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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Shelby Miller struck out seven and allowed three hits over six innings, and Mark Ellis had two RBIs in his return from the disabled list to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-1 win Tuesday night over the Milwaukee Brewers.
 
Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta each hit solo shots in the ninth off reliever Jim Henderson for the Cardinals, who handed Milwaukee its second straight loss following a nine-game winning streak.
 
Miller (1-2) routinely fired fastballs clocked into the mid-90s past hitters before turning the game over to the bullpen in the seventh.
 
Only Aramis Ramirez managed to break through off Miller hitting a solo homer in the fourth. The Brewers have just one run and six hits over the first two games of the three-game set with their NL Central rival.
 
Marco Estrada (1-1) took the loss after allowing three runs over six innings.
 
The right-hander, who was off to a good start with a 2.31 ERA entering Tuesday, had a little uncharacteristic trouble with his command. He hit Yadier Molina with a pitch in the second and threw a wild pitch in the fourth.
 
Still, Estrada allowed just five hits, which would have been more than adequate pitching during the Brewers' long winning streak.
 
But that was before Milwaukee had to face the aces from St. Louis.
 
On Monday night, Lance Lynn shut down the Brewers, striking out 11 over seven innings. Miller was just as effective. He got Jean Segura to ground out to second and caught Ryan Braun looking on a 94 mph fastball to start the fourth.
 
The only big mistake was a fastball down the middle of the plate that Ramirez turned on for his second homer and team-best 12th RBI.
 
Miller, a 23-year-old righty, recovered nicely to end the fourth by getting Jonathan Lucroy to hit a one-hopper to first.
 
The Cardinals had built a 3-0 lead by the top of the fourth to back Miller. After missing the season's first 13 games with left knee tendinitis, Ellis made a nice debut by driving in a run in the second on a groundout, and another in the fourth off a sacrifice fly.
St. Louis could have picked up a few more runs if not for a few blunders around the bases.
 
Allen Craig had an RBI double in the third but the inning ended after Estrada spun around to successfully pick him off. An inning later, both Matt Adams and Peralta were thrown out in rundowns in between third and home.
 
NOTES: Kolten Wong had started 12 of the team's first 13 games at second until Ellis rejoined the club. Manager Mike Matheny said he didn't necessarily have a plan on how he would split playing time. "We just watch how he's going, watch how Kolten's going," Matheny said. "Realize that we have a very, very good option there at second base and just kind of take it day by day." ... The Cardinals were 8-1 on Tax Day since 2005 entering Tuesday's game. ... Brewers manager Ron Roenicke managed his 500th career game to become the sixth skipper in franchise history to reach that plateau with the organization. ... The teams wrap up the three-game set with a Wednesday matinee. The Cardinals' Joe Kelly (1-0) will be opposed by the Brewers' Wily Peralta (1-0) on the mound.
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 23:12
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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers' nine-game winning streak was snapped Monday night when Lance Lynn struck out 11 in seven innings and Jon Jay hit a three-run homer for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 4-0 victory.
 
Lynn allowed three hits over seven innings before Carlos Martinez finished off the surprising Brewers, who still have the majors' best record at 10-3. Lynn (3-0) frustrated hitters by mixing a fastball that topped 95 mph with a slider.
 
Jhonny Peralta hit a solo shot in the second off Brewers starter Matt Garza (0-2) before Jay sent a ball over the wall near the right field corner in the sixth.
 
Garza dueled Lynn until running into trouble in the sixth after Craig reached on a fielder's choice with two outs and Peralta singled to set up Jay's homer.
 
Lynn cooled off a Brewers team that was off to its best start since opening the 1987 season with 13 straight wins.
 
Lynn had Brewers batters missing all night. Jonathan Lucroy, a .357 hitter entering Monday, missed badly on a fastball low in the zone in the second for a strikeout. Two batters later, Scooter Gennett was left frozen at the plate on a called third strike on a heater outside.
 
Milwaukee's best hope to score came in the fifth after No. 8 hitter Logan Schafer doubled to right with two outs to put runners at second and third. But that brought Garza, a career .094 hitter, to the plate and he struck out on three pitches.
 
