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Sports Watch

Big Unit's 300-win bid all wet...Rangers overtake Yanks

(AP) - San Francisco Giants lefty Randy Johnson never got a chance to go for his 300th major league victory Wednesday in Washington.

The game was finally postponed by rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader Thursday. Johnson is now scheduled to pitch the opener as he tries to become the 24th pitcher - and sixth lefty - to win 300 games.

Also in the National League, Chad Billingsley combined with three relievers on a seven-hitter in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 1-0 shutout of Arizona. Billingsley surrendered only four hits over six innings as the Dodgers improved to a major league-best 37-18.

Ryan Braun homered and Milwaukee scored three runs on walks to beat the Marlins 9-6 in Florida. Hayden Penn surrendered three bases-loaded walks while the Brewers were scoring six times in the fifth to end a 5-game road losing streak.

Laynce (lans) Nix homered twice and drove in four runs to lead Cincinnati's offense in a 9-3 pounding of St. Louis. Johnny Cueto (KWAY'-toh) beat the Cardinals for the second time in less than a month, holding them to one run over 6 1-3 innings.

The Chicago Cubs pulled out a 3-2 victory in Atlanta on pinch-hitter Micah Hoffpauir's (HAHF'-pow-urz) RBI single in the 11th inning. The Braves extended the game after Mike Fontenot's two-run double put the Cubs ahead 2-0 in the fourth.

Ryan Howard ripped a two-run homer and J.A. Happ tossed seven shutout innings as Philadelphia handled San Diego 5-1. Happ gave up only four hits before he was replaced by J.C. Romero, who was placed on the active roster earlier in the day after completing his 50-game suspension for a positive drug test.

Houston has a 4-game winning streak after Hunter Pence went 4 for 5 with a solo homer and a pair of RBI singles in the Astros' 6-4 triumph against Colorado. Pence tied the game with a seventh-inning blast before Carlos Lee scored the go-ahead run on an error later in the inning.

The New York Mets were rained out at Pittsburgh in Game 3 of a scheduled 4-game set. The game will be made up July 2.

Over to the American League, where the Texas Rangers have moved back atop the overall standings. Ian Kinsler went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored as the Rangers knocked off the New York Yankees 4-2. Scott Feldman won his third consecutive start by limiting the Yankees to one earned run and five hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Jorge Posada homered for the Yankees, who had the AL's top record before losing for only the fifth time in their last 21 games.

Josh Beckett carried a no-hitter into the seventh and David Ortiz slapped a three-run double as Boston doubled up Detroit 10-5. Curtis Granderson broke up the no-hitter with a two-out single in the seventh, and the shutout ended when the Tigers scored five unearned runs in the eighth.

Jeff Niemann retired his first 14 batters before settling for a two-hitter in Tampa Bay's 9-0 shutout of Kansas City. Ben Zobrist became the first player to hit four career grand slams as a Ray, giving Tampa Bay an 8-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Jered Weaver had a career-high 10 strikeouts, while holding Toronto to a run and three hits over seven innings of the Los Angeles Angels' 8-1 rout of the Blue Jays. Bobby Abreu (uh-BRAY'-oo) belted a two-run homer and Chone (shawn) Figgins went 3 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Ichiro Suzuki extended his team-record hitting streak to 27 games by going 1 for 3 in Seattle's 3-2 verdict over Baltimore. Adrian Beltre (BEHL'-tray) drove in the Mariners' runs, including an walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth.

Bobby Crosby and Landon Powell hit back-to-back homers and Joshua Outman pitched into the seventh as Oakland knocked off the Chicago White Sox 5-3. Jason Giambi (jee-AHM'-bee) also went deep to support Outman, who held the White Sox to two earned runs and seven hits over 6 2-3 innings.

Jhonny Peralta launched a three-run homer while Cleveland was erupting for five runs with two outs in the third inning of a 10-1 laugher at Minnesota. Cliff Lee won for only the second time since April 16th, allowing a run and seven hits in eight innings for his 10th consecutive quality start.

Braves cut Glavine, get McLouth...Wang back in Yanks' rotation

(AP) - The Atlanta Braves have made two significant moves Wednesday, one that involves 1 of their all-time greatest pitchers and another that brings them another big bat.

The Braves have released 305-game winner Tom Glavine, just when it seemed the lefty was ready to return to the big leagues following shoulder and elbow surgery. The 43-year-old threw six scoreless innings for Class-A Rome on Tuesday night and proclaimed himself ready to pitch in the majors again.

Atlanta also bolstered its lineup by getting center fielder Nate McLouth from the Pittsburgh Pirates for prospects Charlie Morton, Gorkys Hernandez and Jeff Locke. McLouth is batting .256 with nine homers and 34 RBIs this year after earning an All-Star berth last season.

In other major league news:

The New York Yankees have put Chien-Ming Wang (wahng) back in the starting rotation and moved Phil Hughes to the bullpen. Wang got off to an awful start this season before going on the disabled list with weakness in the adductor muscles in his hips. He starts Thursday against the Rangers and will be limited to about 80 pitches.

