Sports Watch

Birds stun Bosox...Marquis leads Rockies

(AP) - The Boston Red Sox were on cruise control for 6 1-2 innings Tuesday night. Dustin Pedroia (peh-DROY'-uh) and Kevin Youkilis (YOO'-kih-lihs) drove in three runs apiece while the Red Sox were building a 10-1 lead. Two innings later, the Baltimore Orioles completed the greatest comeback in team history, scoring five times in both the seventh and eighth to pull out an 11-10 shocker over the American League East leaders.

Oscar Salazar's three-run homer got the Orioles within 10-6 before Nick Markakis (mahr-KAY'-kihs) laced a two-run double off Jonathan Papelbon (PAP'-ul-bahn) in the eighth to put the Birds ahead to stay.

Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury homered for the Red Sox, and John Smoltz held Baltimore to a run and three hits in four innings before coming out of the game following a rain delay.

The outcome ends the Red Sox's 8-game winning streak against the Orioles and leaves them 2 1-2 games ahead of the hard-charging New York Yankees.

The Yankees won their sixth in a row by scoring three times in the eighth inning of an 8-5 triumph against Seattle. Melky Cabrera had three RBIs, including the tiebreaking single in the eighth before Derek Jeter doubled home a pair. Alex Rodriguez smacked a two-run homer that helped the Bombers beat the Mariners for the ninth straight time in the Bronx.

Also in the American League Wednesday, Marlon Byrd drove in five runs while hitting 2 of the Texas Rangers' five homers in a 9-5 drubbing of the Anaheim Angels. Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz and David Murphy also went deep for the Rangers, who are back within 1 1-2 games of the West-leading Angels.

Tampa Bay owns a 7-game winning streak after B.J. Upton, Carl Crawford and Willy Aybar (EYE'-bahr) homered in a 4-1 verdict over Toronto. Matt Garza allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings to win consecutive starts for the first time since April 30 and May 5.

Paul Konerko belted a two-run homer and Jermaine Dye had two RBIs as the Chicago White Sox hammered Cleveland 11-4 to reach the .500 mark for the first time in almost two months. Indians starter and reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee was rocked for seven runs and 11 hits in three-plus innings before the game was called by rain in the seventh.

Placido Polanco hit a two-run homer and had three ribbies as Detroit downed Oakland 5-3 to stay four games ahead of the White Sox and Minnesota for the AL Central lead. Armando Galarraga walked six but limited the A's to a run and two hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Justin Morneau homered for the third straight game before Michael Cuddyer's (kih-DY'-urz) sacrifice fly snapped a sixth-inning tie in Minnesota's 2-1 win at Kansas City. Winning pitcher Scott Baker left the bases loaded in the fourth and blanked the Royals following Mike Jacobs' RBI single in the first.

Over to the National League, where Colorado improved to 21-4 in its last 25 contests by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers for only the second time in 11 tries this season.

Jason Marquis was the star in the Rockies' 3-0 shutout of the Dodgers, tossing a two-hit shutout and poking a two-run single in the seventh. Brad Hawpe (hawp) homered to help Marquis become the National League's first 10-game winner.

Milwaukee roughed up Johan Santana in a 6-3 win over the New York Mets. Ryan Braun supplied the go-ahead, three-run double in the fourth and finished with four RBIs to help the Central-leading Brewers move two games ahead of St. Louis.

The Cardinals wasted Albert Pujols' (POO'-hohlz) major league-leading 29th and 30th homers in a 6-3 loss to San Francisco. Bengie Molina and Edgar Renteria drove in two runs apiece for the Giants, who won their third in a row by torching Chris Carpenter for six runs and 11 hits in five innings.

Martin Prado (mahr-TEEN' PRAH'-doh) ended Atlanta's 5-4 win over Philadelphia by hitting an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th. Prado also homered and set career highs with four hits and four RBIs as the Braves beat the Phillies in Atlanta for the first time since September 5, 2007.

