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Sports Watch

Rockies win again...Redbirds rally...White Sox top Tigers

(AP) - Not even CC Sabathia (suh-BATH'-ee-oh) could stop the New York Yankees' season-long losing streak against the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox scored three times off Sabathia and the Yankees' bullpen to pull out a 4-3 victory at Fenway Park. J.D. Drew sparked the rally with an RBI single and scored the go-ahead run on Mike Lowell's sacrifice fly, helping the Bosox improve to 8-0 against their archrivals this season.

Brad Penny left with a 1-0 lead after allowing six hits in six innings. Alex Rodriguez laced a two-run double to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the seventh before New York fell two games behind the first-place Red Sox in the American League East.

In other American League action, Kevin Millwood combined with two relievers on a six-hitter to lead Texas past Toronto 1-0. Marlon Byrd lifted a sacrifice fly to support Millwood, who held the Blue Jays to five hits over 7 2-3 innings.

Carlos Pena and Dioner Navarro combined for two homers and seven RBIs in Tampa Bay's 11-1 laugher against the Los Angeles Angels. Pena hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs, and Navarro added three RBIs.

There was a wild finish in Chicago as the White Sox beat Detroit 4-3 on Scott Podsednik's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, a half-inning after Curtis Granderson tied the game with a two-run homer. Reliever Joel Zumaya's throwing error loaded the bases before he served up the game-winning hit.

Rajai Davis singled home the winning run in the ninth to cap Oakland's comeback in a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins. Adam Kennedy hit a tying two-run homer in a three-run eighth for the A's.

Cleveland beat Kansas City 4-3 in the bottom of the 10th with a little help from above. Shin-Soo Choo lined the game-winning single off a low-flying sea gull, causing the ball to elude center fielder Coco Crisp.

Seattle's Russell Branyan hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs to lead a 6-3 win at Baltimore. Adrian Beltre (BEHL'-tray) was 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run as the Mariners dealt the Orioles their seventh loss in eight games.

Over to the National League, where the Philadelphia Phillies have opened a 4-game lead in the East following their second straight extra-innings win over the New York Mets.

Raul Ibanez (ih-BAHN'-yehz) launched a three-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning to give the Phils a 6-3 win over the Mets in the rubber match of the 3-game series. The tiebreaking blast comes one night after Chase Utley beat the Mets with a solo shot in the 11th inning.

Carlos Beltran had three RBIs for the Mets, who blew leads of 4-1 and 3-1 in the last two games of the series.

Also in the National League, Colorado has completed an 11-game road trip with its eighth consecutive win, holding off Milwaukee 5-4. Ian Stewart homered and scored three times to support Aaron Cook, who pitched shutout ball into the seventh. Colorado is 10-4 under new skipper Jim Tracy.

Pinch-hitter Colby Rasmus hit a tiebreaking RBI single while St. Louis rallied for three runs in the top of the eighth inning to edge Florida 6-5. Albert Pujols (POO'-hohlz) hit his 19th home run and Rick Ankiel added three hits for the Cards.

Andy LaRoche hit a two-out, two-run single in the ninth inning as Pittsburgh knocked off Atlanta 3-1 to gain a split of their 4-game series. It wasted a fine start by Atlanta's Javier Vazquez, who struck out 12 and gave up only two hits and one run in eight innings.

Max Scherzer allowed three hits over 7 2-3 dominant innings to lead Arizona past San Francisco 2-1. Justin Upton drove in two runs with a homer and RBI single.

Geoff Blum drove in the winning run for the second straight game, hitting an RBI single in the 13th inning that led the Houston Astros over the Chicago Cubs 2-1.

Washington scored twice on a potential double-play grounder in the eighth inning to pull out a 3-2 win over Cincinnati. The Nationals loaded the bases with one out before Ryan Zimmerman hit a slow grounder to shortstop Alex Gonzalez, but Brandon Phillips threw away the relay throw.

Held dies at 77

CLEVELAND (AP) - Former major league infielder Woodie Held has died at 77 following a long bout with cancer.

