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ROYALS-ASTROS

Shields strikes out 12, Royals sweep Astros 5-1

HOUSTON (AP) - James Shields struck out 12 in eight innings and the Kansas City Royals completed a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros with a 5-1 win on Thursday night.

Shields gave up one run and four hits, all singles. He got back to his winning ways after seeing his nine-game road victory streak snapped in his last start at Minnesota when sloppy defense led to six unearned runs in a 7-1 loss.

Scott Feldman yielded four earned runs and nine hits in six innings. It was the first tough outing for the Astros newcomer after he had allowed just one run and seven hits combined in his first three starts.

MARINERS-RANGERS

Kouzmanoff, Rangers beat Mariners 8-6

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Kevin Kouzmanoff delivered again, doubling twice and scoring two runs as the Texas Rangers beat Seattle Mariners 8-6 Thursday.

Texas lost the opener of the four-game series on Monday night, but won the last three.

The 32-year-old Kouzmanoff is hitting .414 since joining the Rangers on April 9 after starting third baseman Adrian Beltre strained his left quadriceps.

Kouzmanoff has hit in all eight games in which he has played, beginning with a pinch-hitting appearance followed by seven straight starts. Beltre was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday.

Robinson Cano homered for the Mariners. He's in a 3-for-18 slump.

STARS-DUCKS

Getzlaf plans to play in Ducks' Game 2 vs. Dallas

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - A day after Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf took a slap shot to the head, the Ducks had already found the lighter side of a potentially disastrous playoff injury.

Coach Bruce Boudreau was succinct: "I didn't want to look at him," he said.

Nobody in either dressing room was surprised Thursday to learn Getzlaf plans to play against the Dallas Stars in Game 2 on Friday night despite that huge cut on his face.

Getzlaf was hit by Tyler Seguin's shot in the final minute of the Ducks' 4-3 victory over Dallas on Wednesday night in the series opener, but the puck apparently broke no bones - which means it'll be almost impossible to keep Getzlaf off the ice.

Getzlaf was the NHL's second-leading scorer this season with 87 points.

MAVERICKS-ELLIS' REDEMPTION

Ellis plays key role in Mavs' playoff berth

DALLAS (AP) - Monta Ellis has been shrugging off the skeptics throughout his first season with Dallas.

So it comes as no surprise that the guard simply says "the standings is 0-0" with the Mavericks getting ready for a first-round playoff series with a San Antonio team they haven't beaten in more than two years.

The best-of-seven Western Conference series opens Sunday at the top-seeded Spurs.

Ellis has reversed a steady slide in offensive efficiency to help get No. 8 seed Dallas and Dirk Nowitzki back in the playoffs after a 12-year streak ended last season.

The ninth-year player is part of a new backcourt for the Mavericks that also includes Jose Calderon and Devin Harris.

ROYALS MOVES

Kansas City's Cain to DL with groin strain

HOUSTON (AP) - Kansas City outfielder Lorenzo Cain has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain.

Cain was injured trying to beat a throw to first base in the ninth inning on Wednesday night. He is hitting .333 with five RBIs and two stolen bases in 12 games this season.

Manager Ned Yost says Cain is: "still sore in his leg so ... we'll give him time to get this out of the way. Hopefully it won't be any more than 15 days, but we'll see."

The team recalled left-hander Justin Marks from Triple-A Omaha on Thursday. Marks went 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA in one start and two relief appearances for the Storm Chasers.

SENIOR PGA PROFESSIONAL

Gene Fieger leads Senior PGA Professional

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - Gene Fieger shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Thursday to take a four-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship.

The 53-year-old Fieger, the PGA director of golf at Hideout Golf Club in Naples, Fla., had a 10-under 206 total at PGA Golf Club in the event postponed in October in Virginia because of rain and flooding. The top 35 on Friday will earn spots in the Senior PGA Championship on May 22-25 at Harbor Shores in Michigan.

Steve Parker and Frank Esposito were tied for second.

Parker, a 56-year-old PGA Life Member from Houston, shot a 67. Esposito, the 50-year-old PGA head pro at Brooklake in Florham Park, N.J., had a 74.

TRAIL BLAZERS PLAYOFFS

Blazers survive adversity to surge into playoffs

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - After starting off as one of the hottest teams in the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers wilted a bit after the All-Star break.

The low point came on March 25 when the Blazers fell 95-85 at Orlando. The loss capped a 4-9 stretch for Portland.

But since then, the Blazers have won nine of their final 10 games and wrapped up the regular season with a five-game winning streak.

It's that rebound that gives coach Terry Stotts confidence for the playoffs.

Portland, which finished as the fifth seed in the West, faces the Rockets in the opening round of the playoffs with Game 1 set for Sunday night in Houston. The Blazers haven't been to the playoffs since the 2011, when they fell in six games to the Mavericks in the first round.

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