Hanley Ramirez homered and collected four RBIs as Florida beat Washington 7-5 in a game that was called in the seventh inning because of rain. The Nats led 5-4 in the seventh until Ramirez hit a two-run single and Jorge Cantu followed with an RBI single, giving the Marlins an 8-0 record against Washington this year. Florida also climbed within 1 1-2 games of the East-leading Phillies.

David Eckstein's RBI single capped a three-run seventh that pushed San Diego past Houston 4-3. Adrian Gonzalez hit a run scoring triple but had to leave the game with a strained knee after sliding hard into the third-base bag.

Dan Haren took a shutout into the seventh and belted his first major league homer to lead Arizona's 6-2 triumph at Cincinnati. Haren lowered his ERA to a NL-leading 2.19 by holding the Reds to a run and four hits through seven frames.

Ross Ohlendorf tossed seven innings and combined with two relievers on a six-hitter as Pittsburgh blanked the Chicago Cubs 3-0. Freddy Sanchez went 3 for 3, drove in two runs and scored from second base on a strikeout after the pitch bounced high into the air.

Possible surgery for center fielder

CLEVELAND (AP) - Cleveland Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore may need postseason surgery on his inflamed left elbow. Trainer Lonnie Soloff said "there's a high index of suspicion" that Sizemore will need an operation at some point and will have to play with soreness in his elbow for the remainder of the season.

Sizemore recently missed three weeks with inflammation in his elbow, an injury that has bothered him since spring training.

A .279 career hitter, Cleveland's former leadoff man is batting .236 with 10 homers and 39 RBIs in 55 games. He's been dropped to No. 2 in the order.

In other major league news:

Boston Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hip. Lowell had fluid drained from his hip Monday in Boston and received an injection designed to alleviate inflammation in the surgically repaired joint.

Pittsburgh has dealt promising outfielder Nyjer (NY'-jur) Morgan and pitcher Sean Bennett to the Washington Nationals for outfielder Lastings Milledge and reliever Joel Hanrahan. The Pirates also shipped backup outfielder Eric Hinske to the New York Yankees and cash for right-hander Casey Erickson and outfielder Eric Fryer.

All-Star center fielder Josh Hamilton expects to return to the Texas Rangers' lineup this weekend after a trip to Iowa for at least one more rehab game. Hamilton last played May 31 before going on the disabled list for the second time this season. He had surgery three weeks ago to repair a slight abdominal tear.

Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran's second examination on his ailing right knee also indicates surgery is not required. Beltran likely will be out through the All-Star break while waiting for his bone bruise to subside.

Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia (SOH'-shuh) says Ervin Santana will be back in the rotation this weekend. Santana reported no problems with his right triceps following a bullpen session today. The injury put him on the disabled list June 12.

And the Chicago Cubs have recalled reliever Jeff Samardzija (sah-MAHR'-juh) from AAA Iowa and sent Jose Ascanio to the same club.

Williams sisters close in on another all-family final

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) - Venus and Serena Williams remain on a collision course that could put each of them in the Wimbledon women's final.

5-time champion Venus was first into the semifinals, overpowering Agnieszka Radwanska (ag-nee-EHSH'-kuh rad-VAN'-skuh) 6-1, 6-2. 2-time winner Serena followed her with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Victoria Azarenka (az-uh-RENK'-uh).

No. 3-seeded Venus will next face top-ranked Dinara Safina (din-NAH'-ruh sah-FEE'-nah). The Russian overcame 15 double-faults and beat German teenager Sabine Lisicki (lih-SIH'-lee) 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 to reach the Wimbledon semis for the first time.

In the bottom half of the draw, No. 4 Elena Dementieva (ehl-AY'-nah deh-mehn-tee-AY'-vah) defeated Italy's Francesca Schiavone (fran-CHES'-kuh skee-ah-VOH'-nay) 6-2, 6-2 to set up a semifinal encounter with No. 2 Serena Williams.

It's the first time since 2006 that all four top-seeded women reached the semifinals at a Grand Slam tournament.