Otherwise, the Brewers didn't get another runner past second. Lynn boasted a career 2.53 ERA in 10 games against the Brewers coming in, and his mastery of Milwaukee continued.
 
With Lynn in control, about the only other drama provided by the Cardinals was when leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter was ejected in the fifth after apparently saying something to umpire Bob Davidson following a called third strike.
 
Garza allowed nine hits and four runs, and struck out six in seven innings for Milwaukee. Rookie reliever Wei-Chung Wang, a Rule 5 pick, pitched a scoreless ninth in making his big league debut.
 
Jean Segura, who was batting 1 for 19 at home entering Monday, had two of the hits against Lynn.
 
NOTES: Cardinals C Yadier Molina got a day off after catching the season's first 12 games. ... Injured 2B Mark Ellis played his first game on a rehab assignment Sunday at Triple-A Memphis. Ellis, who is on the 15-day DL for left knee tendinitis, played five innings and went 1 for 3 with a run. He was scheduled to play Monday, though Memphis' game may have been affected by weather. "He didn't have any issues and felt good afterward, which was the main thing," manager Mike Matheny said. "He's on the right track to joining us here soon." ... Wang, 21, of Taiwan, also saw snow for the first time and got his first major league paycheck Monday. Flurries fell before the game outside Miller Park, which has a retractable roof. ... Manager Ron Roenicke said right-handed hitter Rickie Weeks and lefty swigging Gennett remain in a platoon at second base. ... St. Louis' Shelby Miller (0-2) faces Milwaukee's Marco Estrada (1-0) on Tuesday.
Monday, 14 April 2014 23:22
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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport after authorities said he became belligerent during a security screening and threatened that he had a bomb.

The 24-year-old player was randomly selected for a secondary screening at Terminal 1 and became uncooperative with the process, airport police Sgt. Karla Ortiz said. She said he told a TSA agent that he had a bomb before walking to the gate. When airport police officers caught up with him, Ortiz said Smith became uncooperative and was taken into custody.

A witness video posted on TMZ.com shows Smith exchanging words with an officer as he was being handcuffed and escorted out of the gate area.

Smith was booked for investigation of making a false bomb threat. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said anyone who makes a bomb threat at an airport is potentially subject to federal charges, although no such charges have been filed against Smith.

A message seeking comment from Smith's agent wasn't immediately returned.

With the arrest, Smith is involved in three pending criminal cases.

"We are disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. "As this is a pending legal matter and we are still gathering the pertinent facts, we will have no further comment."

A fearsome pass-rushing specialist, Smith took a five-game leave of absence from the 49ers last season to undergo treatment for substance abuse. He rejoined the team Nov. 5.

Smith played in a 27-7 home loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 22, two days after he was arrested and jailed on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession. After the game, he publicly apologized for his behavior and later announced he would leave for treatment.

Leading up to the playoffs in early January, Smith said during an interview with The Associated Press he was encouraged by the strides he had made to better himself off the football field that put life - and his work - in perspective. He said at the time he hadn't had any alcohol since before his Sept. 20 DUI arrest, and that he wasn't craving it. When he rejoined the team Nov. 5, he insisted he was on the path to lifelong sobriety stuck by that statement.

His teammates rallied around him in support of his rehab and, later, his return to the team.

Smith emerged as one of the NFL's most-feared pass rushers in 2012. He had a franchise-record 19.5 sacks that year, but failed to record a sack in his final six games including the team's postseason Super Bowl run.

Smith finished with 8 1/2 sacks and 34 tackles in 11 games last season, making eight starts.

In November, Smith pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, stemming from a June 2012 party at his home. Investigators say several shots were fired, two partygoers were injured and Smith was stabbed. In the subsequent investigation, prosecutors say detectives found five unregistered weapons in Smith's house, including two Bushmaster rifles and an Armalite AR-10T. They say those are assault weapons illegal to possess under California law.

Smith and former teammate Delanie Walker were named in a lawsuit last September filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court by a Northern California man who said he was shot at a party at Smith's house on June 29, 2012. The players charged a $10 admission and $5 per drink, the lawsuit said. Smith and now-Tennessee Titans tight end Walker were allegedly intoxicated on Smith's balcony when they fired gunshots in the air while trying to end the party, the lawsuit said.