Held spent 14 years in the majors and helped the Baltimore Orioles win the 1966 World Series. His best season was his first full year in Cleveland when he set career highs in homers (29), runs (82) and RBIs (71) while batting .251 in 1959.

Held also was involved in a trade for Roger Maris.

Crimson Tide hit with sanctions

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - The NCAA has placed Alabama's football program and 15 other of the school's athletic teams on three years probation for major violations due to misuse of free textbooks.

The NCAA's Committee on Infractions says the football team must vacate 21 wins in which any of 7 players took part during 2005-2007, including the 2005 Cotton Bowl victory over Texas Tech and an upset of Florida earlier that season.

8 of the wins using ineligible players occurred in 2005, Mike Shula's best season as coach.

The NCAA says 201 student-athletes in the 16 sports, including men's basketball, obtained "impermissible benefits" by using their scholarships to obtain free textbooks for other students.

Neither the football team nor any other sport lost postseason eligibility or scholarships.

Mickelson in the hunt after his layoff

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (AP) - Phil Mickelson was on the course Thursday for the first time since announcing three weeks ago that his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The second-ranked golfer in the world carded a 2-under-par 68 in the opening round of the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, putting him four shots behind leader Brian Gay.

Gay fired a 64 as he tries to qualify for next week's U.S. Open at Bethpage Black on Long Island. He's one shot ahead of Jimmy Walker and two in front of Jose Maria Olazabal (oh-lah-THAH'-bul), Rich Beem and three others.

John Daly shot a 72 in his first round since serving a six-month suspension.

Ladies' second major of the year under way

HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. (AP) - Nicole Castrale (kas-TRAH'-lee) birdied 6 of the first nine holes on the way to a 7-under 65 and the first round lead at the LPGA Championship. Castrale's 6-under 30 was a course record for the front nine in the tournament.

Anna Nordqvist is one shot off the pace and one ahead of Shanshan Feng.

McNabb accepts restructured contract

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to restructure the final two years of his contract.

The 5-time Pro Bowl quarterback was due to make $9.2 million this season and $10 million next season. The team announced the agreement but didn't divulge contract terms.

In 2002, McNabb signed a $115 million, 12-year contract extension through the 2013 season. But the last three years of that contract were voided when he reached incentive clauses.

Stars don't waste any time filling coaching vacancy

DALLAS (AP) - The Dallas Stars have hired well-traveled NHL veteran Marc Crawford to coach their team, one day after firing Dave Tippett.

Crawford has 470 career victories in 13 seasons as coach of the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings. He won the Stanley Cup with the Avs in 1996.

His last season behind the bench was for the Kings in 2007-08, when they were 32-43-7.

Tippett was let go after compiling a 271-162-59 record in six seasons with the Stars. He took them to the playoffs five times before falling short last season.

Judge says he'll rule on Coyotes' relocation fee

PHOENIX (AP) - The issue of how much Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie should pay the NHL to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, Ontario, will not be the subject of another hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Judge Redfield T. Baum says he'll deal with the fee issue as part of his ruling resulting from a 6 1-2-hour relocation hearing held Tuesday.

The rain can't stop Usain

TORONTO (AP) - A steady downpour couldn't stop Usain Bolt from winning the 100 meters at the Festival of Excellence meet in Toronto Thursday night.

The 3-time gold medal winner at the Beijing Olympics finished in 10 seconds flat, a quarter-second ahead of American Shawn Crawford. Bolt said he held back a little because of the wet surface and temperatures in the 60s.

Cougars have new AD

HOUSTON (AP) - The University of Houston has hired Mack Rhoades to be the school's athletic director.

Rhoades had been the athletic director at the University of Akron since 2006, and takes over for Dave Maggard.

The 43-year-old Rhoades recently was a finalist for the Rutgers athletic director's vacancy. Before taking the Akron job, he was an assistant athletic director at Texas-El Paso.

Maggard retired last month after seven years as Houston's AD.

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

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