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ANGELS-NATIONALS

LaRoche caps Nats comeback for 5-4 win over Angels

WASHINGTON (AP) - 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 (0-2) 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

WASHINGTON (AP) - 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."

VCU-CASON

Vandy assistant Cason joins Smart's staff at VCU

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Vanderbilt assistant basketball coach David Cason has joined Shaka Smart's staff at Virginia Commonwealth.

Smart made the announcement Wednesday. Cason replaces Mike Rhoades, who left to take over at Rice.

Cason spent the past three seasons at Vanderbilt. He was on the staff in 2012 when the Commodores won their first Southeastern Conference in nearly 20 years. He also worked for six seasons at Tulsa, where he was on the same staff as current VCU assistant Jeremy Ballard.

Rhoades's departure marked the fourth straight season that a VCU assistant left to take over his own program. Before him, Mike Jones left for Radford, Jamion Christian left for Mount St. Mary's and Will Wade left for Chattanooga.

NASCAR-PETTY RETURNS

Richard Petty set to return to track at Richmond

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - 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

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - 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.

MLS-UNITED-PONTIUS

United's Pontius out 4-6 months after surgery

WASHINGTON (AP) - D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius has had another surgery on his left hamstring.

United said Wednesday that Pontius is expected to miss four to six months.

Injuries have frequently interrupted a promising career that began when Pontius was a rookie of the year finalist in 2009. He had injury-shortened seasons in 2010 and 2011. In November, he had surgery to repair his left hamstring and sciatic nerve.

Pontius had hoped to recover in time for the start of this season, but he had a setback that led to his latest surgery.

Pontius has 27 career goals in six MLS seasons, including a career-high 12 in 2012.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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