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West Virginia Sports News
Last Update: Thursday, April 24, 2014 3:01 AM EDT

REDS-PIRATES
Simon, Bruce lead Reds past Pirates 5-2

Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control, Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Wednesday night.

Simon worked 6 2-3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four. Simon has pitched at least six innings in each of his four starts this season as a replacement for the injured Mat Latos. Simon pitched exclusively in relief the previous two years.

Bruce had two hits and knocked in the final run of the decisive three-run fifth inning against Charlie Morton that gave the Reds a 4-2 lead. Billy Hamilton also had two hits for Cincinnati, which has won seven of 10 games since a 3-7 start.

Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless ninth inning, despite allowing two hits, for his third save.



ANGELS-NATIONALS
LaRoche caps Nats comeback for 5-4 win over Angels

Adam LaRoche's tiebreaking RBI single off the first pitch from Fernando Salas capped a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Washington Nationals came back to beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-4 Wednesday night to avoid a sweep.

Los Angeles led 4-1 entering the ninth, and closer Ernesto Frieri went in, seeking his third save. Instead, he left with his second blown chance, charged with all four runs Washington scored in that inning.

Jose Lobaton led off with his first homer of the season. One out later, Denard Span singled, then Anthony Rendon walked. Frieri then gave up Jayson Werth's two-run double to make it 4-all.



BULLS-WIZARDS
Wizards back home with 2-0 lead over Bulls

The Washington Wizards are back home with a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Chicago Bulls.

The Wizards took Game 2 in overtime Tuesday night and can finish off a sweep with Games 3 and 4 set for Friday and Sunday in Washington.

Washington is 19th NBA team to win the first two on the road in a seven-game set, and all but three went on to capture the series.

The Wizards have taken control by out-defensing the defense-minded Bulls. Chicago failed to score in the final 3:53 of regulation and the first 3:45 of overtime in Game 2.

The Wizards are seeking only their third playoff series win since the 1970s.

Says guard John Wall: "It's great to win two games on the road, but we're still the underdogs."



STEELERS SCHEDULE
Steelers open 2014 season against Browns

The Pittsburgh Steelers won't waste any time getting a sense of where they stand in the AFC North when the 2014 season kicks off in September.

The Steelers open the season at home on Sept. 7 against Cleveland then travel to rival Baltimore for a Thursday night game on Sept. 11.

The game against the Ravens is one of five prime-time matchups for the Steelers in 2014, the maximum allowed under NFL scheduling rules.

Pittsburgh plays at Carolina on Sunday night, Sept. 21, hosts Houston on Monday night, Oct. 20 and Baltimore on Sunday, Nov. 2, and plays at Tennessee on Monday night, Nov. 17.

The Steelers finish up the season with home games against Kansas City on Dec. 21 and Cincinnati on Dec. 28.



NASCAR-PETTY RETURNS
Richard Petty set to return to track at Richmond

Richard Petty is scheduled to return to the race track this weekend for the first time since the March 25 death of his wife, Lynda.

The seven-time NASCAR champion and Hall of Fame driver missed races at Martinsville, Texas and Darlington as he mourned the loss of his wife. The Pettys were together 57 years.

Trent Owens, crew chief for Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola and Petty's nephew, believes being back at the track in Richmond, Va., will be good for "The King." Owens says Petty has been at the shop recently and in good spirits.

Almirola said Petty will give a lift to the organization at the track. The driver spent Tuesday with Petty at an appearance in Nashville, Tenn., and found his boss' spirits to be improved.



NASCAR-RICHMOND-RG3
RG3 to be honorary pace car driver at Richmond

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will drive the pace car before Saturday night's NASCAR race at Richmond.

Richmond International Raceway made the announcement Wednesday, and says it happened with some help from Twitter.

The track says NASCAR driver and devout Redskins fan Dale Earnhardt Jr. got the ball rolling in late March when he tweeted to Griffin about being Grand Marshal for the race. Track President Dennis Bickmeier chimed in on Twitter, telling Griffin he'd love to have him drive the pace car instead.

The following Monday, RIR officials reached out to the Redskins, and plans were finalized.

Griffin is scheduled to lead the field around for three parade laps on the 0.75-mile oval, and then to the start of the 400-lap race.










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