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Associated Press

Posted on April 24, 2013 at 3:40 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 24 at 3:40 AM

STARS-SHARKS

Sharks clinch playoffs with 3-2 win over Stars

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski scored goals 30 seconds apart late in the third period to help the San Jose Sharks clinch their ninth straight playoff berth with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.

Raffi Torres also scored for the Sharks, who moved into a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with Los Angeles with two games remaining in the race for home-ice advantage in the first round. The Sharks visit the Kings in the season finale on Saturday.

Antoine Roussel and Loui Eriksson scored for the Stars, whose playoff hopes were dealt a serious blow. Dallas remains two points behind ninth-place Detroit and three behind eighth-place Columbus in the race for the final playoff spot. The Red Wings have a game in hand over both teams. The Stars end the season with home games against Columbus and Detroit.

RANGERS-ANGELS

Kendrick's HR in 11th lifts Angels over Rangers

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Howie Kendrick hit his second home run of the game in the 11th inning and finished with four RBIs, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

Kendrick, who hit a two-run shot in the sixth off Alexi Ogando and an RBI single in the first, drove a 1-1 pitch to left-center against rookie Joe Ortiz (2-1) for his third homer of the season.

Dane De La Rosa (1-0) pitched two perfect innings for his first major league win.

The Rangers tied it 4-all in the eighth with an unearned run against Scott Downs, following a couple of costly errors by the Angels — one physical and one mental.

MARINERS-ASTROS

Gonzalez helps Astros to 3-2 win over Mariners

HOUSTON (AP) — Marwin Gonzalez homered, Bud Norris rebounded from a tough start last time out and the Houston Astros snapped a three-game losing skid with a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

The game was tied at 1 when Gonzalez launched his homer about 10 rows into the stands in right field to start Houston's third. Gonzalez, who bats ninth, hit just four home runs in 80 games last season and has three in 16 this year.

Houston got an insurance run when Hisashi Iwakuma (2-1) hit Justin Maxwell with a pitch with the bases loaded later in that inning.

Norris (3-2) allowed a season-high eight hits in five innings and Jose Veras pitched a perfect ninth for his second save in three opportunities.

ROCKETS-THUNDER

Lin draws tough playoff debut against Westbrook

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Jeremy Lin's introduction to the playoffs couldn't be a much tougher one.

Lin is making his playoff debut with a head-to-head match-up against Oklahoma City All-Star Russell Westbrook. Not much went right for Lin in his playoff debut. He made just one of his seven shots and committed four turnovers to go with his four assists.

He didn't fare much better on defense, with Westbrook falling just two rebounds shy of a triple-double despite sitting out the fourth quarter of a 120-91 blowout.

The Rockets will need more from Lin if they hope to make it a series against the top-seeded Thunder. Game 2 is Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.

DRAFT-TEXANS

Texans may turn eye toward offense

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Texans have taken defensive players in the first round of the last four drafts. Andre Johnson wouldn't mind seeing the team take a receiver this time.

The Texans have the 27th overall pick Thursday night after winning the AFC South. But Houston ranked 11th in pass offense (239.4 yards per game) and had only 46 receptions covering at least 20 yards, half of them by Johnson.

The Texans could also use help on the offensive line and in the linebacker corps. Johnson, who'll be 32 when the season begins, says he's "all in" for adding a first-round receiver because a team can never have too many weapons.

ARMSTRONG-DOPING

Justice says Armstrong was 'unjustly enriched'

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Justice Department laid out its case in a lawsuit against Lance Armstrong on Tuesday, saying the cyclist violated his contract with the U.S. Postal Service and was "unjustly enriched" while cheating to win the Tour de France.

The government had previously announced it would join the whistle-blower lawsuit brought by former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis. Tuesday was the deadline to file its formal complaint.

The Postal Service paid about $40 million to be the title sponsor of Armstrong's teams for six of his seven Tour de France victories. The filing says the USPS paid Armstrong $17 million form 1998-2004.

An Armstrong attorney says the Postal Service made money off the cyclist and called the federal complaint "opportunistic and insincere."

Armstrong admitted in January to using performance-enhancing drugs to win.

The lawsuit also names former team Armstrong team director Johan Bruyneel and team management company Tailwind Sports as defendants.

US SWIM TRIALS-2016

3 cities bidding for 2016 US Olympic swim trials

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — USA Swimming will choose between Omaha, Neb., San Antonio and St. Louis as the site for the 2016 Olympic swimming trials.

The national governing body says it will announce the host city on Saturday.

Omaha has hosted the last two trials, in 2012 and 2008. Last year's eight-day event was attended by more than 164,000 fans and the meet was broadcast live in prime time on network television. Two temporary pools were built inside the CenturyLink Center for the event.

In 2004, the trials were held in Long Beach, Calif., the first time they were held outdoors in temporary pools.

In January, USA Swimming said six cities were bidding to host the trials. Former host Indianapolis, along with Greensboro, N.C., and Jacksonville, Fla., were eliminated after an evaluation team from USA Swimming, along with an outside member of the group's board, visited each location.

INDYCAR-FOYT SURGERY

A.J. Foyt undergoes successful back surgery

HOUSTON (AP) — Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt had successful back surgery Tuesday.

His team said the 78-year-old IndyCar owner was expected to stay in a Houston hospital overnight. Surgeons were trying to relieve the sciatic nerve pain Foyt complained about. He is expected to make a full recovery.

A.J. Foyt Racing won its first race in 11 years Sunday when Takuma Sato won at Long Beach in his third race with the team. Sato became the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race, and the first Foyt driver to win on a street or road course since Foyt himself in 1978.

Foyt watched the race on television at home in Texas. He plans to be at next month's Indianapolis 500, where will also have rookie Conor Daly driving.

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