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April 4, 2013 at 11:00 PM   |   Comments

Nationals stay perfect with win over Miami

WASHINGTON, April 4 (UPI) -- Washington pitching surrendered its first run of the season but Jayson Werth's three-run home run Thursday sent the Nationals to a 6-1 victory over Miami.

The Nationals had opened the season with consecutive shutouts but the Marlins finally got on the board with Justin Ruggiano's opposite-field home run in the second inning.

However, Ryan Zimmerman had already knocked in two runs with a first-inning double so Washington still has yet to be behind this season.

The Nationals added an RBI single by Bryce Harper in the third inning and a long drive to center by Werth in the sixth for a three-run home run.

Miami's Wade LeBlanc (0-1) allowed the first three Washington runs while Mike Dunn threw the pitch Werth hit out.

Jordan Zimmermann (1-0) allowed eight hits but only Ruggiano managed more than a single. He walked two and struck out one over six innings. The Washington bullpen contributed three innings of no-hit relief.

After every team in the baseball had completed its first series of the season, the Nationals emerged as the only unbeaten team remaining.


Jagr scores in Boston debut

BOSTON, April 4 (UPI) -- Jaromir Jagr scored in his first game with Boston Thursday and Tuukka Rask picked up the shutout in the Bruins' 1-0 victory over New Jersey.

Jagr, who left the NHL for three years before returning last season to continue what has been a 19-year career, was acquired by the Bruins this week in a trade with Dallas.

He had scored 14 goals for the Stars in 34 games and quickly made his presence felt by tipping in a shot early in the second period against fellow-veteran Martin Brodeur.

Rask made 40 saves in earning his third shutout of the season and the 14th in his six seasons with the Bruins.

Boston won its third in a row and moved within four points of Pittsburgh for the most in the Eastern Conference.

New Jersey had dropped five straight. Brodeur stopped 25-of-26 shots.


Bettencourt shares lead at Texas Open

SAN ANTONIO, April 4 (UPI) -- Matt Bettencourt, hoping to regain a full-time job on the PGA Tour, survived difficult conditions Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Texas Open.

Bettencourt lost his tour card last year following a poor season and this is only his third appearance on the circuit in 2013.

He shot a 5-under-par 67 at the TPC-San Antonio Oaks Course on a chilly, windy day and wound up tied for the top spot when Peter Tomasulo, playing in the final group of the day, birdied the final two holes.

Tomasulo put together a rare bogey-free round for his 67.

Bettencourt birdied three of the first five holes to get started and joined Tomasulo with a one-shot lead over Steven Bowditch, Harris English, Bryce Molder, Billy Horschel and Padraig Harrington.

Harrington captured three major titles in the span of 14 months, the last of those being the 2008 PGA Championship, but he has not won in the United States since then.

Jim Furyk was among the large group tied for seventh at 69 while two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen made a rare showing on the leaderboard after firing a 70 that left him in a tie for 16th place.

Jordan Spieth, who at age 19 has earned at least temporary tour membership by collecting more than $500,000 in the first three months of the year, was 4-under with two holes to play before suffering a triple-bogey. He wound up with a 1-under 71.

Rory McIlroy, hoping to find some of his former magic before next week's Masters Tournament, settled for a 72. McIlroy, recently replaced by Tiger Woods as the world's top-ranked player, had three bogeys in a row during the middle portion of his round.


Head of Pac-12 refs resigns under fire

WALNUT CREEK, Calif., April 4 (UPI) -- The Pacific-12 Conference announced Thursday the league's head of basketball officials had resigned due to controversial comments he made last month.

Ed Rush, an NBA official for 32 seasons and the chief of that's league referees for six years, had been with the Pac-12 since 2007.

Rush spoke to the officials working the league's post-season tournament prior to the first game and those who heard his remarks later said he asked them to target Arizona Coach Sean Miller.

One of the officials said Rush promised a cash payment or a paid vacation to the referee who was able to eject Miller from a game by making technical foul calls against him.

When those comments became public, Rush said he had been joking. The furor, however, eventually led to his quitting the job on Thursday.

"I want to express my appreciation for the great contribution Ed made to basketball officiating for the conference during his tenure," Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said on the league's web site. "Particularly in the area of training and the cultivation of new officiating talent. All of us at the conference thank him for his years of hard work, and we wish him well."

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