicamp tomorrow.

They expect to have all of this year's eight-man rookie class signed by then. Detroit has less than 1.4-million-dollars in available salary cap space, but will likely restructure some contracts to get the rookies signed.

Battle Creek Coyotes Play Saturday

The Battle Creek Coyotes, formerly the Blaze, hit the road next Saturday to play the Michigan Lions at Kalamazoo College.