Smith, selected seventh overall in the 2011 draft out of Missouri, had previously been arrested on suspicion of DUI in January 2012 in Miami shortly after the 49ers lost in the NFC championship game.

This is the latest in a long list of legal issues for 49ers players the past two years - and recently, too. The Niners, who lost to the rival and eventual champion Seattle Seahawks in the NFC championship game, have made nearly as much news away from the field as they have in free agency this offseason.

On Thursday, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was one of three NFL players named in a Miami police report involving a woman who passed out in a hotel and later woke up in a hospital not knowing how she got there, though no one has been charged with a crime. Kaepernick, 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton and Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette - a former 49er - were with the woman at a Miami hotel where Lockette lives, according to the Miami Police Department report. The police say it's too early to determine whether a crime was committed.

Late last month in San Jose, 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver was arrested on suspicion of felony hit and run and reckless driving after he drove a car into a bicyclist and fled. He is the player who underwent sensitivity training after his anti-gay remarks leading up to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season. He has done outreach to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Last summer, another starting linebacker, Ahmad Brooks, was investigated by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office on allegations that Brooks repeatedly hit a teammate on the head with a beer bottle. No assault charges were filed because of insufficient evidence.

According to police, Brooks hit then-teammate Lamar Divens with the bottle three times and then punched him in the face during an early morning argument June 8. Divens sustained a 3-inch cut on his forehead.

Another member of the defense, Demarcus Dobbs, was suspended for Week 1 last season for his own arrest on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession in 2012.

---

AP Sports Writers Janie McCauley and Josh Dubow in San Francisco contributed to this report.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about ourPRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

Monday, 14 April 2014 10:51
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Backup goalie Petr Mrazek kept the injury-riddled St. Louis Blues down heading into the playoffs with his second career shutout in a 3-0 victory for the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.
 
The Blues had been in contention for the No. 1 overall seed but lost their last six and missed a chance at taking the Central Division with Colorado clinching on a tiebreaker before playing at Anaheim Sunday night. Minus three of their top five scorers, their top faceoff man and two top defensemen, they were shut out for the second straight game and third time during the slump.
 
Justin Abdelkader scored twice, Riley Sheahan added a goal and Pavel Datsyuk had two assists for the Red Wings, who are locked into the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and will play Boston.
 
The Blues set a franchise record with 52 wins but are the third seed in the Western Conference entering a first-round series against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. They're scuffling to say the least with the franchise's longest losing streak since a seven-game skid from Dec. 26, 2009 to Jan. 7, 2010, and they've mustered five goals the last six games.
 
The Red Wings, who rested Jimmy Howard, Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen, were 3-1 against Boston. The Blues were 3-2 against Chicago.
 
Mrazek is 2-4 this season and has three career victories, one of them in his NHL debut in St. Louis on Feb. 7, 2013. He bested the Blues' Ryan Miller, who has lost his last five decisions.
 
T.J. Oshie (head), David Backes (foot) and Alex Pietrangelo (undisclosed) led a long list of scratches for the Blues. Oshie has 60 points, Backes 57 and Pietrangelo 51.
 
The Red Wings were outshot 7-4 in the first period, but took the lead on Abdelkader's deflection at 13:30. Near the midpoint of the period, an apparent goal by Tomas Tatar was waved off by a goaltender interference on Joakim Andersson, who slashed Miller's stick seconds earlier.
 
Sheahan scored for the third straight game on the counter-attack with his ninth overall making it 2-0 at 16:19 of the second and Abdelkader made it 3-0 with another deflection in the third.
 
Notes: Blues D Jay Bouwmeester played in his 717th consecutive game - the longest streak in major pro sports - and was the only St. Louis player to dress every game. ... Miller is 2-9-2 against Detroit. ... The Red Wings are preparing for their 23rd consecutive playoff appearance.
Sunday, 13 April 2014 16:05
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Matt Adams homered, Matt Carpenter drove in two runs and Adam Wainwright saved a tired bullpen by lasting seven innings for the St. Louis Cardinals in their 10-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
 
It was hardly a vintage performance by Wainwright (2-1), who helped his own cause with an RBI single. He gave up a homer to Junior Lake on his first pitch and allowed six more hits and three runs after that while striking out eight. The four runs were twice as many as Wainwright yielded in his first two starts.
 
