Professional Sports

Zatkoff unlikely hero for Pens

PITTSBURGH - It would have been easy for Jeff Zatkoff to go through the motions. Nobody would have blamed him.Bumped out of the Pittsburgh Penguins backup goaltender spot by rookie Matt Murray over the winter, Zatkoff spent the last six weeks of the regular season a healthy scratch, arguably ...

Steelers’ opener on MNF

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Steelers will appear in four nationally televised prime-time games, including the first Monday Night Football game of the NFL's 2016 regular season, and on Thanksgiving, it was announced Thursday when the NFL unveiled its 2016 regular-season schedule.Pittsburgh will ...

Big hit hard to come by as Pirates fall to Tigers

PITTSBURGH - By nature, Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle doesn't waste time thinking about the things his team lacks.So he's not going to get worked about the dearth of home-run power in a lineup littered with good hitters unlikely to test the outer reaches of PNC Park. Hurdle likes his ...

Bucs giving Masterson a look

PITTSBURGH - The Pirates have signed another player who has followed success with difficult times.Right-hander Justin Masterson, 31, will join the pitching staff at Class AAA Indianapolis after Thursday's signing.Masterson was an All-Star with Cleveland in 2013, but has struggled since then. ...

Hornqvist’s hat trick highlights Pens’ victory

PITTSBURGH - Patric Hornqvist had his first playoff hat trick and the Pittsburgh Penguins pulled away from the New York Rangers, 5-2, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Wednesday night.Hornqvist added an assist, Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists and backup goaltender Jeff ...

Saltalamacchia’s grand slam sinks Pirates

PITTSBURGH - Jarrod Saltalamacchia reached a home run milestone in a big way.Saltalamacchia hit a grand slam for his 100th career homer, Shane Greene pitched six strong innings in his first start since undergoing shoulder surgery last August, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates ...

Morse DFA’d in shuffle

PITTSBURGH - Francisco Liriano's sore hamstring got Ryan Vogelsong a start and cost Michael Morse his roster spot with the Pirates.Liriano was unable to start as scheduled against Detroit on Wednesday, which gave Vogelsong the assignment.Righthander A.J. Schugel was recalled from Class AAA ...

Nicasio struggles in loss

DETROIT - When Major League Baseball set up annual rivalries for interleague play, the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates ended up as partners.While the teams did face off in the 1909 World Series, that's not much to build on. But given his familiarity, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle knows a ...

Pens look to exorcise playoff demons

By Will GravesThe Associated PressPITTSBURGH - Marc Staal noticed the gaudy record, the highlight reel goals, the unrelenting speed and can't help but be impressed with the way the Pittsburgh Penguins have ripped through the NHL over the last three months.Yet the veteran New York Rangers ...

Health of Fleury key for Pittsburgh

By John MehnoFor the MirrorPITTSBURGH - Eighty-two games and six months later, it's the Penguins vs. the New York Rangers in the playoffs again.The Penguins will face the team that has ousted them in the past two seasons. The difference between this year and last is the Penguins head into the ...

Surging Pens ready for playoffs

PITTSBURGH - Matt Cullen can't quite find the right words to describe it. Maybe because the seemingly ageless Pittsburgh Penguins center has never experienced a season quite like this in a career that spans eight cities and nearly two decades.Lifeless and listless in December, the Penguins ...

Polanco powers Pirates

DETROIT - The Pittsburgh Pirates' offensive game plan worked out well on Monday.The Pirates doubled five times off Justin Verlander and drove up his pitch count before forcing him out in the fifth inning of a 7-4 victory."That's something we've talked about our guys all winter, and we really ...

Masters won as much as it was lost

AUGUSTA, Ga. - A big deficit. A collapse that was painful to watch. An Englishman in a green jacket who might not get his due.Nick Faldo has seen this all before.On Sunday, it was Danny Willett who hit all the right shots to win the Masters."We all go out there and try and play good golf, and ...

City mourns Smith as questions remain

NEW ORLEANS - People across Louisiana were trying Monday to process the news that one of the Saints' much-loved players, former defensive end Will Smith, was shot in the back Saturday night in what police called an act of deadly road-rage.Smith, 34, arrived in New Orleans in 2004 as a No. 1 ...

Lewis inks new extension

CINCINNATI - Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has signed a one-year contract extension through the 2017 season, the third straight year he's gotten extra time on his deal after losing in the playoffs.The sides agreed to an extension last Friday. He also got one-year extensions after the 2013 and 2014 ...

NASCAR clouding image with politics

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - There are Democrats who enjoy NASCAR. Jews and atheists and women, too.You wouldn't know it lately, not after several events this season, including the invocation before Saturday night's race at Texas Motor Speedway. Duck Commander founder Phil Robertson used the address to ...

Pens, Rangers start Wednesday

The Associated PressThe New York Islanders will open the playoffs at the Florida Panthers, and that means Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers will face Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins for the third consecutive year.The Eastern Conference playoffs were settled Sunday night with ...

Reds a menace to Pirates

The Associated PressCINCINNATI - Josh Harrison still isn't sure what constitutes a block at the plate.All he knows is he was out in the eighth inning, falling just as short as his Pittsburgh Pirates did against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.Jay Bruce hit an RBI triple in the ninth inning and ...

Pens goalie injured as Flyers clinch final spot

By Rob MaaddiThe Associated PressPHILADELPHIA - With their ailing owner watching from home, the Philadelphia Flyers clinched a playoff berth.Wayne Simmonds scored two goals, Steve Mason stopped 18 shots and the Flyers beat the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 on Saturday to earn the No. 8 ...

Reds have Cole’s number

By Joe KayThe Associated PressCINCINNATI - Gerrit Cole's season debut didn't go as well has he'd hoped. That's usually the result whenever he faces the Cincinnati Reds.Eugenio Suarez drove in three runs with a single off Cole and a homer, and the Reds sent the Pittsburgh Pirates to their first ...