Wacha outdoes Scherzer as Cardinals beat Nationals 4-1
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Wacha got the best of Max Scherzer in a pitcher’s duel, Matt Adams singled in the tiebreaking run in the sixth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 Thursday for their fourth straight series win.
Matt Carpenter had two hits and scored a run for the Cardinals, who have won seven of eight. St. Louis took two of three from the Nationals in a matchup of 2014 division champions and remained unbeaten in series play this year (4-0-1).
Wacha (3-0) allowed one run and five hits in seven innings while lowering his ERA to 1.33. The right-hander walked two and struck out six, including Jose Lobaton three times.
Scherzer (1-2) also went seven innings, giving up two runs and six hits. It was the first time in his four starts with Washington that the 2013 Cy Young winner surrendered more than one earned run.
NASCAR-RICHMOND-HYDROGEN PACE CAR
Toyota to provide 1st hydrogen-fueled pace car
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A hydrogen-fueled vehicle will lead the field at a NASCAR race for the first time when a 2016 Toyota Mirai serves as the official pace car Saturday night at Richmond.
The midsize sedan uses no gasoline and emits only water vapor. The electric vehicle is powered by hydrogen, refuels in about five minutes and travels up to 300 miles on one tank. It goes on sale in California later this year, with expansion planned.
Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., said the manufacturer continues to use NASCAR as a vehicle to “showcase our innovation and environmental leadership.”
The Toyota Camry Hybrid was the first hybrid vehicle to pace a full NASCAR race when it was used at Charlotte in 2009.
NASCAR-BUSCH CHASE WAIVER
NASCAR CEO says he’d like to make room for Busch in Chase
NEW YORK (AP) — NASCAR chairman Brian France is not sure if Kyle Busch will be granted a waiver to be part of the championship chase when he returns from injury, but said Thursday the sanctioning body would like to “accommodate” him.
Busch broke his right leg and left foot in a crash into a concrete wall in the Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway the day before the season-opening Daytona 500.
He’ll miss his ninth race this weekend at Richmond International Raceway, but has indicated he’ll return to racing this season. The only way he’d be eligible to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship is if NASCAR grants him a waiver, and he wins a race that would qualify him for the 16-driver field. He’d also have to be inside the top 30 in points.
Flaherty out of lineup with sore right groin
TORONTO (AP) — Orioles infielder Ryan Flaherty is out of the lineup for Thursday’s game at Toronto with a sore right groin, another blow to Baltimore’s already thin middle infield options.
The Orioles are already without second baseman Jonathan Schoop, out since April 18 with a right knee sprain, and shortstop J.J. Hardy, who hasn’t played this season because of a strained left shoulder.
Flaherty, who’s batting .300 with two home runs and four RBIs, suffered the injury running to second base on the final play Wednesday.
Manager Buck Showalter said Flaherty could go on the disabled list if he doesn’t improve before the Orioles open a three-game series at home to Boston on Friday.
Showalter spoke to general manager Dan Duquette about options to replace Flaherty before Thursday’s game.
Jimmy Paredes made his first start of the season at second base Thursday.
Coach: Competition ‘wasn’t close,’ named Johns QB starter
UNDATED (AP) – Matt Johns will head into the summer as Virginia’s starting quarterback after a competition that coach Mike London says “wasn’t close.”
Johns supplants incumbent Greyson Lambert, who started all nine games for which he was healthy last season. Johns served in a backup role last year. Lambert missed three games with an ankle injury.
Offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild says the decision is based on productivity in 15 spring practices. He says the coaching staff charted every play for both quarterbacks through spring drills and made their assessment based on productivity, ball security and rating.
Says Fairchild: “At the end of the day, (Johns) just graded out slightly higher.”