But the right-hander, who led the majors with 241 2-3 innings pitched last year, was able to give the Cardinals' bullpen some rest. St. Louis relievers Carlos Martinez, Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal all threw more than 20 pitches in Friday night's 11-inning loss.
 
The win was Wainwright's 101st with the Cardinals, tying Matt Morris, Larry Jackson and Max Lanier for 10th place on the franchise list.
 
In addition to Carpenter, Daniel Descalso also had two hits with an RBI and two runs scored. Adams hit his first home run, a leadoff shot in the second inning, and Jon Jay drove in two runs with a single.
 
The Cubs' Nate Schierholtz, who had four hits Friday night, had two doubles and an RBI.
 
St. Louis did most of its damage off starter Carlos Villanueva (1-3), who allowed nine runs and 10 hits in three innings.
 
After Adams' homer tied the game at 1, the Cardinals sent eight more batters to the plate in the second. Molina and Allen Craig followed Adams with singles, and they came home on RBI singles by Descalso and Wainwright. Carpenter then drove home Descalso with an infield single to shortstop that made it 4-1.
 
St. Louis sent 10 more hitters to the plate in the fourth inning and broke it open by scoring five times.
 
Descalso started the inning with a double and was safe at third on Wainwright's sacrifice, with Wainwright reaching first on the fielder's choice. Carpenter and Kolten Wong followed with RBI singles and Matt Holiday had an RBI groundout. Jay's single off reliever Chris Rusin with two outs made it 9-2.
 
NOTES: Chicago manager Rick Renteria had a successful replay challenge in the third inning of first base umpire Jerry Layne's call on Jay's grounder to shortstop Starlin Castro. Layne had called Jay safe at first, but after reviewing the play, Jay was ruled out. ... St. Louis SS Jhonny Peralta, who has two hits in his first 32 at-bats for the lowest batting average among all qualifiers (.063), was given the day off. ... Castro, who had two hits, has hit safely in eight of his last nine games. ... Former Cardinal Edwin Jackson (0-0) will take the mound for the Cubs in the series finale Sunday against Michael Wacha (1-0). ... Craig was 1 for 12 on the homestand and hitless in his last eight at-bats before his second-inning single. ... With a victory Sunday, the Cubs can win a series for the first time since taking two of three from the Reds from Sept. 9-11 last season. Chicago has dropped eight straight series since.
Saturday, 12 April 2014 21:03
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DALLAS (AP) -- Trevor Daley had a goal and an assist, Kari Lehtonen recorded his fifth shutout of the season, and the Dallas Stars clinched their first playoff berth since 2008 with a 3-0 victory against the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.
 
The Stars missed the postseason a franchise-record five straight seasons after never going more than one without a playoff trip since moving to Dallas in 1993. The longest previous drought was three seasons in Minnesota in the early 1970s.
 
St. Louis, outshot 40-22, dropped its fifth straight game for the first time since February of last year. The playoff-bound Blues also jeopardized their shot at the top seed in the Western Conference.
 
Daley, the only holdover from the team that lost to Detroit in the Western Conference finals six years ago, and Lehtonen were on the ice three years ago for a season-ending loss at Minnesota when Dallas just needed to win to move on.
 
Dallas' victory eliminated Phoenix in the race for the West's final playoff spot and kept the Stars from having to worry about a potential win-or-go-home game at the Coyotes on Sunday.
 
Daley put Dallas up 1-0 when he stole the puck during a series of St. Louis turnovers and raced ahead of everyone before beating Ryan Miller on the glove side early in the second period.
 
Tyler Seguin's team-leading 37th goal came on the power play 10 seconds after the Blues' Dmitrij Jaskin was called for hooking. Daley sent a pass to Jamie Benn, who zipped the puck through the crease to an open Seguin for an easy shot past Miller.
 
