Sports briefs 5-27-14: Mets fire hitting coach Hudgens after loss

HOWIE RUMBERG AP Sports Writer Published:

NEW YORK -- Mets general manager Sandy Alderson had to hear the booing at Citi Field throughout a miserable homestand.

He took steps to begin fixing the problems Monday after a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, firing hitting coach Dave Hudgens and cutting reliever Jose Valverde.

"This is a very difficult decision to make. I've known Dave for many years, decades," Alderson said. "Our situational hitting is not where we want it to be."

Minor league hitting coordinator Lamar Johnson will take over for Hudgens. The 63-year-old Johnson has been in this role with the Mets for 10 of his 11 years in the organization and is responsible for helping teach the organization's hitting philosophy throughout the minors.

Defiance graduate Jonathon Niese takes the mound tonight for the Mets against the Pirates.

• Golf

Scott wins: Adam Scott made a 7-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a playoff Sunday to end his first week as the world's No. 1 player with a victory at Colonial.

Jason Dufner, who made a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 18 in regulation, slid a 40-footer past when he and Scott played the 18th hole for the second time during the playoff. Scott then made the 7-footer for his 11th PGA Tour victory.

Overcomes deficit: Rory McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship, overcoming a seven-stroke deficit with a 6-under 66 for his first victory of the year.

McIlroy had only one victory -- in the Australian Open in December -- in 18 months.

Korda prevails: Jessica Korda won the Airbus LPGA Classic for her second victory of the year, birdieing four of the last five holes to break out of a tight pack.

Korda made a breaking 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th for a 7-under 65 and a one-stroke victory over Anna Nordqvist.

• Elsewhere

Kings up 3-1: The ovations started after the Los Angeles Kings' third goal in 16 minutes to open Game 4 of the Western Conference final, and the home crowd eventually serenaded its team off the ice for intermission as the Kings defeated defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago 5-2.

This defensive powerhouse is shutting down the Chicago Blackhawks' big stars while pushing the defending champions to the verge of elimination with a 3-1 series edge.

Wawrinka upset: Stan Wawrinka lost his first Grand Slam match since becoming a major champion, falling 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 to 41st-ranked Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain in the first round of the French Open on Monday.

The Australian Open champion had 61 unforced errors on center court and won only 54 percent of the points on his first serve.

Earlier, Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova successfully dealt with the wet weather and their opponents for wins.

Duke takes title: Duke won its second straight NCAA men's lacrosse championship, holding off Notre Dame's comeback with a goal by Kyle Keenan with 2:39 left to clinch an 11-9 victory Monday.

The top-seeded Blue Devils (17-3) limited the Irish to one goal over the first 35 minutes, built a six-goal lead in the third quarter.

Indy payday: Ryan Hunter-Reay's Indianapolis 500 win earned him a $2.49 million payday.

Hunter-Reay edged Helio Castroneves by 0.060 seconds Sunday in the second-closest margin of victory in the history of the race. He became the first American to win the Indy 500 since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006.

Castroneves earned more than $785,000.

Ibaka expects to play: Thunder forward Serge Ibaka said his strained left calf is fine and he expects to play today in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

Ibaka came back from what was thought to be a season-ending injury to play 30 minutes in Game 3 against San Antonio.

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