The men's quarterfinals will be contested Wednesday at the All England Club.

Nadal won't play Davis Cup next month

MADRID (AP) - Rafael Nadal's (nah-DAHLZ') lingering knee problems are forcing him to beg out of Spain's Davis Cup quarterfinal against Germany next month.

The world No. 1 is struggling with tendinitis in his knees that caused him to skip Wimbledon and has been left off the Davis Cup team announced for the matches in southern Spain July 10-12.

Coach Albert Costa has selected Fernando Verdasco, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and Tommy Robredo (roh-BRAY'-doh).

Pistons can Curry

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Pistons have fired Michael Curry after his team went 39-43 in his first year as a head coach.

Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars says a change was necessary.

The Pistons were swept in the first round of the playoffs in four lopsided losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers. But Dumars said after that series that Curry would return.

Finley will play a 15th season

(AP) - Michael Finley has told the Spurs he plans to return for a 15th NBA season. The 36-year-old guard held the option on his contract for the 2009-10 campaign, which will be his fifth in San Antonio.

Finley averaged 9.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 81 games last season when he shot a career-best 41% from 3-point range.

Utah's Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur (MEH'-met oh-KOOR') have decided to stay with the club. They told the Jazz today that they would return to the team instead of opting out of the final year of their contracts and becoming free agents.

Boozer is scheduled to make $12.7 million next season while Okur is slated to make $9 million

Duke's coach staying put

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski (shuh-SHEF'-skee) made it clear: He's not going to ever be the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. At his annual summer meeting with reporters, Krzyzewski was asked about talk that he might go to the Lakers if Phil Jackson were to retire.

Krzyzewski said he's "not going to the Lakers" and that he won't leave Duke "until I leave coaching."

NCAA denies Sampson's appeal

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NCAA has rejected an appeal from former Indiana basketball coach Kelvin Sampson.

The NCAA says the NCAA Division I infractions Committee has upheld the violations stemming from more than 100 impermissible phone calls made while Sampson was heading up the Hoosiers' program.

Sampson received five years of potential penalties when the NCAA ruled on the case, including an order that could keep him from coaching in college for the next four years.

NCAA reduces Alabama State probation to 3 years

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The NCAA has reduced the probation period for Alabama State University's football program from five to three years.

The NCAA says in a release that it is reducing the length of probation because it determined ASU officials took actions to correct the problems while the case was being investigated.

In December the NCAA placed the Hornets football program on probation for 17 rules violations that allegedly occurred from 1999-2003.

Habs get Gomez from Blueshirts for Higgins...Devils and Oduya come to terms

(AP) - Scott Gomez will now try to regain his scoring touch while skating for the Montreal Canadiens.

The New York Rangers have shipped him to the Habs for fellow forward Chris Higgins in a six-player deal. Gomez scored 16 goals and finished with 58 points, his lowest total since 2003.

Higgins also is coming off a sub-par season, finishing with 12 goals and a career-worst 23 points.

The trade allows the Rangers to free up salary cap space as they try to land a high-scoring free agent.

Also in the NHL, the Calgary Flames have signed star defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (BOH'-mees-tur) to a multiyear agreement, three days after acquiring his rights from Florida. Bouwmeester registered five goals and 42 points for the Panthers last season.

The New Jersey Devils are keeping Johnny Oduya (oh-DOO'-yuh) away from the free-agent market. The NHL club has agreed to terms with the defenseman on a new multiyear contract. The 27-year-old defenseman had career highs with seven goals and 22 assists last season, his third in the NHL.

And the Chicago Blackhawks and center Dave Bolland have agreed to a 5-year contract. The restricted free agent had 19 goals, 28 assists and a plus-19 rating during the regular season.

Tony George to spend more time with IRL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Tony George is going to spend more time running the Indy Racing League. He has been asked to step down as president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as well as his family's business, Hulman & Company, to spend more time running the open-wheel racing circuit.

The Hulman-George family has run the speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500, for six decades and also owns the IRL.

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