After Ryan Garbutt tipped in Alex Goligoski's shot from the point in the third period of the home finale, the last 15 minutes were basically a celebration for the sellout crowd that included a fan with a No. 99 jersey that read "Stanley" - a reference to the franchise's only Stanley Cup title in 1999 when the hockey playoffs were a rite of spring in North Texas.
 
The Blues knew T.J. Oshie would be sidelined after he took a hit to the head that resulted in a four-game suspension for Minnesota's Mike Rupp. They also ended up missing former Stars captain Brenden Morrow, who injured his foot in practice before the Wild game, and Vladimir Sobotka and Derek Roy, who got hurt during that game.
 
St. Louis didn't get its first power play until the third period and couldn't convert on two chances with the man advantage in the final 12 minutes.
 
After the Stars killed the last power play, the crowd stood and cheered for the final two minutes, counting down the last few seconds.
 
NOTES: Taylor Lipsett, a Dallas-area resident who won a 2014 Paralympic gold medal with the U.S. in Sochi, was honored before the game. ... The Stars signed popular broadcasters Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh to contract extensions. Strangis, the play-by-play voice, has been with the franchise since it was still in Minnesota, and color analyst Reaugh is in his 18th season with the team. The call from Strangis and Reaugh is on TV and radio. ... Because of the rash of injuries, the Blues recalled Adam Cracknell, Keith Aucoin and Ty Rattie from their Chicago AHL affiliate.
Friday, 11 April 2014 22:44
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Friday, 11 April 2014 11:38
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Kyle Brodziak scored two goals and John Curry made 43 saves in his Wild debut to lead Minnesota over the struggling St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Thursday night.
 
Nino Niederreiter added a goal and an assist to help the Wild snap a nine-game losing streak against the Blues and win for the sixth time in seven games.
 
St. Louis dropped its fourth straight and also lost star T.J. Oshie after he was shouldered in the face by Wild enforcer Mike Rupp halfway through a chaotic second period. Rupp was ejected, Oshie dabbed blood from his mouth as he moved slowly back to the locker room after being down on the ice for 5 minutes.
 
Rupp was assessed a match penalty for intent to injure.
 
Kevin Shattenkirk and Jaden Schwartz scored for the Blues.
 
Curry, the fifth goalie Minnesota has started against St. Louis in five games, was called up to make his fifth NHL start. The Minnesota native had allowed 22 goals in his previous five games at AHL Iowa, but turned away four early power-play shots and had 17 saves in the first period to establish himself in his first NHL start since Jan. 11, 2010.
 
Minnesota led 1-0 after the first on Niederreiter's 14th goal and was controlling play during the first half of the second.
 
Then, Rupp, playing for the first time since Feb. 1, knocked Oshie out of the game, and Shattenkirk tied it with a 5-on-3 goal a few seconds later.
 
Brodziak and Schwartz traded short-handed goals before Matt Moulson buried his 23rd of the season at 17:30 to send the Wild into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead.
 
It took Brodziak only 58 seconds to extend Minnesota's lead to 4-2 in the third period with his eighth goal.
 
Blues goalie Ryan Miller, who had stopped only nine of 13 shots, didn't leave immediately after Brodziak's second goal, but skated back to the locker room and was replaced by Brian Elliott at 16:22 of the third.
 
After Brodziak's first goal, Blues center Steve Ott was given a 10-minute game misconduct penalty for inciting the opponent.
 
St. Louis entered the game second in the Western Conference, and there's a strong chance these teams could meet in the first round of the playoffs.
 
St. Louis had pushed the Wild around all season, but the momentum appears to shifting as both teams approach the postseason. In addition to beating the Blues, Minnesota has recently defeated Boston, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.
 
NOTES: The Blues have been outscored 16-4 during their four-game slide. ... Wild D Christian Folin made his NHL debut and recorded an assist. ... Oshie hasn't scored a point since recording a hat trick against Minnesota on March 27.
Thursday, 10 April 2014 22:12
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- If you're looking for someone not to pick at this year's Masters, go with Ryan Moore.

By winning the Par 3 tournament, he surely sealed his fate. After all, no one has ever taken the just-for-fun prelude Wednesday and gone on to collect a green jacket Sunday evening.

Then again, if there was ever a year to break with tradition, this might be it.