New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes had to leave Wednesday's rehab start after three innings after complaining of discomfort in his right leg. Reyes is on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis under his calf.

Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria is not expected to go on the disabled list because of a sore left hamstring. The injury occurred while he was running out a grounder in the sixth inning of Tuesday's 6-2 win over Kansas City. Longoria is hitting .322 with 13 homers and 55 RBIs in 52 games this season.

Cleveland infielder Asdrubal (as-DROO'-bul) Cabrera has been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a sprained left shoulder suffered in a collision while sliding into second base. The Indians currently have nine players on the DL.

The Chicago White Sox have recalled infielder Gordon Beckham, their first-round pick last year. The Chisox made roster room by designating Wilson Betemit (BET'-eh-meet) for assignment.

And demolition equipment has arrived at Tiger Stadium ahead of the historic ballpark's expected demise. Much of the downtown stadium was demolished last year. But a section stretching from dugout to dugout was spared while a nonprofit group tried to raise money to redevelop and preserve the remaining structure.

Serena falters at the French...Federer moves through

PARIS (AP) - Serena Williams has fallen short in her bid to win a third consecutive Grand Slam title.

Svetlana Kuznetsova (svet-LAH'-nah kooz-NET'-so-vah) has eliminated the second-seeded Williams in the French Open quarterfinals, staving off set point in the first set before completing a 7-6, 5-7, 7-5 victory on Wednesday.

Kuznetsova will next face Samantha Stosurm, a 25-year-old Australian who reached her first major semifinal by defeating Romania's Sorana Cirstea (kur-STAY'-uh) 6-1, 6-3.

Stosur has never won a tour title.

In men's quarterfinals action, second seeded Roger Federer (FED'-ur-ur) topped 11th-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils (GAH'-ehl mohn-FEES') of France, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4 to move within two victories of completing a career Grand Slam.

And No. 5 seed Juan Martin del Potro defeated 16th-seeded Tommy Robredo (roh-BRAY'-doh) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to set up a semifinals meeting with Federer.

The women's semifinals highlight Thursday's schedule at Roland Garros. Stosur will battle Kuznetsova after top seed Dinara Safina (dee-NAH'-rah sah-FEE'-nuh) takes on Dominika Cibulkova (dah-mah-NEE'-kuh sy-bul-KOH'-vuh).

U.S. falls at Costa Rica

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) - The United States has fallen to 2-1-1 in World Cup qualifying with Wednesday's 3-1 loss at Costa Rica.

Alvaro Saborio scored just 79 seconds into the game, the second-fastest goal against the U.S. in a qualifier. The Americans were shut out until Landon Donovan scored on a penalty kick in the second minute of second-half stoppage time.

The United States is 0-7-1 in qualifying at Costa Rica.

Talks begin

NEW YORK (AP) - The National Football League and its players' union started labor talks Wednesday with hopes of avoiding a work stoppage in 2011, when the current labor contract expires. The talks began in New York with both commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') and DeMaurice Smith, the new executive director of the NFL Players Association, on hand.

1 of the union's early demands was that the league open its books.

Westbrook to undergo surgery

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook will undergo right ankle surgery on Friday.

Westbrook missed one game last season with a high ankle sprain but still finished with 1,338 yards from scrimmage and a career-best 14 touchdowns. He had minor knee surgery after the Eagles lost to Arizona in the NFC championship game.

Harrison and Dungy sign with the Peacock Network

NEW YORK (AP) - Just hours after Rodney Harrison announced he was retiring from the NFL, NBC announced that the 2-time Pro Bowl safety was joining the network's Sunday night NFL studio show. The 36-year-old defensive back is hanging up his cleats after a 15-year NFL career with the New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers.

Harrison holds the NFL record for defensive backs with 30 1-2 sacks and also has 34 interceptions, making him the only player to have at least 30 of each.

Surgery for league MVP

CLEVELAND (AP) - Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has been released from the Cleveland Clinic after undergoing a five-hour procedure Tuesday to remove a benign growth from his jaw. The team says the NBA's reigning Most Valuable Player is home and is recovering well. He has had the condition for several months, but opted to put off surgery until the Cavaliers completed their season.

Kentucky Derby champ the early favorite for the Belmont Stakes

NEW YORK (AP) - Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird is the 2-1 morning-line favorite to capture the third jewel of horse racing's Triple Crown. A field of 10 3-year-olds has been entered in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, with Mine That Bird drawing the No. 7 post position. Charitable Man, who missed the Derby and the Preakness, is the second choice at 3-1. He drew the No. 6 post.

Avs have a new GM and no coach

DENVER (AP) - The Colorado Avalanche have promoted Greg Sherman to general manager and fired coach Tony Granato (gruh-NAH'-toh) and five others in a sweeping shakeup.

Granato's job appeared to be in jeopardy when the team courted Patrick Roy (wah) to be their coach. The Hall of Fame goaltender turned them down.

Sherman has spent the past seven years as the team's assistant general manager and replaces Francois Giguere (FRAN'-swah zhee-GEHR'), who was let go in April following the team's worst finish since moving to Denver in 1995.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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