St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock likes his team's chances of making a deep playoff run but scoffed away a suggestion that the Blues and Los Angeles Kings have a lot of similarities. After sweeping the Blues in the second round last spring en route to the franchise's first Stanley Cup, Los Angeles won all three games this season, too, and have taken eight in a row overall.
Veterans such as Eric Winston and Steve Breaston, who didn't fit into the new plan, have been jettisoned. The result is a roster that has the same basic foundation as last year, when the Chiefs went 2-14, but a very different appearance from top to bottom.
Whatever the selection committee's makeup, Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive is aiming for a process the fans will buy into when the new system takes effect in two seasons. That process includes the revolutionary idea of having knowledgeable football people choose who plays in the championship game.
Lance Lynn pitched seven innings of one-run ball to extend his winning streak to nine games and Carlos Beltran homered from both sides of the plate to lead St. Louis to a 9-1 win over Pittsburgh on Friday night.
The game will be made up on Sunday as a day-night doubleheader. The Royals, who lead the American League Central, have had six off days in the past 12 days.
The Kansas City Chiefs chose offensive tackle Eric Fisher of Central Michigan with the first overall pick of this year's NFL Draft.
The last time these teams played in Washington was Oct. 12, in Game 5 of a National League division series, when the Nationals led 6-0 after three innings and were still ahead 7-5 with two outs in the top of the ninth.
The conference commissioners in charge of putting together the four-team playoff system that will start after the 2014 regular season will meet starting Tuesday in Pasadena, Calif.
The Rams gave up the second overall pick in 2012 for a quarterback they did not need to move down just four spots, in return receiving future considerations galore. After additional jockeying during the draft, the Rams came away with starting defensive tackle Michael Brockers and cornerback Janoris Jenkins, plus promising running back Isaiah Pead and offensive guard Rokevious Watkins.
Allen Craig doubled and drove in three runs for the Cardinals, who knocked around James McDonald (1-2) with a seven-run second inning. McDonald gave up eight runs, three earned, and walked two in 1 1-3 innings, the shortest start of his career.
The Blue Jays' Jose Reyes drove in a pair of runs before getting carted off in the sixth inning with a sprained left ankle, and Toronto beat the Kansas City Royals 8-4 Friday.
Rookie Shelby Miller allowed one hit in seven innings, a single by Norichika Aoki to open the game, and the St. Louis Cardinals had just enough to spoil Kyle Lohse's first start as a visitor since 2007 in a 2-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
The game was tied heading into the ninth inning, but Cincinnati ended up winning 13-4. Mitchell Boggs (0-1), the stand-in closer for St. Louis, yielded six runs while getting only one out. Only a few thousand fans remained of the largest regular-season crowd of 47,375 for the bottom of the ninth in 8th-season opener in Busch Stadium history.
The Cardinals' opener Monday against Cincinnati was the first game at Busch Stadium since Musial died in January at age 92. Fans stood, many with hats over their hearts, during a video tribute.
Ervin Santana pitched eight strong innings, Alcides Escobar doubled home the go-ahead run and the Kansas City Royals rallied to beat the Minnesota Twins 3-1 on Monday in their home opener.
Cardinals pitcher Jake Westbrook gave up one unearned run in his season debut but was outdueled by Giants pitcher Barry Zito, who also had a key sacrifice bunt that led to San Francisco's sole run in the fourth.
Kansas City won 13-4 in a rare interleague matchup between teams that first met in the 1980 World Series. The Royals' only other visit to Philadelphia came in 2004.
Matt Holliday, Pete Kozma and Jon Jay homered and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-1 on Tuesday night to even their season-opening series at a game apiece.
Jake Allen replaces Jaroslav Halak, who injured his groin in a 4-1 victory at Minnesota on Monday night.
Chris Sale outpitched James Shields, Tyler Flowers homered and the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 1-0 in the season opener on Monday.