Tiger Woods is on the sidelines. A bunch of brash Augusta rookies are eager to fill his shoes. And the last two dozen majors have been divvied up among 21 winners.

Good luck making sense of it all with the Masters beginning Thursday.

"You never know," Moore said, savoring his two-stroke victory on the picturesque nine-hole course tucked away in a corner of Augusta National.

"Someone has got to break that (Par 3) curse at some point in time, so hopefully it's me. Who knows? I might go shoot 8 under or something, make a couple of hole-in-ones."

As unlikely as that sounds, pretty much everything else is up for grabs at this Masters. Recovering from back surgery, Woods is sitting out the opening major of the year for the first time since turning pro.

Even as his dominance waned in recent years, he was always the clear-cut favorite coming into Augusta, where he has won four times.

Now, as Moore said, who knows?

Jason Day, Sergio Garcia and former Masters champion Zach Johnson are the only players from the top 10 who have won anywhere in the world this year. Only one of the past seven winners on the PGA Tour was ranked in the top 75.

"I think if you're outside the top 50 in the world this week, you've got a great chance," U.S. Open champion Justin Rose said with a laugh.

Woods is out of golf until the summer, but the show goes on at a tournament that rarely fails to deliver plenty of drama.

"We miss Tiger, as does the entire golf world," Masters chairman Billy Payne said. "Nevertheless, this is the Masters. This is what we hope is the best tournament in the world, one of the greatest sporting events. And I think we will have a very impressive audience and have another great champion to crown this year."

That could be Phil Mickelson, who last year won the British Open at age 42 and now has a chance to join Woods and Arnold Palmer with a fourth green jacket.

It could be Adam Scott, trying to take over as the world's No. 1 player and join Woods, Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus as the only back-to-back winners.

While Woods last won a green jacket in 2005, he had finished out of the top six only once since then.

That's what made him such a compelling figure at Augusta.

He always seemed to be there.

"It's a huge loss," Scott said. "But, as every year here, this event produces something special no matter what. It just has a way of doing it. It's not going to involve Tiger this year, but it will involve someone else and it will be a memorable event anyway."

Rose falls on the side of experience - knowing where to miss, knowing where you can't afford to miss, where the hole locations tend to be on the contoured greens and using the slope to get the ball close.

"Always you can have the unknowns," he said. "But I would say 15 guys are pretty strong favorites."

Fuzzy Zoeller was the last Augusta rookie to claim the green jacket in 1979, and the only other ones to do it were the first two: Horton Smith and Gene Sarazen.

Then again, there are 24 first-timers in the 98-player field, a record (except for the first tournament), and none of them will concede an insurmountable learning curve.

Besides, no one is dominating golf at the moment. Jimmy Walker has the most PGA Tour wins (three) this season, but this is his first Masters. Scott had a chance to go to No. 1 three weeks ago at Bay Hill, but he lost a three-shot lead in the final round to Matt Every, who had never won in his career.

"Doesn't matter if you've played here once or if you've played here 50 times," said Patrick Reed, who has won three times in the past eight months. "When it comes down to it, it's just going to be that whoever is playing the best is going to walk away with the trophy."

Who knows? Maybe it will be Moore.

He's certainly not fretting over a supposed curse.

"I'm not afraid of it," he said.

---

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at WWW.TWITTER.COM/PNEWBERRY1963

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

Thursday, 10 April 2014 07:10
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Shelby Miller was much improved in his second start. St. Louis Cardinals hitters gave the right-hander no support.
 
"My command was better," the right-hander said after the Cincinnati Reds avoided a three-game sweep with a 4-0 victory on Wednesday. "I got a little streaky at times but I felt like I controlled the ball pretty well on both sides of the plate.
 
"Overall, I felt much stronger."
 
Billy Hamilton had three hits and his first two steals, and scored easily after tagging up on a shallow outfield pop fly to support eight scoreless innings from Mike Leake.
 
The Cardinals were shut out for the second time, both by Cincinnati, and managed just four hits. They're 5-4 heading into a day off before starting a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
 
"There's a couple of games where if we had a couple of things go our way, we could be even better," manager Mike Matheny said. "But I do believe that there's obviously more in our tank offensively.
 
"We've done a lot of things right, we've done things wrong. For now, we'll take the day off."
 
Leake (1-1) allowed four hits and a walk and Devin Mesoraco hit a two-run home run for the Reds, who lost the first two for their ninth series in their last 10 in St. Louis. They're 2-4 against the Cardinals, their NL Central rival, and wrapped up a 2-4 trip.
 
Miller (0-2) allowed his fourth homer in two starts and faced trouble most of his six innings, but held the Reds hitless in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position. In his first start, Miller surrendered three home runs and allowed five runs in 5 1-3 innings.
 
"One bad pitch," Miller said, referring to the Mesoraco homer. "But it wasn't really a bad pitch. It was where I wanted it, he just put a good swing on it.
 
"What are you going to do?"
 
Matheny said he's seldom seen a Miller with a better breaking ball. But Leake was better.
 
"He kept guys off-balance all day long," the manager said. "He was throwing just about any pitch in any location that he wanted to, in any count.
 
"You do that with good late-breaking stuff, you're going to give teams fits and that's what happened to us."
 
Mesoraco hit his first homer in the fourth after doubling twice Tuesday in his first start after coming off the 15-day disabled list.
 
Hamilton entered batting .091 with two hits and seven strikeouts in 22 at-bats and left town batting .192. He reached safely his first three trips beginning with a triple to open the game when left fielder Matt Holliday missed on a diving catch in the gap.
 
After singling to start the fifth he put on a show with his legs, stealing second without a throw, going to third on a flyout to shallow right and scoring easily to beat Jon Jay's' relay on Bruce's pop fly to even shallower right and put the Reds up 3-0.
 
Hamilton bunted for a hit in the ninth against Pat Neshek and stole second, then scored without a throw on Brandon Phillips' one-out single to make it 4-0.
 
Leake retired nine of the first 10 hitters and benefited from three double-play balls, two of them in a run of five straight three-up, three-down innings from the second through sixth. Leake was 0-2 in three starts last year against St. Louis while allowing 15 earned runs in 16 1-3 innings and beat them for the first time since Aug. 25, 2012.
 
Notes: Slumping cleanup man Allen Craig (.097) was not in the lineup for the Cardinals and the Reds gave Zack Cozart (.038) a day off. Together, those two are 4 for 57. ... Both teams have a day off Thursday. The Reds open a six-game homestand Friday with Johnny Cueto (0-1, 1.93) opposing the Rays and David Price (1-0, 4.05). Joe Kelly (1-0, 1.69) will face the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 1.29). ... Miller was a 15-game winner last year as a rookie, going 10-3 with a 1.75 ERA at home.
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 23:01
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Molina's error hurts Cardinals in 3-1 loss to Nats

  WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's a simple reason St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha felt comfortable putting a changeup in the ground with the bases loaded in the se...

Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs

Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks...

Source: Haith front-runner for Tulsa job

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Missouri coach Frank Haith is in position to replace Danny Manning at Tulsa.   A person with knowledge of the situation at Tulsa says Haith is ...

Wainwright's 2-hitter leads Cards past Nats 8-0

Wainwright's 2-hitter leads Cards past Nats 8-0

  WASHINGTON (AP) -- Adam Wainwright threw a two-hitter Thursday night for his seventh career shutout, chipped in at the plate with a double and single, and St. Louis b...

KELLY HURT AS CARDINALS LOSE TO BREWERS 5-1

KELLY HURT AS CARDINALS LOSE TO BREWERS 5-1

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals' 5-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday may prove more costly than one defeat in the NL Central standings. Cardinals starte...

Cards pitching shuts down Brewers again 6-1

Cards pitching shuts down Brewers again 6-1

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Shelby Miller struck out seven and allowed three hits over six innings, and Mark Ellis had two RBIs in his return from the disabled list to lead the St. Louis ...

Lynn, Cardinals snap Brewers' 9-game win streak

Lynn, Cardinals snap Brewers' 9-game win streak

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers' nine-game winning streak was snapped Monday night when Lance Lynn struck out 11 in seven innings and Jon Jay hit a three-run homer for t...

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